PESHAWAR: The two-day women entrepreneurs trade fair-2015 started here on Wednesday where about 50 stalls were set up to exhibit handicraft and other products made by women.
A large number of women visited the exhibition on the first day and took keen interest in a variety of handmade stuff like embroidery, women dress materials along with jewellery, footwear, handbags and food items, displayed in the trade fair.
The traditional dresses of Charsadda and Swat, embroidery and Kadi work of Bahawalpur, and Haripur prints attracted the visitors. Nearly 50 women entrepreneurs participated from different districts, including Peshawar, DI Khan, Abbottabad, Haripur, Charsadda and Swat besides Multan and Bahawalpur districts of Punjab.
The organisers said the trade exhibition was aimed at building market linkages and encouraging women entrepreneurs to participate in the national and international exhibitions. The women trade fair is a joint venture of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI), Peshawar, which is being organised for the third consecutive year in Peshawar, said the organisers.
The exhibition was opened by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Fawad Ishaq during a ceremony, held at a wedding hall. TDAP director Noman Bashir, Regional Tax Office, Peshawar, chief commissioner Ikram Ghani, KPCCI vice-president Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, WCCI Peshawar senior vice-president Nasira Lughmani and a large number of women attended the event.
In his welcome address, the TDAP director said that participation of a large number of women reflected their seriousness to contribute to the development of the national economy. He said that women played a pivotal role in economic development of the country. He assured the women entrepreneurs that TDAP would provide assistance and facilitation services to promote and market their handmade stuff.
“We will encourage the women entrepreneurs to participate in the upcoming national and global trade fairs, particularly in London and India,” the director said. He said that the women trade fair was an effort to prepare them for the mega exhibitions.
Speaking as chief guest on the occasion, Fawad Ishaq said that the trade fair was an encouraging step of the TDAP and WCCI, Peshawar. He, however, said that the effort should be sustained and consistent. KPCCI president asked the women entrepreneurs to take full benefit of the Prime Minister’s Youth Scheme to start businesses and contribute their due share in economic development of the country.
Nasira Lughmani said that the expo would provide an opportunity to the women entrepreneurs to develop market linkages and promote their handmade stuff in an organised manner.
“We are proud of women starting businesses despite traditional barriers,” she said.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2015