AMRITSAR: On the second day of the five-day Pakistan Show 2014, a large number of Indians, especially from Indian Punjab, thronged the exhibition venue, the Trillium Mall, and enjoyed shopping and interactions with Pakistani stallholders on Friday.
Visitors keep pouring in at the show because of media publicity; however, the shopping trend remained quite mixed during the first two days and stallholders were expecting an increase in the number of visitors and shopper from today (Saturday).
The show is being jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the PHD Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Indian industry representatives, at the Trillium Mall, Circular Road, Amritsar.
Indian visitors were seen very happy on the organisation of a Pakistan show, and they said that such events must be made a regular feature on both sides of the border.
Surinder Kaur, who visited the venue along with her daughter Meet, said that the trend of holding such exhibitions must be encouraged. Shopping at a stall established by a Pakistani woman Sapna Oberoi, Surinder said, “I bought two embroidery dresses.” Her daughter Meet was also taking keen interest in Pakistani products.
Another elderly Indian woman, Umma Khana, and her daughter said that the quality of products displayed at the exhibition was good; however, they expressed their reservations over the prices. They said that such exhibitions should be allowed regularly.
Preet Singh, a journalist by profession, was shopping along with his mother for the wedding of his sister. “I really like the exhibition of Pakistani products and I have specially come from Chundrigar after taking early leave from my office to visit the exhibition,” he said.
Inderpal Singh, visiting a stall along with his son, said the quality of Pakistani cotton was very good. “I originally belong to Pattoki (a city in Pakistan) and I am very happy to find a stallholders of my birthplace.”
He said that Pakistani products’ exhibitions should be increased to other cities also, and the differences between both the countries could be discouraged through increase in people-to-people contacts.
On the other hand, Pakistani stallholders expressed somewhat mixed views regarding the response of the visitors, shopping trends and the management of the event.
M/S Zafar Sons stallholder Imran Zaffar said the venue was under-constructed and lack of air-conditioners was a problem for them. He said Chundrigar, Ludhiana and New Delhi were comparatively big markets as compared to Amritsar, and these markets needed to be explored. Another stallholder, Nighat Bhatti of M/s Rubo Collection, said they were experiencing a loss. She also complained about the unavailability of proper air-conditioning system. Pakistani stallholder Sapna Oberoi also expressed her concerns regarding the selection of the venue. However, the organisers said that the problem of air-conditioners had been resolved, and the number of visitors and shoppers had increased.
They said the shopping was also gaining momentum with each passing day, and that the show was a success. They claimed that it would be a win-win situation for all stakeholders.
The visitors praised Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sohail Lashari and PHD Chamber management for organising this grand activity to bridge the gap between the people of the two Punjabs.
Haji Aftab Ahmed Barlas said normally shopping trends in expos increase during the last days, and they were expecting a huge increase in the number of visitors during the last three days. He said that show at the Trillium Mall has increased the value of the mall.
He said that India and Pakistan should establish trade facilitation centres on both sides of the border.
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