TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Two major international partners of the Plastindia trade show have raised serious concerns about the show organizer's decision to move it to another region of India less than five months before the event.
The partners warn that the decision could lead to financial losses, logistical problems and broken contracts.
In letters obtained by Plastics News, both Messe Düsseldorf in Germany and Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. in Hong Kong sharply questioned the move. The groups organize some of the largest delegations of overseas companies to the Indian fair and are its primary international partners.
Plastindia Foundation announced Sept. 27 that it would move the Plastindia show from the Pragati Maidan fairgrounds in New Delhi, which it says is too old and lacks adequate support like power supply, to a new exhibition center in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
The fair is scheduled for Feb. 5-10, and is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors. It's the main entry point for many foreign firms in India's plastics market.
Messe Düsseldorf executives said in its Sept. 15 letter that it was a “very big surprise” to learn that PIF was considering moving the event.
The Messe, which runs the K Fair, the world's largest plastics fair, said it had signed contracts for a delegation of 171 overseas exhibitors that it was organizing.
“We do understand there must be tremendous pressure from the government of Gujarat, but at this time, mid of September with only four months to go till Plastindia 2015 opens its doors, it seems really impossible to shift the venue without running into a loss,” said the letter, which is signed by Messe Division Director Erhard Wienkamp and Gaby Schreiber, in the company's exhibition management department.
They wrote that Messe Düsseldorf has “mobilized” country pavilions from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, France and Italy, and it said that government subsidies for those exhibitors could be jeopardized.
“The subsidies were decided on by the [responsible] governments, only after we announced that Plastindia 2015 will be in New Delhi,” it said. “Please take into consideration that the subsidies for the Country Pavilions can be cancelled at any time if important contents from the contract change.”
The German group also said that exhibitors made plans for booth sizes and machinery they would bring based on plans for the show to be in New Delhi.
Officials from the Plastindia Foundation, which is based in Mumbai, announced the change of venue at a public event Sept. 27 at the Taipei Plas trade show in Taiwan, where they were meeting with potential Taiwanese exhibitors.
PIF officials said they had decided on Sept. 19 to move the event to Gujarat, to the Mahatma Mandir fairgrounds in Gandhinagar, near the city of Ahmedabad.
It's the latest in series of back and forth decisions about the location. The Foundation first decided in May 2013 to move to Gujarat, but after concerns that the exhibition center would not be ready, officials changed their minds and decided in November 2013 to remain in Delhi.
But PIF leaders said at the Taipei event that they are moving now to Gujarat because construction has proceeded quickly, and they expressed confidence that the grounds can be ready for their show.