The name suffices on its own: XIAMEN

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In a huge are of 180.000 sq.m, 2000 firms from 56 countries set up their stands, 150.319 visitors from 148 countries rushed to the fair. Heart of natural stone industry beat in this fair for four days

First a long journey to Hong Kong, a waiting period full of delays, a 24 hour journey that ends with dispersion of the fog in the air… You arrive in Xiamen exhausted, sleepless and done for! But there’s one thing in this life called adrenaline, which is the medicine for all kinds of exhaustion! The thrill of setting foot on the biggest fair of the world next day and the joy of nice conversations with friends come together and prepare you for this four day feast. Opening its gates for the 18th time, Xiamen International Stone Fair met the expectations and proved right our claims of ‘’If it’s Xiamen, it’s all worth it’’.

The Heart of Natural Stone Industry
We need to highlight a point before we pass on to the detailed analysis of the fair, which took place between 6th and 9th of March, just like every year. The density of visitors, number of exhibitors and whether the expectations were met can be evaluated according to opinions of people The point that we can’t argue about is the fact that Xiamen Fair is the heart of the natural stone industry. Owing to the variety of international exhibitors and visitors, Xiamen is on top of the leading organizations of the industry.

2017 statistics remain the same
What about the statistics of the fair? Statistics shared by the organizer firm Xiamen Jinhongxin Exhibition Co. Ltd., indicate that the fair maintained last year’s level. In 18th Xiamen International Stone Fair hosted two thousand exhibitors from 56 countries, each displaying their products. China, the host, was obviously the country that was represented the most by 64.28%. 35.27% of the exhibitors was comprised of international participants that wanted to display their products. In 2017, the exhibitor number was anounced to be 2050 firms, each of which are from 56 countries.

Visitors from 146 different countries
It was stated that the number of people who visited Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center to follow this big show, was 150.319. 29.513 of this crowd were international visitors coming to China from 146 different countries. Last year it was stated that exhibitor number of the Xiamen Fair was 150.290. Asian businessmen were the majority (59.43%) whereas Europeans were lower in number ( 17.6%).

Turkey clearly has the lead
As the biggest block marble producer of the world, it was normal for Turkey to be in the front row of the world’s biggest fair. Turkish natural stone industry has carried its superiority even further this year. Having participated in the fair with 136 firms last year, the country had provided 25.55% of foreign participation of the fair. Turkey literally showed off with 140 firms this year. After Turkey, the second biggest participation was from Italy with 88 firms. 47 firms from Brazil, 40 from India, 31 from Egypt displayed their products.

National participation by EIB for the 10th time
Organization of Turkey’s national participation was carried out by Aegean Exporters’ Associations (EİB) for the 10th time. Most of the Turkish firms were located in hall A2 just on the right of the main entrance. Among 140 firms representing Turkey, 77 of them attended the fair with national participation whereas 63 of them attended individually. Stands prepared by national participation were chic and caught the eye. Turkish exhibitors displayed their products in an area of 3557 sq. m in total, 3061 sq. m of which was used within the scope of national participation.

A visit by Turkish ambassador
In the first day of the Xiamen Fair, in the area near the entrance of Turkish hall, a symbolic opening ceremony was set. The ceremony started at 11 o’clock. The Turkish ambassador in China Abdulkadir Emin Önen, consul general of Guangzou Melih Bora Kerimoğlu, commercial atache Serdar Afşar, the president of Aegean Stone Exporters’ Association (EMİB) Mevlüt Kaya, the president of Istanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association (İMİB) Aydın Dinçer and executive board members cut the opening ribbon altogether. President Kaya stated that it was the first time that Turkey had ever been represented at ambassadorial level and that the situation made the Turkish natural stone industry proud.

Önen: The sector makes us proud
Having spoken in the opening ceremony, the Turkish ambassador in China, Abdulkadir Emin Önen said, “The fact that Turkey is the biggest participant in the world’s biggest fair, makes us proud. I congratulate the Turkish stone industry and wish you all a good fair. I hope that the sector’s exports to China will increase’’. After the opening ceremony, protocol members visited the stands of Turkish firms one by one, wishing them all a good fair.

