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KARACHI: Chairman of Businessmen Group (BMG) and former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Zubair Motiwala on Wednesday announced that preparations were in full swing for holding the 18th My Karachi - Oasis of Harmony Exhibition 2023 in a glowing manner, which would begin at the Karachi Expo Centre on 3rd March 2023 and conclude on 5th March.

Addressing a press conference at the KCCI’s auditorium, the BMG chief said: “The vision behind staging this mega-event is to project and promote the soft and positive image of Karachi. We are expecting immense participation of visitors in this year’s exhibition which could go up to somewhere between 800,000 and one million visitors.”

The press conference was also attended by KCCI President Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President KCCI Touseef Ahmed, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Haris Agar, Chairman Special Committee for My Karachi Exhibition & former president KCCI Muhammad Idrees, former presidents and KCCI managing committee members.

Zubair Motiwala commented that despite the ongoing economic crises including constant devaluation of rupee against dollar, non-issuance of LCs, rising cost of doing business, exorbitant tariffs and sky-rocketing inflation, the KCCI decided to hold this exhibition in the same old traditional manner as it was very important to show the world that the business and industrial community of Karachi remains resilient and continues its battle for survival.

“Due to prevailing situation that the international participation in this year’s exhibition has shrunk to four countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Philippines whereas during previous years, at least 12 countries from different parts of the world participated in this event almost every year,” he added.

Highlighting the journey of My Karachi Exhibition, Zubair Motiwala said the KCCI has been constantly staging My Karachi Exhibition since 2004 excluding 2020 and 2021 when this event had to be put off due to outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition was initiated by late Siraj Kassam Teli during his tenure as president KCCI in 2004 when Karachi was suffering from terrorist activities and the law and order situation of Karachi was not so good. Moreover, the foreign media was wrongly portraying any law and order incident occurring in any particular area in such a manner that it gave a negative impression about the entire city.

“To rectify this issue, we decided to initiate My Karachi Exhibition and ensured that the business and industrial community, all diplomats, foreign companies and the Karachiites densely participate in this event. With the passage of time, this mega exhibition has succeeded in attaining nationwide and international recognition.”

Highlighting the title and theme of My Karachi - Oasis of Harmony Exhibition, Zubair Motiwala stated that it was the Karachi Chamber and the Businessmen Group who introduced the title of “My Karachi” in 2004 which was adopted by many others with the passage of time while its theme i.e., the “Oasis of Harmony” depicts the diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population who speak different languages. The theme also represents the entire business and industrial community of Karachi, starting from a small shopkeeper to leading industrialists.

Terming the exhibition as a precious jewel in Karachi Chamber’s crown, Zubair Motiwala informed that more than 350 stalls will be established in this year’s exhibition in which foreign Embassies and Consulates in Pakistan will also be participating.

“It has become a self-sustainable exhibition and has never been a burden on KCCI’s resources. In fact, this exhibition has generated revenue which is directly submitted to chamber’s kitty,” BMG chairman said, adding that 18th My Karachi exhibition, in addition to traditional stalls where products will be offered at wholesale/factory rates, will also be featuring kids play area, birds & pet shows, musical concerts, expanded food court, fireworks and other recreational facilities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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