International stone fair set to open doors in March in İzmir
The 24th International Natural Stone and Technology Fair will open its doors on March 28 in the western Turkish province of İzmir.
The fair, which will remain open until March 31, is regarded as one of the top three exhibitions in the natural stone industry, İZFAŞ, the organizer of the İzmir International Fair, said in a statement.
The gathering, hosted by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, provides a unique opportunity for representatives from the associations, companies, architects, and designers to meet and exchange ideas.
This year the fair will be held on an area of 5,169 square meters, up by 1,000 square meters from last year. This will be the largest display area of its kind for raw materials in the world.
Some 213 participants from 30 countries and around 9,000 visitors from 104 countries attended the fair last year.
For the first time this year, a special section at the gathering is reserved for foreign participants to display their products, including companies from Brazil, Iran, China and India. This new feature is expected to increase foreign companies’ participation. Those foreign companies will exhibit products from their countries.
Under the guidance of reports prepared by the Ministry of Economy, representatives and chambers of commerce, Japan, China, Italy, the U.S, India and South Korea have been targeted to attract more visitors from those countries.
The organizers of the İzmir event also promote the gathering at building and construction fairs.
Also this year, the Marble Institute of America (MIA), which one of the world’s largest trade associations in the industry, will attend the fair and hold a workshop.
“Each fair must be more successful than the previous one. That is why we have a huge responsibility. We all should pull together for the success of the upcoming event,” said Turkey’s Union of Marble, Natural Stone and Machinery Manufacturers (TÜMMER) head Raif Türk.
“The mining is one the sectors with highest value-added exports. At the mining workshop held between Nov. 22 and Nov. 24, 2017 in Antalya we prepared a road map to meet our targets set for 2023. We are targeting $15 billion in exports in 2023,” said Aydın Dinçer, the newly elected head of Istanbul Minerals and Metals Exporters’ Association (IMIB).
He also stressed the crucial rose Natural Stone and Technology Fair plays in increasing the industry’s exports.
İzmir Marble Producers’ Association (İZMERDER) head Nuri Kuntel said that when it was first launched 23 years ago the fair was a relatively small event but has now become global.
“All the world wants to take part in this event. We are also working on projects to achieve greater success and for this to happen architects should act, because they use those materials. We need to reach out to globally renowned architects,” Kuntel said.
Ragıp Yaşlı, the partner of Alacakaya Mermer ve Maden İşletmesi, a marble and mining company, said that they have attended all fairs since its launch. “İZFAŞ has done a great job introducing us to the world”, Yaşlı added.
Yaşlı’s company exports Elazığ cherry marble, a special marble produced only in Turkey, to 60 countries.
Natural stone meets aesthetics
This year young designers, aged 18 to 30, will meet with innovative industrial design, architectural, interior design and landscape design firms.
With this event young talents will be introduced to the industry.
Also this year a special event, “Architects Meet”, will be held where architects who use natural stones in the buildings they design and representatives from natural stone companies will gather to discuss how to use natural stone in unconventional ways.