How local products earned US$600 million at Pakistan Expo in Karachi

Karachi: At Expo Pakistan held from October 20-24, 2011 in Karachi unlike traditional trade fairs, only local products were on display at the fair, earning the country about $600 million.

Expo Pakistan is designed to attract investors, importers, generate income. It had locally made products for investors to have a feel. Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim says it is soft portrayer of the country’s image. He told Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust, “Although we had targets to meet in terms of revenue to be generated, our main purpose of Expo is for soft image and attract foreigners to know true situation of the country from what is being reported by international media.”

It was avenue to generate income and strengthen Pakistan ties with over 50 countries that participated at Expo where $100 million was set as export target. Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan TDAP Tariq Puri said “we intended to pull $100 million worth export orders from over 600 foreigners of over 50 countries invited. 13 business forums were targeted to strengthen trade ties with various countries.”

Pakistanis present face of Pakistan and its products rather than presenting as individuals by placing their country first before themselves, believing that country is of utmost priority and their identity, Daily Trust correspondent Romoke W. Ahmad who attended Trade Fair in Karachi reported.

“Our kind of Expo is meant for business deals between importers, exporters where we show case what we have to offer to importers to make their choice, sign deal and get goods across to their country which usually takes six months or more depending on kind of product we are exporting,” some of exhibitors told Daily Trust. Goods exhibited were not sold on discounted basis but on deal basis. Some of local exhibitors get products produced from their patronizing country in exchange instead of cash payment. Results surpassed projected $100 million which was surpassed by over 400%.

Puri said “Our projection for this year’s Expo was $100 million but we achieved $570 million which was quite beyond our expectation. This was result organizers efforts and great recognition of participants, especially foreigners.” Apart from earning more than country’s projection at Expo, he said they signed 15 MoUs with some of countries that participated on agriculture, mineral resources, textiles.

MoUs between individuals with highest number of export in textiles, minerals, agricultural sector, marble, granite, surgical instruments, sports materials, engineering goods, cement. “Achievements, is due to increase in number of participating states as we had more than number of countries, people expected at Expo. Countries from as far as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico were all present.”

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