It is heartening to note that the incumbent government has appointed S. M. Muneer as Chairman of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). The business community has reposed confidence in the new chairman, himself a leading exporter of textiles and clothing and leather and leather products besides having interest in other industrial entities. While the TDAP has enormous mandate as regards to boosting Pakistan’s exports, it is necessary to remind the new Chairman that he will have to pay special attention to participation of local exporters in international expos and fairs. Besides that he will also have to exploit the potential of two mega size expo centers, one located in Karachi and other located in Lahore.
International buyers and local exporters can still recollect that in good old days Pakistan used to hold a number of fairs out of these textiles and clothing, leather and carpet shows were the most popular. A large number of foreign buyers used to visit these shows and place orders with the local manufacturers. However, in the aftermath of 9/11 the situation changed altogether, overseas buyers stopped visiting Pakistan due to travel advisory by their respective governments. Pakistan’s soft image was also tarnished due to activities of terrorist. However, the perpetrators just can’t be allowed to keep this nation a hostage.
Over the years various expositions have been held but now the time has come for the TDAP to play its real role of projecting ‘Made in Pakistan’ goods. In this regard it will have to use its two centers and exploit their real potential. While it may be true that specific trade shows should be held, it is also necessary that permanent display and sale outlets should be established in the expo centers. One of the biggest points of attraction is that that these centers have enormous display area but another equally important attraction is huge parking space for the visitors.
Expo Pakistan has been attracting huge crowd but the time has come to hold industry specific expos. In this regards textiles and clothing, carpet and leather shows must be planned at the earliest. It is also to remind TDAP that arranging such shows can become special attraction for residents of Karachi, city having a population of nearly 20 million. This city is even bigger than 85 countries of the world and its residents have per capita income that is estimated above $10,000. This enormous purchasing power makes them the buyers of superior quality products.
It is also suggested that TDAP should consider holding regular expositions of consumer goods, computers and cellular phones and furniture. Spot sale will encourage the exhibitors to actively participate in these shows. Making such arrangement will not only increase income of TDAP but also boost sale of local manufacturers. For those who are still not aware about the potential of the two centers salient details are listed below.
Expo Pakistan is the biggest trade fair in Pakistan, showcasing the largest collection of Pakistan’s export merchandise and services. Foreign exhibitors, from neighboring countries, also use this platform to launch their products. Held annually in the month of September, the four-day Expo Pakistan has become the primary sourcing point for a large number of businesses worldwide, giving them a head start on the buying and ordering for coming. It has become the largest ever showcase of Pakistan’s exportable merchandise and services. It was first held in 2005, the success of last Expo Pakistan in 2012 was manifested by the participation of a large number of local and foreign buyers who settled business deals estimated at $518 million as compared to deals estimated at $80 million, the year before.
Karachi Expo Center
Exhibitions are one of the most effective tools of trade promotion. Leading trade centers of the world provide permanent exhibition facilities to encourage buyer-seller interaction. Karachi Expo Centre is located in the commercial capital of Pakistan. It has a distinction of being in the back yard of CAR countries, accessible to Middle East and a gate way to other Asian countries. Karachi being cosmopolitan, adds flavor for international marketing geopolitically. Karachi Expo Centre is equipped with modern facilities based on international standards creating a market and a world of its own. It comprises of three independent linked halls measuring 6,690 sq.m base area. Two halls contain mezzanine floor measuring 445 sq.m each, while the third hall has a space of 1,270 sq.m on its two mezzanine floors.
- Parking 2400 cars
- Public address system inside each hall
- More than 250 telephone lines internal telephone exchange
- Centrally air-conditioned
- Premises security
- Conference/seminar area
- Restaurant seating 250 guests
- Three halls with extra mezzanine space
- Painting display area in corridor
- Ware housing facilities
- Open display area
Lahore Expo Center
Expo Lahore is a corporate body jointly owned by the Government of Pakistan and Government of the Punjab with a mandate to design, develop, operate and promote a state-of-the-art Lahore International Expo Centre. The Centre is provides a platform of international standard to the manufacturers, exporters, traders and service providers to effectively introduce and market their products and services through trade exhibitions, fairs and conferences. Lahore International Expo Centre is a purpose built facility for the following type of events:
- Trade Exhibitions
- Consumer Fairs
- Seminars, Conferences and Conventions
- Workshops trainings
- Corporate events
- Cultural Carnivals
- Installed Lighting
- Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Services
- Full power back up Services
- Cleaning Services after build up and during event days
- Security Services including Metal Detectors, Walk through gates & Baggage
- Surveillance through CCTV Cameras
- Cafeteria in operational mode
- First Aid Room in operational mode