The 29th edition of India International Trade Fair opened for business visitors at the sprawling Pragati Maidan exposition grounds in New Delhi on Saturday with 7,500 domestic and overseas exhibitors from 29 countries.
The 14-day fair, that has China as the focus country and Thailand as the partner nation this year, will open for public Nov 19, since the first five days have been reserved exclusively for business visitors with an entry fee of Rs 400 during these days.
For the public, the entry fee is Rs 30 on weekdays and Rs 60 on weekends.
President Pratibha Patil, who inaugurated the fair at the Hamsadhwani Theatre within the exposition complex, said the event provides an opportunity for people from across Indian states to see the progress the country and the world at large is making.
"The fair, over the years, has acquired the reputation of successfully projecting the modernising face of India to the global business community," the president said in her inaugural address.
This year, Iran makes its debut, hoping to join some countries such as China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey, which have attracted huge crowds in the past with their traditional merchandise.
The theme of this year's fair, organised by the commerce ministry-promoted India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), is "Exports of Services". Some of the other highlights of this year's fair include:
-Green event with no plastic bags allowed inside the grounds
-Entire Pragati Maidan grounds declared no-smoking zone
-Eco-friendly bags made of jute, paper, cloth at nominal rates at 28 kiosks
-Fair timing advanced by half-hour, open from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm
-During weekends, tickets sale will close at 2 pm and entry end at 4 pm
-Five days exclusively reserved for business visitors
-Live theatre, dance, puppetry, magic and music shows
-Ethnic food from different states
-Special exhibition on India's space odyssey at the Nehru Pavilion
-Increased frequency of Metro, public transport service
-Free entry for authorised school children in uniform, except on weekends
-Special displays on good living, auto, electronics, textiles, jute, jewellery
-International business lounge for professional facilitation services
-Delhi is partner state, Uttarakhand in focus
The previous edition of the fair attracted three million visitors. Some 7,500 domestic and 350 overseas exhibitors from 38 countries took part in the 14-day event, which also attracted 91 overseas business delegations.