BELGRADE, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Under the slogan "We build the future now", the international Building Trade Fair opened here on Wednesday, offering technologically advanced machines and materials of interest to the booming construction sector in Serbia and the region at large.
The 2019 South-East Europe Belgrade Building Expo (SEEBBE), as the most important specialized trade event in the entire region, has gathered around 600 exhibitors from 27 countries this year.
Companies from China, Turkey, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Romania are grouped within their national pavilions.
China is represented by 16 exhibitors, ten of which are mostly stone producers from the city of Xiamen, while the remaining exhibitors come from provinces of Hubei, Shandong and Jiangsu.
Exhibitors come from all of Serbia's neighboring countries, as well as Slovenia, Russia, Italy, Greece, Israel and the Netherlands.
Assistant Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Aleksandra Damjanovic, said reform in the sector in the past years successfully has revived the construction industry. Novelties such as electronic building permits as well as the upcoming electronic cadastre service will enable faster processing of requests.
According to Damjanovic, the result is that 20,000 building permits were granted in past year, twice as much as in 2015.
This construction boom, with 40,000 construction sites currently active, had significant impact on country's gross domestic product while employing a huge number of people, she pointed out.
Damjanovic concluded that Serbia started a new investment cycle of 5 billion euros (about 5.65 billion U.S. dollars) intended for the construction of new highways and railway reconstruction.
In next four days, tens of thousands of visitors will get acquainted with the latest machines, devices, insulation and ventilation systems and construction materials in the sector.
The international Building Trade Fair also includes the Stone Expo 2019, which offers a selection of stone and related products, while the outdoor segment of the expo showcase prefabricated units and wide selection of machines and devices for construction and mining.
Last year, the fair drew some 35,000 people with the latest software solutions for construction and architecture, solar systems, waterproof and energy-saving paints and coatings, smart home appliances and many others.
The fair will last until April 20, offering discounts from 5 to 30 percent, awarding best products while staging international conferences and business-to-business meetings.