ITIF Asia: Trade, machinery show may attract 25,000 visitors

By Kazim Alam, The Express Tribune

KARACHI: The ongoing International Trade and Industrial Machinery Show, also known as ITIF Asia, is expected to attract about 25,000 visitors by the time it concludes on Thursday, according to a representative of Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan, which is organising the three-day exhibition at the Karachi Expo Centre.

Talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, Ecommerce Gateway Media Manager Wasi-ul-Haq said ITIF Asia attracted 35,000 visitors on average in recent years. This year, he said, Ecommerce is expecting a less-than-usual turnout because one of the three major components of the annual ITIF Asia – Auto and Transport Asia – had been cancelled for a number of reasons, including visa issues faced by foreign exhibitors.

“As part of ITIF Asia 2012, we’re holding Alternative Energy & Power Asia along with Oil & Gas Asia. The third component can possibly be held as a stand-alone exhibition in May when many foreign exhibitors are expected to visit Lahore for another event of the same kind,” he said.

Haq said the auto and transport component traditionally attracted the highest number of visitors. “The interest level is always high because it involves the business-to-consumer (B2C) model. That’s not the case in the other two sections, which are solely business-to-business (B2B).”

There are 30 exhibitors and over 50 foreign delegates from 11 countries, including the UK, Italy, Germany, Canada and Turkey, participating in the exhibition.

M Bagheri, who works as manager of marketing and sales at the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), a gas marketing company, said the majority of people visiting his stall at the exhibition were more interested in getting a job at the Iranian company. “They’re professionals already working in the energy sector. They’re willing to move to Iran and work for NIGEC.”

The representative of another foreign exhibitor, Marine Motor Services – a German manufacturer of components for large-bore, four-stroke diesel engines – said he had received positive, yet less-than-expected, response at ITIF Asia.

“We’ve a limited target market. Suppose there’re 25 customers out there, only one has visited us so far,” he said. “It’s the first time we’re participating in this exhibition. So that’s part of our effort to build our brand name in the market.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23, 2012.

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