13th SAARC Trade Fair Be­gins…..

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T he min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Af­fairs Ly­onpo Lekey Dorji graced the open­ing cer­e­mony of five days of 13th SAARC Trade Fair on 8th of Septem­ber 2016 at Changlingmithang Sta­dium park­ing. It is or­ga­niz­ing by Bhutan Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (BCCI) with sup­ports of Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fair (MoEA). Honda Dhe­jung and Sam­den ve­hi­cles are spon­sors of this event.

This is the sec­ond time that Bhutanese is or­ga­niz­ing this event in the coun­try. The main ob­jec­tives of the pro­gram are to pro­vide trade and in­vest­ment, pro­mote busi­ness to busi­ness con­tact, and peo­ple to peo­ple con­tact.

Aum Phub Zam, Pres­i­dent to BCCI said, “it is to pro­vide trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion plat­forms and for par­tic­i­pant from South Asia As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­gion Co­op­er­a­tion (SAARC)”.

A to­tal of 117 com­pa­nies from four mem­ber coun­tries are par­tic­i­pat­ing in less than a week pro­gram. Nepal with 68 has the high­est par­tic­i­pa­tion, In­dia with 52, Bhutan 44 fol­lowed Bangladesh with 13 num­bers which is the min­i­mum. Ma­chiner­ies and equip­ment, elec­tronic items, hand­i­craft and tex­tile, home­made fur­ni­ture and food prod­ucts are the com­modi­ties that are be­ing ex­hib­ited. Be­sides that there are stalls for health and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices also.

The Eco­nomic Af­fairs min­is­ter Ly­onpo Lekey Dorji said, “Study in­di­cates South Asi­a­has one­fifth of the world pop­u­la­tion but our in­tra-re­gional trade is less than five per­cent com­pared with 50% for East Asia and 30% for South East Asia”. He also men­tioned the causes of trad­ing sys­tem that is hap­pen­ing is more than that of other re­gions like high level of pro­tec­tion­ism, in­suf­fi­cient in­fras­truc­tural, vari­able lo­gis­tic ef­fi­ciency, not ex­is­tence of har­mo­nious cus­toms pro­ce­dures and doc­u­men­ta­tions.The rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other mem­ber­ship coun­tries states about needs of con­nec­tiv­ity and trust among mem­ber­ship coun­tries..

Pema yang­den, a stu­dent of Motithang Higher Se­con­day School said, “I en­joy every in­ter­na­tional show and I am in hurry to at­tain pro­gram, mostly the clothes”. More­over the food stalls is most in­ter­est­ing. She added.

Dechen, 31,“I am at­tain­ing every trade show at Thim­phu com­ing all the way from Paro to get clothes for chil­dren and hous­ing items hop­ping for lower prices of com­modi­ties and I came this time too”.

Ashok Singh from Al­pha As­so­ci­a­tion in Siliguri from In­dia said, “We came all the way from In­dia and the cost­ing of trans­porta­tion, food­ing, lodg­ing and even the rent of stall have to pay. So no doubt the price of some com­modi­ties will be 20 to 30 per­cent high as com­pared to Bhutanese mar­kets”. But the peo­ple will have ad­van­tage of get­ting new fash­ion­able prod­ucts. He added.

The five days event will be closed on 12th of Septem­ber 2016.

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