Based on the theme of ‘Start-up Standup’, the much awaited 37th India International trade fair (IITF) kick-started on November 14 with a participation of approximately 21 countries and 3000 companies. Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, inaugurated the annual flagship event of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Hamsadhwani Theatre, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The ‘business days’ for the mega fair fall from November 14 to 17 whereas for the general public, the fair will be open from November 18 to 27. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe 37th IITF has Vietnam as the partner country, the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia as the ‘focus country’ and Jharkhand as the partner state.Among the participating countries, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, South Korea, Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Kyrgyz Republic, Netherlands, UAE, UK, and Vietnam are a few names.First lady, Savita Kovind also graced the inauguration ceremony along with Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, C.R. Choudhary, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, C.P. Singh, Urban Development Minister, Jharkhand, Samargiul Adamkulova, Ambassador, Kyrgyz Republic, Ton Sinh Thanh, Ambassador, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and L.C. Goyal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, ITPO. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking on the occasion, Ram Nath Kovind said, “India International Trade Fair 2017 takes place at a point when India is recognized as one of the bright spots of the global economy. The world has acknowledged the changed business environment in the country and the strides made in doing business. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a milestone. It has broken down barriers between states.” Complimenting ITPO for the IITF 2017 as well as the ongoing redevelopment plan of Pragati Maidan as International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC), the President pointed out that ITPO is consistently delivering IITF as a world-class event and IECC is one that is suited to India’s stature as a rising economy. He evinced keen interest to visit the complex when it would be set up by the year 2019. He expressed his happiness over the participation of Vietnam as a ‘Partner Country’ and Kyrgyzstan as the ‘Focus Country’ in the fair. He also reiterated that Vietnam, a valued friend and a member of ASEAN is a pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ while, the Kyrgyz Republic is part of Central Asia, a region that is one of India’s oldest trading destinations. Kyrgyz-India trade is diverse and ranges from pharmaceutical drugs to commodities. The scope for growth is immense. In his keynote address, Suresh Prabhu commended ITPO for continuing the legacy of fairs including IITF, especially when redevelopment of Pragati Maidan is underways. The Minister informed that holding this edition of the fair with improved logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry is making all possible efforts to provide a conducive environment for the empowerment of India’s business community. Tickets for ‘business days’ visit to the India International Trade Fair (IITF) are available at 42 Delhi Metro stations including Dilshad Garden, Rithala, ITO, Delhi Gate, Jama Masjid, Janpath, Lajpat Nagar, Govind Puri, Badarpur, Escorts Mujesar, New Delhi, Dhaula Kuan, Sikanderpur, Huda City Centre and Noida City Centre, across all corridors. Business visitor registration counters are at Gate No. 1 (of Pragati Maidan) and a ticket is priced at Rs 500.”For the general public, tickets will be sold from November 18 at the metro stations. The entry tickets for the general public, however, would be available at all stations, including on the Airport Express Line, except the Pragati Maidan Metro Station,” the DMRC said. From November 18, the fair will be open to all visitors with a ticket price of Rs 60 for adults and Rs 40 for children. However, on Saturday and Sunday as well as any holiday between November 18-27, the ticket price for adults will be Rs 120 and Rs 60 for children.