IETF 2009 puts up a strong show

The 18th International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF 2009), the biennial flagship event of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), opened on a positive note on February 23, 2009 despite the economic downturn worldwide. Organised for the first time outside New Delhi, the four-day expo attracted the largest number of participant countries, companies and delegates compared to previous events. South Africa and Japan were the partner and guest countries respectively for the trade fair.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 04 Mar 2009 Views icon4674 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The 18th International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF 2009), the biennial flagship event of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), opened on a positive note on February 23, 2009 despite the economic downturn worldwide. Organised for the first time outside New Delhi, the four-day expo attracted the largest number of participant countries, companies and delegates compared to previous events. South Africa and Japan were the partner and guest countries respectively for the trade fair.

IETF 2009 was structured as a comprehensive B2B event, segmented into well-defined technological sections of engineering and manufacturing. It hosted six concurrent pavilions — Robo Expo 2009, Energy and Environment 2009, IETF Global 2009, Manufacturing 2009, Auto Parts Pavilion and Safe 2009 — and also had a special focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). IETF moves to Bangalore Rajive Kaul, past president, CII, and chairman, CII Apex Council for Trade Fairs said, “South Africa was our partner country during the IETF 2005.

We are happy to have this chance to renew our friendship. We are also delighted to have Japan as our guest country.” Bangalore as the venue for IETF 2009 also came in for praise. “After 17 successful shows of IETF in New Delhi, CII has ventured out to Bangalore because we got a good partner in Karnataka State. I am sure this international exhibition centre will soon to be a premier exhibition centre in India. Bangalore is on its way to becoming a leading convention centre and a leading trade centre. India is already home to 150 of the top Fortune 500 companies, which have their main research centres located here. These companies carry out design, engineering process outsourcing, R&D in new products and processes successfully and cost-effectively in Bangalore.”

Kaul said IETF has come a long way since 1975, when it was first held. “It is today a premier manufacturing and technology exhibition in India. It represents the cutting edge technologies, innovations, new designs and new ideas. It is an effective place for initiation of business partnerships. This year, the global economic crisis has affected countries and corporates the world over. Fortunately for India, we are a rapidly developing economy and have strong internal consumer demand, even while many major economies are flagging. Therefore, on aggregate, India’s GDP of 2008-09 will be over seven percent, the second highest in the world, just below what China is expected to achieve. In such times of economic hardships, it becomes even more critical to share knowledge and forge global partnerships. The IETF was successful in helping to build these much-needed business cooperation relationships. Given this situation, I am happy that we had around 500 exhibitors including 125 exhibitors from 25 countries. The many specialised concurrent shows in key industry sectors including the hi-tech Robot Expo, SAFE for security equipment, energy and environment for clean product technology, global manufacturing and traditional auto components helped suppliers and buyers meet their joint requirements as well as the upcoming technologies and products at a time when innovation is most needed.”

Dr Rajkumar Khatri, Industries Commissioner, Government of Karnataka said: “IETF 2009 addressed some of the key challenges that we are facing today. Karnataka is taking initiatives to improve the infrastructure including the setting up of the industrial corridor from Mumbai to Chennai through National Highway 4, wherein JETRO is one of the very active partners with the Government of India and the State governments of South India. This would give a fillip to industrial activity in this part of the State”.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General, CII said, “IETF 2009 was held in Bangalore to be focus on the industries in the Western and Southern parts of the country. Participation from 25 countries including China, France, UK, UAE and Latin American countries shows the increased interest of the companies world over in India”.

Strategic partners in S Africa and Japan

South Africa, the partner country, made a strong impact at the show. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, South Africa, said: “We are the partner country for IETF for the second time. This explains our renewed interest in boosting bilateral trade and business with India. South Africa is looking forward to value added products and more JVs in the immediate future. As of now South African exports to India mostly consist of minerals and ores. The Indian IT and the automotive industries have a good presence in South Africa. In fact, Force Motors, which used to export CKD kits from India and market the vehicles in South Africa, plans to set up a manufacturing unit in our country. The company, which is entering into the school bus segment, is scouting for a JV partner.”

The South African pavilion was an impressive one with 75 exhibitors in the fields of aerospace, marine, defence, steel, electro technical and manufacturing. Francis Moloi, South African High Commissioner in India, said: “The bilateral trade between India and South Africa is currently $ 6.2 billion and we are expecting it to grow to $12 billion by 2010. “

Moloi added, “We are partnering IETF for the second time with the objective to showcase South Africa’s entrepreneurial and technical expertise, promote trade and industrial cooperation and develop strategic partnership. South African company ‘Sasol’ is showcasing technology to convert coal into gas and liquid forms. This technology can be harnessed to meet India’s energy requirements.”

Japan as the guest country was there at IETF for the third time, the prime focus this year being on new and non-renewable sources of energy. The existing synergies between the two countries showcased technological cooperation once again on this platform.

Akira Ishihara, managing director, The Energy Conservation Centre, Japan, said: “Japan had a display area of 1,200 square metres, 74 exhibitor stalls and 20 companies with the major thrust on automobile, energy, industrial machinery and environmental technologies, state-of-the-art products and expansion of business ties with Indian companies. Our contingent showcased 162 products and technologies. ”

When the IETF ended on February 26, it had served its purpose as a meeting ground for buyers and sellers, networking, technology assessment and vendor development. And with a discerning visitor turnout comprising industry decision-makers, technical experts and consultants, it was an expo with a difference. As the manufacturing industry comes to terms with the slowdown, both abroad and in India, the IETF was an opportunity for Indian industry to take a good look at innovative measures and techniques to ride out the crisis.
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