Chattogram International Trade Fair -2022 is yet to gain momentum due to a lack of buyers and visitors, because of what participants and visitors say, rains, lack of publicity and off-season.
Besides, the decorations of many stalls and pavilions were incomplete as of Saturday.
The fair is usually crowded during the weekly holidays as city dwellers come to visit with their families.
Visiting the fair on its fifth day, it was found that many stalls and pavilions were still under construction while the number of visitors was thin.
"There was no crowd in the fair from morning till afternoon even on the weekend," said Md Raihan Miaji, a sales executive of Huda Beauty of Akhtaruzzaman centre in the port city.
"People are not coming to the fair due to the rain. Besides, the publicity seems a little less this time. So, there is no sale," he alleged.
Commerce minister Tipu Mushi inaugurated the month-long trade fair at Railway Pologround Field in the port city on 31 May.
Babul Akhter Ripon, a salesman at the Bhai Bhai Gift Fair, told The Business Standard: "The fair is arranged after a two-year hiatus. But people are not coming as per expectation. We're worried about business now."
Nizam Uddin of R & Rahman Enterprise, a stall for home and kitchen appliances, said, "We covered the fair premises with wooden boards over bricks. All are damaged due to rains. When it rains, the whole field becomes muddy. So people don't feel comfortable coming."
According to the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the organiser of the fair, there are about 370 stalls, including 17 premier pavilions, 33 premier stalls, 99 gold stalls, and 48 mega stalls, 14 food stalls from both home and abroad at the fair.
Local producers from remote areas of Bangladesh are showcasing their products to foreign buyers through the fair. Moreover, India, Thailand and Iran will be in the month-long trade show, it added.
However, no such pavilion was seen in the foreign zone of the fair.
Mizanur Rahman, the owner of Iran Real Stone & Silver Jewelry, a stall of Iranian products, told TBS: "Foreign stalls are less this time as the fair is organised during the rainy season. Besides, the fair in Chattogram is usually organised in February following the Dhaka International Trade Fair in January. Then, the foreign companies could take part in the two fairs."
Despite multiple efforts to talk over the phone, AKM Akhter Hossain, chairman of the organising committee and director of the Chattogram Chamber, was not available.
Mohammad Akhtar Farooq, who is in charge of the fair on behalf of the chamber, also refused to make any comment.