The 51st IHGF Delhi Fair, which was scheduled to be held from 19 to 23 May at India Expo Centre and Mart at Greater Noida, has been cancelled.
Due to the current Covid crisis in the country, fair organisers EPCH had no choice but to move the event online again, as they have done since the pandemic started.
Chairman of the EPCH, Shri Ravi K Passi, says that various state governments have re-imposed varying degrees of lockdowns, which include complete lockdown on weekends, and since the current fair dates have a weekend in between, it makes the situation all the more challenging.
“The council has received confirmation from buyers from across the globe as well as the exporters who were eager to participate in the physical fair, however, keeping in view the current situation, and under such circumstances organising any physical event was not feasible, the decision to cancel the physical event was taken,” he explains.
Members had vocalised their preference for a virtual event as it will facilitate both overseas buyers and Indian exporters to do business virtually.
Around 1,200 exhibitors and over 5,000 overseas buyers are expected to participate in the virtual fair, says Dr Rakesh Kumar, director general EPCH.
“The event will be an exclusive business to business event, with conferences and other activities limited only as per requirement. Indian Embassies and Missions abroad are also coordinating with us for holding this virtual event. EPCH is confident that the fair will be able to control the damage to the sourcing of the products from small and medium enterprises of the handicraft sector in these difficult and challenging times and will provide business opportunities to them.”
Current export figures of handicrafts for the period April to March 2020/21 are estimated at US$3443.45 million, a 3.39 per cent decline compared to same period the year before.