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Government of Sindh has taken the event as a challenge

By Saleem Mahmood, Managing Director,
 The Passage
Oct 30 - Nov 05, 2000

International Defence Exhibition is an excellent opportunity to display Pakistan's defence capabilities and build country's image worldwide, said General Pervez Musharraf Chief Executive of Pakistan after reviewing the arrangements for International Defence Exhibition at Expo Center.

General Pervez Musharraf expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far in the arrangements of the exhibition and highly praised the efforts of the organizers of IDEAS 2000. Chief Executive said he hopes that all the remaining work will be completed as per schedule. Expressing his keen interest in the exhibition General Musharraf said, that he himself has invited many dignitaries to the Defence Exhibition.

He visited the exhibition halls and mobility display area at the EPB's Expo center where he was briefed about the development.

Earlier Chief Coordinator of IDEAS 2000, Maj. General S. Ali Hamid while briefing the Chief Executive about the progress made towards the holding of the event said that all details have been worked out and majority portion of the exercise has been completed. He provided the details about the numbers of the delegates and exhibitors who have confirmed their participation in the event.

Chairman Pegasus consultancy Mr. Asim Siddiqi who is the Sponsor and Organizer of the exhibition said that IDEAS 2000 being biggest National & Commercial event ever held in Pakistan the organizers have engaged services of top ranking International companies to execute different tasks. Providing the details about the visiting delegates Mr. Asim said that around 31 countries have so far confirmed participation including France, Italy, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. Asim Siddiqi giving the details about the exhibition mentioned that 200 companies representing 20 countries have acquired 100 stalls out of which 40 companies are from Pakistan alone because of which hall no 1 is dedicated for Pakistan only.

Chairman Export Promotion Bureau Mr. Tariq Ikram briefed the Chief Executive on the developmental activity carried out by the bureau for the defence exhibition. He said that EPB has 68 acres of land where initially in 1996 development work started with an estimated cost of Rs. 142 million the pace of development was geared up in year 2000 only. EPB plans to develop a facility where events of international standards could be organized. He said that the Expo center has 3 exhibition fully air-conditioned halls, a conference hall, Telephone, Fax, Internet and Video Conferencing Facilities beside a canteen hall and fast lifts.

Brig. Shah Home Secretary Sindh said that the Government of Sindh has taken the organization of the event as a challenge, the area surrounding the Expo Center has been under a face-lifting programme while the roads leading to the Event's sites Sonmiani etc have been recarpeted. He mentioned that all support from Provincial Government have been made available and rehearsals have been carried out for traffic arrangements.

International Defence Exhibition would not only increase Pakistan's defence equipment exports but would also help build a positive image of the country worldwide, this was stated by Chief coordinator of IDEAS 2000 Maj. General S. Ali Hamid.

He said that IDEAS 2000 which will be a biennial gathering of defence officials from friendly countries will be a perfect opportunity to encourage professional interaction. The exhibition based upon the theme "Arms for Peace" reflects Pakistan's desire to promote peace and stability not only in the region but also elsewhere in the world, the exhibition will contribute to the country's economy and will propel Pakistan into a stronger domain of existence, he added.

Giving the details of the IDEAS 2000 he said, that the Exhibition was conceived in March 1999 and the preparation commenced in November 1999, while as of today majority portion of the exercise is completed.

Maj. General Hamid said that the delegates are expected from 11th of November and the Inaugural Ceremony will be held at the Expo Center on 14th November. The exhibition activity at Expo Centre will start the following day on 15th November at 1000hrs, a mobility display will be part of the Exhibition every day, PN Show at Naval Dockyard will also begin. The Governor of Sindh has given a reception the same evening in honour of the delegates.

Mr. Asim Siddiqi Chairman of Pegasus Consultancy the core organizer and sponsor of IDEAS 2000 said that his company aims to contribute to the development and promotion of the country's economy through organizing and promoting international exhibitions and seminars both within and outside of Pakistan.

He said that IDEAS 2000 is a defence exhibition to promote trade and investment and additionally serve as a platform for arms and arms related manufacturers and suppliers to directly market to a highly targeted audience in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. IDEAS 2000 will be a biennial gathering of defence officials from friendly countries to encourage professional interaction, he added.

He said that over 40 companies are representing Pakistan out of a total of 200 companies, 20 countries altogether have around 100 stalls while Pakistan, China, Turkey, Romania and Italy have national pavilions.

Mr. Asim Siddiqi said three foreign firms are associated with Pegasus to maintain and organize the event conforming to highest standards so that IDEAS 2000 is comparable to any other defense exhibition in the world. Booths and Pavilions are designed to conform the international exhibitions' standards by Cityneon creation, while the overall exhibition is arranged in consultation with Times Conferences and Exhibitions and Special Cargo movement is being handled by Translink International, he added.

Mr. Siddiqi said that focus has been maintained to facilitate the Pakistani companies and exhibitors to ensure maximum mileage for the country for which the Pakistan Pavilion has been designed in a customized manner while presentations of the booths have been enhanced and special courses to educate the Pakistani exhibitors on conduct and presentation have been given by foreign experts, he mentioned.