Agri-Flori Fair 2018 to promote Indo-Bhutan bilateral ties

To mark and commemorate the 50 years of formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India since 1968, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is hosting a series of trade fairs under one roof with three different themes this year.

The themes include “Bhutan-India Trade and Investment Promotion Expo”, “Thematic Exhibition on Indian Handicrafts” and “4th Agri-Flori Fair 2018.

The trade fair is expected to bring in people from nearby regions and border areas to a common platform to further enhance the trade and people to people relations. A total of 118 companies from Bhutan and India are participating in the expo, which concludes on Sunday.

During the Buyer 2 Buyer (B2B) meet, Bodoland Regional Apex Weavers and Artisans Co-operative Federation Ltd. (BRAWFED) Chairman, N.N Rana Patgiri said they received a lot of positive feedback since the last one decade and they had earned profit which was shared between the countries especially people living along the borders areas.

He also added that transportation was the greatest challenge for both sides and the stakeholders needed to explore the market through B2B connectivity.

BRAWFED Managing Director B.P Muktieh said: “We need to further strengthen our relationship by sharing more events and promoting arts and crafts which have a good market.”

He added that there was also a need to explore the possibility of setting up a handicraft emporium in Guwahati and Thimphu to improve business and market.

BCCI Deputy Secretary Chandra B Chettri said the Indian government is exploring markets in the north-eastern states of India for Bhutanese commodities, which will encourage buyers and sellers from both the countries to expand and promote trade and investment opportunities through B2B tie-ups.

He said that people from both sides are already started interacting and planning to expand their business with each other.

The Bhutan-India Trade and Investment Promotion Expo (BITIPE) would showcase various products and services from Bhutan and India with a congregation of business professionals for long-term business ties. The product display would range from carpets and rugs, electronics, kitchen appliances, leather products, furniture and furnishing among others.

The 7th Thematic Exhibition on Indian Handicrafts is partnered with the BRAWFED and a nodal agency for promotion of Handloom and Handicraft sector based at the Bodoland Territorial Council, Kokrajhar, Assam. It is a theme-based exhibition to promote Indian handicrafts with live craft-making demonstration during the fair.

The 4th Agri-Flori Fair 2018 is an annual event that has been created as an initiative toward enhancing agriculture productivity for attaining food self-sufficiency and overall food security in the country through farm mechanization. It is themed “Agriculture for Sustainable Growth and Self-Reliance” and expected to showcase new and high-tech agricultural plants, machineries and tools.

The BCCI acknowledges that agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for the majority of the population linked to socioeconomic development and has a dominant role in the economy. It is, therefore expected to display Agri-Flori based products/technologies and machineries to the general public and end-users exposing them on various available farming tools and technologies.

Tshering from Thimphu