Vol. 5 Num 557 Tue. December 20, 2005  

Lacklustre response at Dhaka int'l trade fair
Organisers eye high turnout as Eid nears

Nine days into its inauguration, Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) witnessed a low turnout of visitors yesterday with organisers expecting considerable crowd ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha next month.

Participants said compared to the last year's fair, turnout is poor this year but the number will increase within a week as Eid is knocking at the door.

The exhibitors said as the fair was delayed by almost one year, they were expecting a huge turnout this time. But they are not getting expected response, they said. The DITF-2005 was originally scheduled for January this year.

"As the turnout is very low, we may have to curtail our sales target set for the mega show," said Abu Sayed Mahmud, an official of Monno Ceramic Industries Ltd.

The company is offering 30 to 50 percent discount on its bone china ceramic products at the fair. Monno sold ceramics goods worth Tk 3 crore at last year's show.

Meanwhile, 421 local and foreign companies are displaying machinery, agriculture equipment, chemicals, allied products, cosmetics, dairy products, electrical and electronic items, food and groceries, tableware, melamine, plastic goods, gift and novelty items, handicrafts, furniture, home appliances, leather and leather goods, footwear, sports goods, building materials, textile and garments products at the exposition.

Along with the Bangladeshi companies, 22 foreign companies from USA, Singapore, Italy, South Korea, Pakistan, China, India, Iran, Thailand, Austria and Myanmar are showcasing their products.

Among the foreign companies, Iranian and Pakistani products are specially drawing visitors' notice. Carpets, curtains, cosmetics, melamine products are being displayed at the Iranian stalls and pavilions, while cotton fabrics, yarn, rice, furniture, handicrafts, leather goods and garments are on display at the Pakistani pavilions.

Besides, Kashmiri woolen shawls attracted huge visitors yesterday.

"The product is very gorgeous in terms of design and quality, said Mahfuz Ahmed, an official of a private organisation, while bargaining with the sellers of Kashmir Gift House at the fair.

Visitors are interested in Kashmiri shawls, which are selling at Tk 300 to Tk 10,000 a piece, due to the winter, said Tariq Ahmed, a salesman of New Dar Handicrafts.

"We are getting some response from the visitors," a salesperson of Jenny's Leather said adding that Bangladeshi leather goods have already got international recognition. "We are offering 10 percent discount at the fair."

Most of the local participants are offering discounts.

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and commerce ministry are organising the eleventh version of DITF as their annual event to help local enterprises expand their business globally.

The month-long fair has 419 stalls, four special pavilions, seven premier pavilions, 37 pavilions, 12 premier mini-pavilions, 33 mini pavilion, 35 premier stalls, six restaurants and four drink kiosks.

The show on Sher-e-Bangla Nagar fair ground will remain open from 10am to 9pm everyday with a Tk 10 entry ticket for adults and Tk 5 for children. The first DITF was organised in 1995.

Visitors at a stall at the 'Dhaka International Trade Fair-2005' at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar yesterday.. PHOTO: STAR