Wahidul Islam, a private service holder, yesterday came to the Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) along with his family from Baily Road overcoming severe traffic jam just to buy a microwave oven and some other home appliances.
They could have bought the products from his neighbourhood, but they came all the way to the DITF just to get some discounts the exhibitors have offered at the fair.
But the reality was different. “I have not seen any difference between DITF and other markets in the city,” Islam said. He wanted to purchase some home appliances and see unusual products but he did not get anything notable.
Like Islam, Lutfar Naher Shimul, another official of a private company, and Abdur Rouf, a senior government officer, came to DITF to buy some household goods. They branded the fair as an expansive shopping centre, where all things are available.
But it is no way an international marketplace, they said.
Shimul, in fact, expressed confusion about the products displayed at foreign pavilions. She found similar products at some local pavilions too.
“I have seen sub-standard products at a Thai pavilion, which has left me puzzled,” she said.
According to Shimul, some products like plastic wares and crockery were up for sale at reasonable prices with a good discount.
“These products are the main attraction for low-middle income people,” she said.
Robaet Ferdous, a professor of Dhaka University, said the fair does not match with the purpose of the event as the shopkeepers are selling products that are available in New Market and Chadni Chawk.
“I am really disappointed with the organiser (Export Promotion Bureau),” he added.
They have allowed normal shopkeepers to sell very common products instead of good local brands, he said.
Anwarul Islam, another employee of a private firm, was however impressed with the fair.
He came to the fair to buy quality biscuits and cakes on discount and he got them.
The visitors though had a good impression about the management of the fair, including parking and security.
The month-long show will come to an end on February 8.