The Pakistani trade fair federation has informed the organisers of the Fourth India International Mega Trade Fair, 2008-2009 in Kolkata that its members won’t be able to attend the fair beginning next Wednesday.
Earlier, after the India International Trade Fair in Delhi, the federation promised to participate in the Kolkata fair too. But the November 26 Mumbai attack and the bitterness that followed it reportedly influenced the federation’s decision.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said in Kochi on Saturday that he had put off his visit to Pakistan next month, as India “cannot continue business as usual in the context of current political environment”.
He said even the government’s efforts to step up tea exports to Pakistan were also “put on pause”. India planned to export about 15 million to 20 million tonne of tea to Pakistan this year.
In Kolkata, it is learnt, the Pakistani federation booked an entire hangar of over 65,000 sq ft before November 26 to set up 60 shops for textiles, handicrafts, woodworks, marble works, precious stones, etc.
“This is for the first time that the federation planned to participate in such a big way. But after the Mumbai terrorist attack, it has changed its mind. This is a big loss for the city connoisseurs,” said head of G.S. Marketing S.D. Gupta.
GS Marketing and Bharat Chamber of Commerce are organising the fair at Science City exhibition grounds in Kolkata.
However, a few individual Pakistani business houses from Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Multan will participate in the 12-day-long fair.