HYDERABAD, INDIA - Stone India is scheduled to take place from January 31 to February 2, 2004, in Hyderabad, India. The exhibition is designed to serve as a highly interactive global interface for international and domestic members of the industry. It will provide a mutually rewarding forum for quarrying, processing, manufacturing and trading companies as well as manufacturers of machinery and other stoneworking tools and accessories. Additionally, Stone India provides just the right setting for displaying technological advances and exchanging of know-how and one-on-one interaction between stone industry professionals, according to show organizers.

Statistics illustrate that India's contribution to the world stone market is 10%, and the country produces 27% of the world's stone and exports raw siliceous products. Of India's 10% share in the world market for stone, the bulk of the material comes from Andhra Pradesh. The two primary stones being quarried in this state are Black Galaxy and Absolute Black granite. It is for this reason that the state's major trading center - Hyderabad - has been chosen as the backdrop for the stone exhibition, reports organizers.

The venue, Hitex, was conceptualized by leading German architects and provides an in-frastructure to domestic and international exhibitors. Spread over nearly 100 acres, it is designed to enhance functionality and flexibility, and to serve as a one-stop resource for organizers of exhibitions, conventions, trade shows and corporate events. The city of Hyderabad is well connected by air, rail and road and is very close to Bangalore, where Stona 2004 is being held on February 4. This means exhibits can be moved in under a day.

Products that will be exhibited at Stone India 2004 include granite, marble, limestone, sandstone, slate and agglomerated stone. In addition, blocks, slabs, tiles, architectural stone, building stone, monuments, artifacts, sculptures, stonework and special-shaped products will be on display. Among the equipment, machinery and technology that will be shown are quarrying and cutting machines; processing and grinding; abrasives, refinishing and restoration equipment; diamond tools; material handling; packaging and installation equipment; polishing, sealants and adhesives; computer and optical devices; hand tools and waste water treatment. Other exhibitors that will be in attendance will be associations, consultancy services, publications, shipping companies and clearing and forwarding agencies. A profile of visitors consists of distributors, fabricators, architects, builders, real estate promoters, decorators, designers and interior designers.