The Jaffna International Trade Fair, the multi-faceted gateway to the north, will bring together some of Sri Lanka’s favourite brands and services. The wide range of products for sale and display will give an opportunity for all stakeholders to enter one of the country’s largest untapped markets.
The 10th edition is to take place from 25 to 27 January 2019.
Aptly named ‘the gateway to the north’, the event will be the meeting hotspot for traders and businesses, both local and international. The one-stop shop for businesses in the rapidly developing Northern peninsula, the Trade Fair will host close to 350 stalls on a wide range of products and services.
It is organised and managed annually in January by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Ltd. (LECS) in association with the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yalpanam (CCIY) with the support of the Jaffna Municipal Council, the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and International Business Council, and will be endorsed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Consulate General of India in Jaffna, and National Chamber of Exporters.
The multiproduct Trade Fair is considered to be ‘the event’ for businesses looking to expand to the north while businesses in the region are given the opportunity and the stepping stone to expand beyond its borders and work shoulder to shoulder with major players in any given industry.
Attracting over 60,000 visitors each year, the event will have over 2,500 products on discount with entertainment and opportunities for all age groups, including an amusement park with a children’s play area, a wide range of food and beverages, and an hourly raffle draw with exciting prizes.
The project, which was initially launched in 2002 with just 100 stalls and consisting entirely of companies and products from the southern parts of the country, has grown in leaps and bounds over the years to include international participants and emerging businesses from the Northern Province.
Speaking of its unforeseen growth over the years, LECS CEO Aasim Mukthar said traders had witnessed the business opportunities and the potential the north had to offer first-hand. “When we first held the fair, many of the traders who came with us had to close shop after one day because they were sold out. We have seem tangible growth in numerous sectors in the north over the years and also played a role in the opportunities that were created, especially for SMEs, through such an event,” he said.
This tangible aspect of growth in the Northern Province and the Jaffna International Trade Fair can be witnessed in the 40 Jaffna-based companies which will take part in the Trade Fair this year. In keeping with the initiative of giving back to the community, each year LECS donates its earnings through ticket sales for the event to the CCIY, which in turn re-invests it into SMEs in the area, providing many traders and businesses a much-needed helping hand.
The 10th edition of 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, during the three days it will be held.
The organisers have planned many concurrent events for the 2019 edition. Some of the highlights will include a road show prior to the expo, and a children’s carnival and amusement park, among other things.