The Vitória Stone Fair, the most important stone industry event in Brazil, has changed its name. As of the next edition, which will take place from February 18 to 21, 2014, it will be called Vitória Stone Fair/Marmomacc Latin America.

The event’s repositioning plan is based on Marmomacc’s formula of combining business with design and product culture, as well as offering training courses for architects and professionals.

This initiative was outlined during the recent edition of Marmomacc, the world’s leading stone trade show taking place in September in Verona, Italy. Ettore Riello, President of Veronafiere (organizer of Marmomacc); Giovanni Mantovani, the CEO & Director General of Veronafiere; Cecília Milaneze, President of Milanez & Milaneze (organizer of the Vitória Stone Fair); and Andrea Batazzi, the Veronafiere delegate for Latin America.

“Coverage of Latin America completes Veronafiere’s strategy of penetration into the continent, following its involvement in the U.S. since 2008 with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas,” said Riello. “As a tool at the service of companies, we are always looking for new markets in Central and South America — with Brazil and Mexico in the forefront. Economic trends indicate interesting prospects in fields such as building and contract.”

The initiative follows Veronafiere’s entry as partner in the organization of Brazil’s two main events in the natural stone field in 2012 — the Vitória Stone Fair and the Cachoeiro Stone Fair — thanks to the acquisition of 60% of Milanez & Milaneze and the creation of a new company, Veronafiere do Brazil, which also controls Mec Show, the trade fair focusing on engineering, automation and energy.

“The decision to develop a full-scale exhibition fair under the Marmomacc umbrella in Brazil has already been warmly welcomed by companies, since five months before Vitória Stone Fair/Marmomacc Latin America, we have already sold exhibition space for two entire halls and 70% of the third,” Riello said.

Satisfaction was also expressed by partners Milanez & Milaneze. “Adding Marmomacc Latin America will help launch the Vitória Stone Fair on an even larger scale,” said Milaneze. “This new chapter in the history of the event translates into more business opportunities in the global natural stone market.”

The 2013 edition of the event — held in Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil — involved an exhibition area of nearly 350,000 square feet (32,000 square meters), serving 420 exhibitors. In addition to exhibitors from 10 different Brazilian states, a total of 39% of exhibitors came from international locations, including Argentina, China, the U.S., France, Greece, India, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

There were over 24,000 visitors at last year’s event, of which 12% from 56 foreign countries.

The natural stone industry represents 8% of Brazil’s GDP, with 9 million tons of marble products, 2.2 million tons exported, 1,400 active quarries and more than 12,000 companies. Estimates state that Brazil’s natural resources include more than 1.2 million varieties of natural stone.

According to figures released by Centrorochas, the Brazilian association of decorative stone exporters, the value of Brazilian exports between January and July 2013 came to $742 million, an increase of 20% over the same period in 2012. The top buyers are the U.S., China and Italy. Brazil is the third-largest exporter of stone blocks in the world and fifth-largest exporter of finished products.

Espírito Santo is the landmark state for marble and granite quarrying and processing activities in Brazil. It covers 80% of the entire national market and handles 78% of exports — worth $579.3 million in the first seven months of 2013, an increase of 25.5% over 2012.