The 23rd edition of Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) witnessed a low turnout of visitors on Tuesday, the second day of the month-long event, as many stalls have yet to be fully ready to welcome visitors and showcase their products.
Organizers and stall owners, however, said this low turnout at the initially phase has been a trend for years, even though the fair is inaugurated on time every year.
The number of buyers and visitors increases as the time goes on, they added.
Export Promotion Bureau under the Ministry of Commerce has organized the fair at Sher-E-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka.
Ferdous Akhter, who was visiting around the venue, told the Dhaka Tribune that the number of visitors on the second day was quite smaller.
“I came here now, because I wanted to see a less-crowded venue. Pretty soon the fairground will be filled to the brim with visitors and people from all strata.”
During a visit to the DITF ground, some big pavilions were found operating at their full capacity, while numerous other stalls have yet to be fully set up and construction workers were seen putting the finishing touches on them.
Halef, the owner of a Turkish pavilion, said around 67% of stalls of foreign traders did not start displaying their products as of on Tuesday.
“It is the second day of the fair. It has yet to attract visitors in large numbers.”
Echoing Halef, Ishfaque, the owner of an Indian stall, said: “Buyers and visitors will start flocking to the venue on the fourth or fifth day, and that is when our business is expected to boom.”
Wishing to be unmanned, the manager of an Iranian stall said they were facing some difficulty in getting customs clearance for their products, which led to the delay in the arrangement.
“Our products are ready to be displayed, but we are not getting customs clearance. Once we get our products released, we will start running the stall.”
Foreign traders also said it was important for them to impress customers at the very beginning with quality products and that they were working hard to make their pavilions as spectacular as possible.
“An eye-catching view of a stall always helps attract more customers, and that’s why we are taking some time to decorate our stall,” a trader said.
Emon, a staff of an Indian jewellery stall, said: “We are expecting a boom in our sales in the last 20 days of the fair.”
Alongside local traders, traders from a total of 17 foreign countries are participating in the fair, including of Italy, France, Thailand, Pakistan, India and Turkey, according to EPB sources.