International exhibitions: BALKAN PACKAGING, BALKAN FOOD & DRINKS

EventsSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 4/2007

21 -24 November 2007, NDK, Sofia

Anelia Karanova, Via Expo

Bulgaria joined the EU on 1st January 2007 and its strategic geographic location grew in importance as it established the Southeast border of the Union. This position is making the country a bridge for foreign investors in both directions – for European investors in new markets like Turkey, Near East, Russia and for investors from Asia and Far Asia (Japan, Korea and China) in the prospective key European markets.

Bulgaria is one of the SE Europe’s leaders in attracting direct foreign investments. Entrepreneurs from abroad are expanding their activities due to positive tendencies in the business climate, guaranteed by financial and political stability, lowest operation cost in Europe, low level of tax rates - corporate income tax 10%, duty free trade with markets of over 550 million customers.

The improvement of the economic climate on the Balkans brought about an intensive economic and tourist exchange, which in its turn resulted in a big demand for a variety of high quality food and drink products.

These processes also spread upon the packaging industry and aroused a considerable need for processing and packaging machines and materials for all branches of economy.

The best route to new markets is through face-to-face contacts

Balkan Food & Drinks (food, drinks, equipment) and Balkan PAC (packaging, materials, machines) have reserved a leading place on the international specialized exhibitions calendar in Bulgaria. Both events have proved to be an effective platform for contacts with professionals from the entire Region, and continue to grow and gain popularity in and out of the country.

The benefit of exhibiting

Balkan Food & Drinks and Balkan PAC exhibitions are meant for specialists. Most upper and middle managers, buyers, owners of small and medium companies, etc., are ‘loyal’ visitors coming every year to strengthen existing business contacts, get new ideas or replenish shelves with novelties. In 2006 the percentage of managers remains high as always, while engaged in purchasing and sales register certain growth.

We cannot also overlook another important trend – the great interest from foreign companies. Cast a glance on local and international visitors from exhibition’s launch till now and you will see foreigners set up a record value – 13 per cent in 2006 while usually floating between 5 and 10 per cent.

Via Expo directly attracts an overall of 60 per cent of visitors with personal invitations. Our vigorous advertising campaign including co-operation with association and chambers, printed adverts and stories in specialized magazines and newspapers, radio sports, TV reportages, outdoor advertising and web banners catch the attention of one fifth of buyers.

Useful features at the trade events include training seminars and hot-topic conferences on a variety of themes concerning food, drinks and packaging industries, relevant legislation, technology, traditional contests “Soft Drinks of the Year” and “Prize Pack” for best packaging.

After the successful 2006 edition exhibitors from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK, etc., will gather again from 21 till 24 November 2007 in NDK, Sofia, to present new products and innovative, advanced technologies.

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