New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today called for more trade fairs at national and state levels to strengthen the trade fair ecosystem and to promote industry, entrepreneurship as well as local arts and crafts.
He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the 41st Edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi today.
The Minister suggested that the Trade Fair could be held twice in a year with the second one focussing on the theme of ‘Athmanitbhar Bharat’, showcasing India’s swadeshi capabilities and its emerging strength. “This swadeshi fair must encourage participation of women, MSMEs, small entrepreneurs, exhibitors from the service sector and new exhibitors. It must also be affordable to ensure wider participation”, he said.
Goyal opined that local fairs must also be organized all over the country, especially in connection with festivals and tourist seasons so that traditional and local handicrafts and handlooms receive a boost. These local fairs must also focus on improving packaging and design elements, he added.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, Minister of State for Commerce, Ms. Anupriya Patel, Ministers from Focus states, senior officials and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Minister said that quality and professionalism had to be areas of focus at the IITF. He observed that IIFT was not only a matter of pride for Indians but had successfully made a name for itself all over the world. To further strengthen the fair, we must ensure that only high-quality products are sold and that exhibitors must compulsorily be quality certified, he added.
Goyal opined that IITF had been successful in taking the endless the possibilities that India has to offer to the world. It is a powerful platform to showcase the diversity of the nation, he observed.
The Minister suggested that efforts could be made to drive all financial transactions at the fair to digital platforms and said that India’s fintech sector was one of the strongest in the world. Around 600 crore digital transactions took place in India last month, the Minister mentioned. He also said that conducting virtual fairs could be considered.
Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Minister said that “speed is an ambition and scale is our strength. The new India that we are envisaging will engage with speed and scale”. Scale, the Minister said, had a bearing on the impact and the importance of such fairs.
Goyal proposed that ITPO and IIFT consider jointly developing some courses in the physical, hybrid or virtual mode, to prepare professionals who will help us make such fairs cutting edge, post-modern and much more attractive to businesses and common people.
The Minister said that the ecosystem of trade fairs needs to be given both ‘gati’ and ‘shakti’. He said that the PM GatiShakti Master Plan may be utilised to plan fairs and exhibitions throughout the country.
Goyal asked that the centre and states work together in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism and compete and collaborate to conceive and implement initiatives like the IITF to take India forward on the road to becoming a developed nation. India will be the growth engine of the world in the time to come, he added.
IITF offers an ideal platform to showcase Indian products under the ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign, and infuse renewed confidence and vigour in the Indian economy.
The 41st edition of IITF will see the participation of nearly 2500 exhibitors from India and abroad. It is being held over a total area of 73,000 sq.mtr. This year, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra are Partner States and Uttar Pradesh and Kerala are the Focus States. Exhibitors from 29 States & Union Territories will participate in IITF. It may be noted that Leh Ladakh would be participating for the first time this year. The 41st IITF will also see overseas exhibitors from 12 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Iran, Nepal, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK. As in the past, State Day celebrations, seminars and cultural programmes are among the added attractions to the visitors.
At the exhibition, Central Ministries/Commodity Boards/PSUs namely KVIC, Department of Income Tax, DGTS (Customs & Excise), Ministry of Ayush, Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd., National Jute Board, Ministry of Rural Development, RBI, MSME, NHDC, APEDA, LIC, DC Handicraft, Spices Board of India, Ministry of Railways, SBI, TRIFED, will display the achievements of their respective sectors.
The timings of the fair are 10.00 AM to 7.30 PM from 14th to 26th November, 2022 and 10.00 AM to 4.30 PM on 27th November, 2022. The expected footfall during 14 days shall be 10,00,000 +. The tickets are available both online and offline at selected metro stations. The tickets will not be available from Supreme Court Metro Station.
It may be noted that ITPO has made extensive efforts to improve the overall experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. It has introduced transparent online system for booking of stalls and other services, online registration for business dignitaries during first five days, mobile application for the fair and LED screens for display of information. The venue will also include a dedicated post office, banks and ATMs, and other facilities including a Media Centre.
During IITF and other events, ITPO encourages proactive steps by exhibitors to make the venue plastic-free and replacing the same with environment friendly substitutes.