Fruit Logistica starts with lack of enthusiasm from Pakistani representatives

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BERLIN: The world’s largest three-day fruits and vegetable exhibition “Fruit Logistica” started on Wednesday with the lack of enthusiasm from Pakistani businessmen and government officials in showcasing and marketing the products. “One can gauge the interest of government officials and private sector from the fact that no one from Pakistan was present at 9.15am at the exhibition hall,” said an exporter, adding that the exhibition started at 9:00am sharp.

“The German authorities contacted the officials over this irresponsibility of Pakistani entrepreneurs,” he said.

This year, Pakistan has a very big participation but there was no enthusiasm at the sponsored stalls of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Pakistan Horticulture Export Development Board.

Around 2,543 exhibitors are participating at the exhibition from 78 countries, representing entire value chain of fresh produce. The exhibition is also important for traders as around 55,000 visitors from 120 countries come to Berlin.

Pakistan has started official participation at the exhibition from 2010. This year around 25 companies from Pakistan are participating and most of them are presenting their products with the help of the TDAP and PHDEB. The representative body of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association was also participating at the event.

Some exhibitors, who are showcasing Pakistani products independently, alleged that the association only supported those exporters who had no knowledge about the latest dimensions and demand of the importing countries, especially packaging and finishing the product for export. At the exhibition, the TDAP has nine stalls where 12 exhibitors are displaying their products.

Agri Support Fund of USAID also has six stalls, representing Pakistani exporters, while the remaining stalls were jointly set up by PHDEB and independent exhibitors.

When contacted, participants complained about the TDAP and fruit and vegetable association and said that the two organisations have failed to facilitate exporters, as well as attracting buyers.

“Pakistani products need better display and good marketing,” said Sohail Aziz, CEO of Nasa International, Messe Berlin. “Pakistan has world’s best fruits and vegetables but lacks packaging to get better share in the world exports,” said Aziz, whose company is official representative for Pakistan.

Besides, Nasa International is also representing countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan and Combodia.

Aziz said that Pakistan is participating for the last five years and attracted good response but the goods still need value addition.

He suggested that better display would help increase Pakistani exports, as well as improving the country’s image.


Courtesy: The News

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