— 300 cos from 12 countries to participate
— Preparation in full swing
Ibrahim Khalil Jewel: The preparation for the month-long 27th Dhaka International Trade Fair is going on in full swing. The fair will be held at the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center in Sector-4 of Purbachal from January 1.
The construction of hundreds of stalls in the inner and outer courtyards of Exhibition Center ‘A’ and ‘B’ is going on very enthusiastically. Temporary stalls are made of wood, bamboo, hardboard. The construction of multi-storied pavilion with steel, brick and concrete is also in final stage. Construction workers are working day and night. The stalls must be handed over within 25-30 December. This time the environment is also better than last time. Traders are expecting a bustling trade fair as the road from Kuril to Purbachal is almost completed and the stalls have been expanded.
The 27th edition of the International Trade Fair is going to be held at the permanent center of the trade fair in Sector 4 of Purbachal of Rupganj Upazila. Traders and organizers want to organize the fair from the first day after last year’s visitor drought. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the fair on January 1.
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Ministry of Commerce have been holding the fair since 1995 in a joint initiative at Agargaon in the capital. However, for the first time last year, the trade fair was held at the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center in Sector 4 of Purbachal.
To reach the fair from Dhaka, one has to cross Kuril Bishwa Road. Purbachal has to be reached along the main road 300 feet from Bishwa Road. Last year, the visitors had to suffer a lot due to the construction work. The number of visitors was also comparatively less. This time the condition of the road is slightly better. Several footover bridges are now under construction. Like last time, special bus service of BRTC will be launched to facilitate the movement of visitors.
The administration will take all steps to ensure security to make the fair a success. The fair will have stalls in 13 categories including general, premium, reserved, food stalls and restaurants. ‘Bangabandhu Pavilion’ will be there to know the history of liberation war. More than three hundred companies from 12 countries will participate in this year’s fair.
On Sunday (December 18) afternoon, it was seen that the hardboards were being cut and installed in the stalls. Construction of more than 20 stalls has started in Exhibition Center ‘B’. Each of which is 20 feet by 20 feet. Along with hardboard, the structure of the stalls is made of stainless steel, aluminum.
Talking to Electrician Rafiq Hasan at the stall of Delhi Aluminum, he said, 20 to 25 workers are working. The entire structure is made of steel. Welding work is in progress, painting work has not started. Our workers will increase. I will handover the stall by 25th.
Outside the exhibition center are mostly large stalls and pavilions, being built in steel and concrete. The work progress is better in the outer stalls than the inner ones. There are also stalls made of hardboard and bamboo. A few temporary two-story pavilions have been constructed. Sand filling and brick wall construction is in progress. Somewhere the work of installing the pillars of the pavilion with steel has started.
Cost increased, traders hope for a good fair
Stall rent and construction costs have increased due to rise in commodity prices. But this time due to good communication system and increasing the range, the traders are expecting better from the first day.
Sujan Ahsan, the owner of a ladies’ fashion stall at Exhibition Center ‘B’, said, this time the atmosphere of the fair is good. People can come easily. I think it will be a good business this time. This time the stall fee is higher, and the making cost is also higher. We are trying to make the best stall possible by spending as little money as possible.
He also said that we have in mind the issue of increased prices of daily commodities. But people come to the fair to see and buy new things. In that case, if the product is good, they will buy it at a higher price.
Saiful Islam, the owner of Irani Fiber said, I was at the fair last time as well. Although not good at first, the fair has gathered at the end. This time, since there are more stalls and the road has also improved, the fair will gather from the very beginning.
EPB Secretary Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said that the construction of the stalls will be completed before December 30. Last time there was no children’s park. This time there is a mini children’s park. The environment has also improved. Last time there were 225 stalls. This time there will be 331 stalls. This fair will be more crowded than last time, he expected.
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