According to the latest figures released by Trade Fairs Brno, a total of 1,200 companies from 41 countries worldwide will exhibit their products at the fair, the company said this week. This indicates that exhibitors bookings are up some 20 per cent from a total of 1,009 exhibitors in 2002. Furthermore the reach of the exhibition has also been significantly extended as exhibitors came from 21 countries worldwide that year.
It is evident that with the expansion of the European Union imminent interest in the Central and Eastern European food and beverage industry has also grown significantly. Strict food and safety regulations mean that in the 10 accession states - particularly the larger markets of Poland and Hungary - there are a host of opportunities for larger food companies to invest in these growing economies.
Reflecting this criteria, the organisers have reported a growing amount of interest from existing European Union (EU) countries. According to Salima events manager Vera Meniskova, the share of EU countries in the total number of exhibitors at the fair is expected to be 20 per cent higher this year compared to 2002.
However, on top of the interest from EU countries, the organisers are also expecting a number of exhibitors from further a field, many from countries which have never exhibited before at the fair. This means that the event will include major food and beverage representations from Brazil, China, India and Israel.
On top of the company representation there will also be 15 countries that will have their own official representations, including Belgium-region Wallonia, Czech Republic, China, India, Canada, Lithuania, Hungary, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Spain and the US.
Reflecting the growing number of exhibitors and anticipated visitors, the organisers also say that the total exhibition area of Salima 2004 has been expanded by some 5,000 sq m to 30,000 sq m in 2004. The fair will also be held in conjunction with the MBK event for bakery and confectionery products, as well as the Inteco event for catering equipment fair and the wine fair Vinex.