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The head table, from left: McShaw Automotive Ltd Marketing Manager Chatura Kaththriarachchi, The Harvest Co (Pvt.) Ltd RFL Bangladesh General Manager Abdullah Jafar, Siam City Cement (Lanka) Ltd Marketing Head Dinuk Peiris, S-Lon Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd Marketing Director Shiranaaz Kaney, CCIY Chairman V.K. Vignesh, Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt.) Ltd CEO Aasim Mukthar, National Chamber of Exporters Secretary General/CEO Shiham  Marikar, Mobitel (Pvt.) Ltd Regional Head Shiang Wong and St. Anthony’s Industries Group (Pvt.) Ltd Marketing Head Indika Edussuriya
Pic by Waruna Wanniarachchi

By Sarah Thadhani
The ninth edition of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JIFT), the Northern Peninsula’s largest consumer trade exhibition, will be held from  January 26th to 28th 2018.

This event that has attracted over 60,000 people will be held at the Jaffna Municipal Council Grounds.
JITF 2018 is organised by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt.) Ltd (LECS) in association with the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam (CCIY) with the support of Jaffna Municipal Council, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and International Business Council. The event is endorsed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Consulate General of India in Jaffna and National Chamber of Exporters, ASSOCHAM of India.

Not only being a public event, JIFT promotes opportunities to forge partnerships and joint ventures for businesses. From its inception, number of visitors have been on the rise along with the number of companies that set up stall. From just 120 companies participating in 2002, it now has over 305 companies with over 75 corporations coming from India to explore investment opportunities.
Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt.) Ltd CEO Aasim Mukthar said: “It is a gateway for people to do tie-ups and joint ventures with companies not only with Sri Lanka but overseas as well. Many companies that took part with us in 2010, have now opened their own branches and outlets. All this through the Jaffna International Trade Fair.”

The event will feature special attractions like an amusement park, a wide range of food stalls, an hourly raffle draw, educational pavilions, free beauty consulting clinics as well as free medical testing.
There is hope to promote trade not just between India and Sri Lanka, but involve the North and South exponentially since the North is almost economically isolated from the mainland.

“Virtually, Northern Sri Lanka still remains a virgin market for many business entities. I feel that JIFT is the ultimate proposal for our capitalists to showcase their uniqueness alongside their competitors to scope National and International market opportunities,” Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Yarlpanam Chairman V.K. Vignesh said.

The exhibition will feature the construction industry, hospitality industry, food, beverage and packing industry, automobile industry, ICT industry, financial services, apparel and textile, agricultural, consumer goods and many others.

Organisers hope to open up networks for collaborations and partnerships, to re-emphasised brand awareness and improve sales, promote bilateral trade.

“Joint ventures, tie-ups, large orders have been the highlights of business matchmaking between the people from the South and North,” Vignesh said.

This large scale event has had many sponsors came forward to make this possible. Main sponsor of this event is S-Lon Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. Mobitel as the Official Telecommunication Partner, Official Roofing Partner is St. Anthony’s Industries Group (Pvt.) Ltd and Official Food Partner is Ruhunu Foods (Pvt.) Ltd.