CARRARA, ITALY - Giorgio Bianchini, CarraraFiere Chairman, recently presided over a press conference regarding the 2010 CarraraMarmotec Marble, Technology and Design Trade Fair, which is set to take place from May 19 to 22 - marking its 30th edition. “It will be an important event for the international marble and technology industry, a trade fair that will show the most beautiful and innovative products our companies can offer to an international market that is becoming increasingly competitive, which means that companies need to adapt, show great innovation and make suggestions for the world of designers based on marble and natural stone,” he said. “We are planning the fair in every minute detail. It is a difficult time for the industry, and CarraraMarmotec may be the opportunity to draw attention to natural stone and stimulate demand, especially in the high-quality brackets with high-added value that characterize the national industry”.
Exhibitors at CarraraMarmotec will showcase marble and granite and other natural stone from all over the world (both raw materials and finished products) as well as the most advanced and sophisticated technology.
Numerous foreign delegations have already confirmed their participation, thereby emphasizing the strong international reputation of CarraraMarmotec. Delegations of visitors are expected from the U.S., Canada, South America (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela and Mexico), Russia, Europe and Eastern Europe (Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and the Czech Republic), the United Arab Emirates and Syria, North Africa (Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria) as well as Iran and Ukraine. A strategic promotions campaign was carried out thanks to the help of the ICE (the Italian Foreign Trade Commission), the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad, the Tuscan Regional Government, Toscana Promozione and Lucca Promozione.
A further element that demonstrates the hard work of CarraraFiere and Internazionale Marmi e Macchine in their support of the promotions campaign for natural stone is the decision of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) to hold the annual meeting of its Board of Directors in Carrara during the trade fair.
One of the most prominent events in the concurrent educational/cultural program is the Marble Architectural Awards (MAA) ceremony. The 2010 Awards celebrate their 25th anniversary with a special “Silver Awards” competition open to architects and designers from all over the world. This is an opportunity for schools and international offices to compete in a prestigious international competition, which aims to promote the use of natural stone on an international level.
The winners, chosen by an international jury, will be called upon to illustrate their work at a conference held during CarraraMarmotec to present the winning projects along with those of two other competitions: the Dressed Stone Design Award and the Innovative Design Technology Award.
The organizers of CarraraMarmotec have long been a leader in providing statistics regarding Italy’s standing in the worldwide stone market, and they offered a synopsis of the nation’s stone trade for 2009.
According to statistics processed by IMM Carrara, Italy exported 2.042 million tons of marble and granite from January to September 2009, including raw materials and finished products to a value of $1.47 billion - a 14.47% drop in quantity and a 21.27% drop in value compared to the same period of 2008. This is a very drastic reduction, since the 2008 figures also take into consideration the months before the serious crisis hit all markets, starting with the decline in the U.S. real estate market - which was a solid market for value-added finished products in marble and granite. Whereas raw marble materials managed to hold their ground (increase in exports of 0. 65% in quantity, but down 3.5% in value), the largest reductions were recorded in the finished products segments of marble (down 22% in quantity and 21% in value) as well as finished granite (down 26% in quantity and 27% in value).
The first nine months of 2009 were also very difficult for the two main production areas of Tuscany-Liguria (with companies in the provinces of La Spezia, Lucca and Massa Carrara) and Veneto (Verona and Vicenza).
On the positive side, white marble recorded an increase in raw material exports of 12%, both in quantity and value.