ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Natural Stone 2005 was held from September 1 to 4, at the CNR EXPO in Istanbul, Turkey, and once again provided a platform for the production, design, purchasing and specification chain of the sector and enabled trade visitors from all over the world to meet with specialist dealers. The show, which expanded 150% in relation to last year's results, comprised five halls with the participation of 372 local and 28 international firms. Additionally, 23,008 local and 1,617 foreigners visited the fair, which was held by CNR International Trade Fairs, with the support of IMIB-Istanbul Mineral Exporters Association, Istanbul Marble Association and Undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry for Foreign Trade. The participating firms stated that they left the fair satisfied, with the goal to expand 30% of their business.

Muharrem Tunca, CNR International Trade Fairs Group Show Manager, reported that not only was there an increase in the number of exhibitors, but there was also a double-digit rise in attendance by trade visitors. Over 80% of trade visitors were extremely satisfied with the range of products offered at Natural Stone 2005.

Natural Stone 2005 reached its target, which was to become one of the main contributors to make the export of marble and natural stone reach $1 billion, to form a public opinion in order to increase the use of marble and natural stone, to make the firms that may increase the marble consumption in surrounding countries incline towards Turkey, to carry out effective advertisement on the fields of use and costs of the marble, and ensure the companies that make the highest consumption in the world visit the exhibition.

Countries like Israel, Greece, Iran, Russia, Germany, China, Morocco, Holland, England, Spain, the U.S., Ukraine, Ireland, France and Italy visited the fair. The foreigner press organizations from Greece, Poland, India, Brazil, Germany, China, England, Spain, the U.S., Ukraine, France and Italy were accredited at Natural Stone 2005.

International sector associations and institution directors also attended the show. Among these associations include, All India Granites & Stone Association, Capexil - Natural Stone Export Promotion Center, Taiwan Marble Association, Associazione Italiana Marmomacchine and Guangdong Sub-Council of China Council For The Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

Next year's exhibition will be held from August 31 to September 3, 2006 at CNR EXPO in Istanbul, Turkey, in seven halls.