NEWDELHI: To showcase India's robust economic growth and boost its business globally, the International Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is set to expand the exhibition and convention centres across the country including the facilities in Bangalore and Chennai.
Subas Pani, chairman and managing director of ITPO, that conducts the India International Trade Fair, said this on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the 30th edition of the India International Trade Fair to be inaugurated by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on November 14.
Pani said the ITPO is looking at developing an expo centre in Bangalore at a cost of Rs100 crore. Also, it has embarked on ambitious expansion plans of transforming Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam into the largest expo centre in South East Asia at a cost of Rs100 crore.
Asked about the Bangalore centre, Pani said ITPO has shortlisted two architectural firms. "We would freeze the concept plan about the convention centre with a capacity of 5,000 people soon. We also have plans for an additional exhibition hall of about 5,000 square metres there."
"At the Chennai convention centre, we have one multipurpose hall and two additional halls. We will be adding at least two more big halls. We are planning to add about 10,000 square metres. Our effort is to double the exhibition area as well. We are getting an additional 10 acres of land from the Tamil Nadu government," Pani told Express.
Pani said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had pledged to expand the Chennai convention centre in the last state budget. "There is more land adjacent to the Chennai convention centre held by the Government of India. If we can pursue it, we can achieve our long time objective of the largest trade exhibition and convention centre in South East Asia. We are working towards that. We are finalising the masterplan in a couple of months. We expect the work to be completed in less than two years time," ITPO chief said.
ITPO is also examining the proposals of state government like Orissa and Maharashtra for creating similar infrastructure. Asked about the declining participation of foreign participation in the India International Trade Fair during the last few years, Pani attributed it to the impact of global financial crisis. "Many countries are yet to emerge out of the global crisis. But the area allocated for foreign participation has been fully utilised," Pani said, adding that 7000 exhibitors from abroad, including new countries Japan and Uganda will take part in the trade fair.
However out of the 23 participating countries, no country has been declared a partner country this year. Estimating one million footfalls, Pani said Maharashtra is the partner state, while Rajasthan and Chattisgarh get status of focus states at the fair this year.