IITF starts on Monday

New Delhi, November 12:

The crowd-pulling India International Trade Fair (IITF), said to be Asia’s largest, is set to open here on Monday but the annual event will see enhanced security this time in the wake of the serial blasts in Delhi.

Marking its silver jubilee, the fortnight-long IITF will be inaugurated at the Pragati Maidan fairgrounds by prime minister Manmohan Singh in the presence of the chief ministers of Uttaranchal and West Bengal. With millions expected to visit, shop and have a look at what hundreds of exhibitors from different parts of the globe have to offer, the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has enhanced security arrangements.

This year around 7,500 participants are booked to take part as against 7,200 last year. The number of countries taking part is also more with 32 having confirmed their presence as against 28 last year.

After a long gap, Egypt and Syria will be participating alongside a major representation from countries like Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, the US, Britain, Russia, Bhutan, Algeria and Sudan. Thailand as the focus country will have the largest participation covering an area over 900 sq metres.

Delhi Police and private security agency personnel are being deployed in larger numbers. From handicrafts to engineering goods, IITF has become a major landmark in the capital’s cultural calendar.