The Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX), organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry ended here on Monday with an optimistic note to materialise business enquiries worth over Rs 500 crore generated during the five-day exposition.
Breaking the 10-year record, PITEX 2015 got over 2.50 lakh visitors during the exhibition that started on December 3.
“The Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM) of SAARC nations that was organised along with the decade-old PITEX for the first time and was a grand success,” said RS Sachdeva, co-chairman of the Punjab committee of PHD Chamber.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab’s local government minister Anil Joshi said generating so many enquiries for business during the RBSM was encouraging. He said the meet played a great role in expanding business.
The minister said when he was the industries minister he favoured the construction of a convention centre. “Soon the Central Jail located in Gumtala area would be shifted from there and that area would be used for the construction of the convention centre, where I believe the business exhibition should be organised every third month to help the local industry,” the Amritsar (North) legislator said.
To make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream vision of ‘Make in India’ programme successful, Joshi asserted that the PHD Chamber could play an important role. “We have to pose a challenge to China. We have to explore new markets not only in SAARC nations but also beyond that,” he said.
Joshi said China has earned bad name because of poor quality of products. “Indian goods do not have such kind of reputation like China. India’s 65 percent population is youth. We have to make maximum use of them,” the minister said.
Joshi also said the state government would support the PHD Chamber’s proposed ‘India Trade Expo’ going to be held in Islamabad next year.
Meanwhile, Sachdeva informed that 150 international buyers from SAARC region participated in the RBSM and it would be held again in Amritsar next year (PITEX 2016). “Next time we will invite more businessmen from the SAARC nations and their number will be doubled from this year’s,” he shared.
“This time business enquiries of over Rs 500 crore were generated at the PITEX and the RBSM,” he said.
“India being at the confluence of trade routes connecting SAARC countries, it is a natural trading partner for South Asian countries. But unfortunately, despite the contiguous borders, our trade with south-east Asian countries is remarkably low,” he said.
According to the South Asia Monitor, in 2013-2014, India’s trade with SAARC members was 2.6 percent of India’s total trade with the rest of the world.
“Therefore, with a view to boost the intra-regional trade among SAARC countries, we organised the RBSM that is supported by the Union ministry of commerce,” Sachdeva added.