By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
At this juncture when the nation has been deprived of its representation in world’s most important and biggest trade event, the World Expo Milan 2015, Sartaj Aziz, the Advisor on Foreign Affairs has asked the UAE government to acquire its expertise in organizing the next similar event to be held in UAE in 2020.
The World Expo is considered as biggest trade event in the world and it held after every five years to the country declared successful in the bidding. This event is almost six month long in duration.
The previous World Expo was held in Shanghai China in 2010 and Pakistan participated in that event with a great enthusiasm. The forthcoming event is being missed by the Pakistanis due to incompetency and ineptness of the high ups in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
The World Expo that commences from May 1, to continue till October 31, 2015 in Milan, Italy would be participated by as many as 144 United Nations member countries. In the previous World Expo Shanghai, Pakistan had participated in a big way as the organizers had built a concrete replica of Shahi Qilla, Lahore.
The Pakistan pavilion was highly admired by the many international dignitaries and celebrities including many countries’ head of states and ministers. The Pakistan pavilion was organized by a private organizer at a cost of $2.8 million.
However,this time the newly appointed Secretary TDAP, Rabiya Javeri Agha, instead of inviting bidding for the event, had asked for a huge amount of nine million euro ($12 million) from the government and the request was denied.
As the deadline of the event was approaching near, the same organizer who had organized Expo Shanghai in just $2.8 million as against the bids of $12 and $16 million by the other organizers had tried to rescue Pakistan and asked the TDAP to outsource the event.
He even offered to organize World Expo on his own expenses but the TDAP Secretary refused to do so and let the deadline expire by saying that the event is not that important.
Pakistan, desperately in need of boosting its trade abroad, is losing many such opportunities to the whims of incompetent and inexperienced officers to run the organization responsible for the export promotion.