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The State of Espirito Santo, Brazil, will greet the international stone industry from August 28 to 31, when the International Marble and Granite Fair is held in the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim. Visitors from around the world will not only attend the fair, but they will also have the opportunity to visit the many stoneworking firms around the state.
As the leading producer, processor and exporter of marble and granite in Brazil, the State of Espirito Santo is preparing itself to host businessmen, architects, construction professionals, importers and decorators from Brazil and abroad.
The fair will include 350 Brazilian and foreign exhibitors, including stone producers as well as suppliers of machinery and equipment. The organizers of the fair, Milanez & Milaneze, expect 30,000 visitors at the event, primarily businessmen from the sector.
Reflecting growthThe optimism for the fair mirrors the positive feelings on the Brazilian stone industry as a whole. Projections show that the natural stone business in Brazil should pass the $70 million mark. The growth in export value will be bolstered by the fact that Brazil - which has historically been a producer and exporter of blocks - is now going through a stage where stone fabrication facilities are being modernized with advanced machinery from around the world. Many of the new fabricating plants in Brazil are following the example set by some of the world's most advanced processing centers.
As a result of these investments in technology, Brazil is exporting material with a greater aggregate value. Presently, processed stones account for 25.4% of total exports in weight, but they make up 56% of the overall worth.
Based on recent data, economists in Brazil indicate an annual growth of 15% in worth for the stone sector by the year 2006. There is also a forecast for significant increases in the labor market for the sector, with approximately 25,000 new job openings during this same period.
The stoneworking centerIn this openly expanding market, the State of Espirito Santo stands out prominently in the marble and granite market. Even though it occupies less than 1% of the country's territory, it accounts for 46% of Brazil's total stone production. A total of 34% of the registered quarries in the country are located within Espirito Santo, a number much greater than the other units of the Brazilian Federation.
Additionally, 900 of the 1,500 gangsaws operating in Brazil are installed in the State of Espirito Santo. This number tends to grow each year, and the industry is further boosted by the local economy, which grows at a rate above the national average. Along with the fiscal incentives offered by the State Government, the infra-structure of the state has attracted enterprises from all over Brazil as well as from other countries.
Also benefiting the local stone industry, the State of Espirito Santo is home to the largest port complex in Latin America, and most of its ports are fit for the transportation of marble and granite blocks. As an example of the importance to the ports to the stone industry, in April of this year the state exported 48% of total Brazilian marble and granite exports and 62% of processed material. The export of marble and granite at the Espirito Santo ports has been growing con-sistently, as the volume recorded in April of this year was 19% higher than that of the same period last year.
Although the Cachoeiro de Itapemirim region has been a pioneer for the Espirito Santo stone industry, the north of the state has been growing in importance as well. This is due to the establishment of processing centers and a great concentration of extraction areas for granite varieties that are com-petitive in both the internal and external markets.
Milanez & Milaneze
Av. JosÂ¿ato, 1117
CEP 29.160-790, Barrio de FÂ¿ma
Serra, EspÂ¿to Santo, Brazil
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