Visitors visit the 44th international building and trade fair in Belgrade, Serbia, on April 18, 2018. An annual international building and trade fair opened here on Wednesday, hosting more than 20 Chinese manufacturers of building materials, tools and machines, looking to extend their business to Serbia and the region. (Xinhua/Nemanja Cabric)
BELGRADE, April 18 (Xinhua) -- An annual international building and trade fair opened here on Wednesday, hosting more than 20 Chinese manufacturers of building materials, tools and machines, looking to extend their business to Serbia and the region.
The 44th edition of the Building and Trade Fair offered a diverse exhibition in the area of construction industry with more than 600 companies from 27 countries and regions, and China was for the second year in a row represented with a separate pavilion.
The fair was opened by Serbian construction minister Zorana Mihajlovic who said in her keynote speech that the exhibition was a true reflection of the growing Serbian economy.
"With progress and growth of the economy we can mark an increasing number of exhibitors here at the construction fair, while Serbia looks completely different than five years ago when it comes to the economy," she said.
Many of the Chinese companies are here for the first time, trying to establish cooperation with local partners, or surveying whether the demand in the regional market warrants opening their own distribution center or a branch office in Serbia in order to extend their business to this part of Europe.
Such is the story of Rocky Chan, representative of Xinhu Aluminium, one of the top aluminum extruders in China.
Chan said that his company was at the fair for the first time to test the market potential. "This market is new to us. In past, our major markets were in Russia and Poland, but now we set to expand, and we are looking for new markets," he told Xinhua. Chan said he hopes to make sales in the Serbian and regional markets, find local partners and distributors, but also open a distribution center in Serbia.
For Betty Zhang, however, this is a second participation here. She represents Expo-Linking agency that organizes the joint participation of several manufacturers of stone products, machines, and tools. She told Xinhua that companies were satisfied with the potentials of local market.
"We think that Serbia is a new market for stone products. We had good sales last year and found new partners, so we decided to attend this fair again," she said.
The international building and trade fair traditionally gathers experts in construction, architecture and planning, construction companies, manufacturers of tools, machines and materials, according to the fair organizers.
It also includes a separate stone expo, that deals with products made of natural stone and accompanying industries.
Besides China, national pavilions include Austria, Croatia and Turkey, while companies come from Russia, the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Denmark as well as some countries of the region.