A state-run agency functioning within the commerce ministry, the Indian Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), showed a 40% decline in the number of overseas trade fairs as keymarkets were caught in severe economic crisis, reports the Business Standard.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are dependent on these India-focused fairs to secure orders from overseas clients and are likely to get impacted, as they do not have the resources to establish offices abroad. ITPO said that it organized only 37 fairs abroad in 2008-09 as against the 61 in the preceding year. The proposed 35 fairs for the current year showed a further marginal decline. The fairs in the U.S and European Union alone dipped by 50% and 65% respectively in 2008-09.

Developed markets like the U.S, the E.U and Japan account for more than 40% of India's exports. These economies, which together account for nearly half of the world's output, are contracting because of the ongoing economic crisis.

Safdar H Khan, ITPO senior general manager, said that the decline in the number of trade fairs in the Western countries was offset by number of opportunities in East Asia and West Asia.

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