VERONA, ITALY -- The Egyptian marble, granite and alabaster sector now ranks eighth in the world, with exports of stone materials up by 490% in quantity over the last eight years. Despite the slight downturn in 2015 (-3% for exports) following the drop in demand from China, the sector is likely to grow by 15% over the next four years, with production increasing by 2020 to 650,000 tons. This emerges from the marble and stones in Egypt Report, which will be presented in Cairo during the third edition of MS Marmomacc + Samoter Africa, alongside the second edition of Projex Africa, the two events dedicated to the construction world scheduled in Egypt's capital on December 10th to 13th.  

Local partners Art Line and Expolink joined Veronafiere in organizing events on the opposite shore of the Mediterranean highlighting expertise in sectors such as natural stone, earth moving machinery and sustainable construction, as well as accompanying more than 40 international companies into the market. With over 100 exhibitors from Egypt, Italy, China, Brazil, Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Turkey, three halls and a show area of 6,000 square meters, the event is already a landmark for the sector in Africa. Its role is equally emphasized by the presence at the inauguration on Saturday of Tarek Kabir, the Egyptian Minister for trade and industry.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will also be attended by Massimiliano Sponzilli, director of the ICE-Italian Trade agency in Cairo. Italy is one of Egypt's main trading partners, especially in the natural stone sector, where it is the second largest supplier of stone processing machinery and technology with 2.4 million euros of trade in 2015, and the sixth largest importer of unhewn blocks of Egyptian marble, worth 1.5 million euros.

ICE, in collaboration with Veronafiere, selected qualified buyers from Algeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Congo, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Jordan, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda, to take part in b2b meetings during the two shows in Cairo.

"MS Marmomacc + Samoter Africa and Projex Africa see Veronafiere further consolidate its presence on the African continent,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere, and member of the Italian-Egyptian Business Council. “Within the scope of our exhibition activities on consolidated and emerging markets around the world, North Africa is an area where we have invested in construction agro-food sectors for some time. In addition to Egypt, we are also active in Morocco with the Medinit Expo and Medinit Agro events, and Ethiopia, where this year saw the debut of Building East Africa."

The innovations at this edition of MS Marmomacc + Samoter Africa include the first Egyptian Stone Summit organized by Veronafiere to analyze the state of the art and likely development of the local natural stone industry, with the presentation on Saturday, December 10th of the marble and natural stone in Egypt Report, edited by Carlo Montani. This year also welcomes the debuts of the Stones of Africa Gallery, the most comprehensive exhibition of marble, granite and natural stone materials.

Projex Africa, on the other hand, is home to the international Middle East Buildings & Façades Summit, with a focus on green building techniques and the latest findings in the field of materials, facades, fixtures and renewable energy.