The Jaffna International Trade Fair commences

Saturday, 26 January 2019 00:49 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A decade after the war ended, unemployment remains a serious problem in the north, Government Agent of Jaffna N. Vethanayahan said yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 10th Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), calling for the KKS harbour and northern airport to be developed to enable business and trade progress in the northern region. 

Speaking as Chief Guest at the launch of the JITF that attracts around 60,000 visitors annually with over 2,500 products on display and sale, the Jaffna GA hailed the efforts of the trade fair organisers, Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Ltd. and Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam (CCIY) for managing to carry out this event, currently the biggest trade event in the north, consecutively for 10 years.  This year’s JITF is themed ‘The Gateway to the North’ and will be held until tomorrow, 27 January, at the Jaffna Municipal Council grounds.  Supported by the Jaffna Municipal Council, the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and International Business Council, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the National Chamber of Exporters, the event has a series of sponsors which includes Siam City Cement, Brown and Company, Asiri Health, Ruhunu Foods, People Bank and Mobitel.

Among the highlights of the launch of the 2019 edition of the JITF was the signing of the MOU between the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) and the CCIY for the formal training of northern youth in international trade and export. The agreement was signed between NCE Secretary General Shiham Marikar and CCIY President K. Vignesh.  

The signing of the agreement will hope to boost the export sector of Jaffna, the NCE Secretary General said.

The CCIY President in his address hailed JITF as an event that exposes the northern region to the trends in business and industry in the rest of the country and world. 

“Sri Lanka is currently facing economic challenges and in this backdrop this event greatly helps in boosting exposure of the north to the rest of Sri Lanka and the world. The north needs Foreign Direct Investment. The northern region has faced hard times owing to the war and we wish to collectively work together with the rest of the country and globally, to improve trade and business prospects,” Vignesh said.

The main guests at the JITF launch, Mayor of Jaffna Emmanual Arnold, Consulate General of India in Jaffna Shri S. Balachandran and LECS CEO Aasim Mukthar spoke of the importance of connecting the north with the rest of the world through industry and trade. India is among the key international exhibitors at the JITF.

Among brands showcased at the JITF are those in the construction, hospitality, food, beverage and packing, automobile, ICT, financial services, apparel, and agricultural industries.