Associations in cooperation
We need to highligh a point here. Last year, Xiamen Fair witnessed the cold war between Turkey’s participation organizer EİB and UR-GE projects’ organizer İMİB. Leaders of these two associatons, which both serve the development of Turkey’s export, wouldn’t even come together. This situation created an unecessary tension in the sector and wasn’t really nice. But this time things went like they were supposed to. The sense of collaboration after the change of managment in İMİB, drew attention in Xiamen and Turkish Natural Stone sector operated in unity.

Gray and White fashion continues
Let’s pass on to the trends of the fair. It could’ve been said before the Xiamen Fair that gray and white stones were the favorite ones. The world’s biggest fair revealed that this fashion continues. Newly-produced white and gray stones were sought-after at Turkish stands. We also noticed that dolomite is increasingly getting more present in stands and beige marbles maintain their popularity, as always.

The Chinese Preferred Simplicity
Having been serious rivals of Italian firms with their outstanding stand designs in the last years, the Chinese preferred simplicity in 2018. But we should admit that this simlicity was combinated with elegancy. One of the top attractions of the fair was the marble house displayed by BC Stone. Apart from that, Huahui Stone and KH Marble, which is one of the best buyers of Turkey, managed to draw attention. Italian firms proved their mastery in the field of design again. Stand of Gruppo Tosco Marmi won critical acclaim.

Kaya: İzmir will close the gap
Mevlüt Kaya, the President of EMİB, underlined two points while evaluating the fair. Kaya said, ‘’We left behind a typical Xiamen Fair. This is a fair which hosts exhibitors and visitors from all over the world and it’s a place where serious projects are spoken. It’s also the biggest fair of the world. But we noticed that the fair was a little worse than last year. The fact that all our customers were serious buyers, made up for it, though. I asked everybody coming to our stand whether they would come to İzmir and all the answers were positive. The fact that even hotels in the regions out of İzmir (Seferihisar, Kuşadası etc…) are full already, indicates that İzmir Fair will have a serious turnout. It seems to me that İzmir will close the gap here.

Guitar made of granite
One of the firms that pushed the limits of producing things using natural stone was Fanjia Stone. Two guitars, both made of granite, gathered all the curious looks of the visitors on themselves. One of the two guitars displayed at the firm’s stand, was made out of Tan Brown granite. Weighing 80 kg, the guitar was put up for sale for 400 dollars. The other guitar, which was made of Red Granite and weighed 20 kg, costed 500 dollars. Firm executives stated that it had taken 15 days for the guitars to be produced.

Dinçer: Turkish turnout is successful
Aydın Dinçer, the President of İMİB, stated that they had come to the fair to maintain the sense of unity in the sector and said that, ‘’We’ve attended the fair to show that we are in collaboration. We target an increase by 28-30% in export in 2018 thanks to this synergy. Fair was generally good. I believe, Turkish turnout and stands were quite successful. However, we noticed that the fair was a little slower compared to last year.’’

A 27 thousand dollar Ferrari!
Produced by the Chinese firm Haobo Stone out of granite, the Ferrari drew lots of attention. Made out of granite in Jacaran, India, the car’s tyres and rims were crafted out of Black and Gray granite which were produced in India, as well. Inner parts of the car were made of beige and white marble, both produced in Turkey. It’s 3.5 meters in length, 1.5 meters in width and 90 cm in height. It was stated that the car weighed 4.5 tons. The car was prepared in 45 days. Firm’s executives put the car up for sale for 27 thousand dollars.

8th of March celebrated by Kaya
As always, World Women’s Day was the third day of the Xiamen Fair, therefore, Aegean Mine Exporters’ Association remembered ‘’the flowers’’ of the industry. Mevlüt Kaya, the president of EMİB, gifted roses to Turkish firms’ representatives and woman visitors to celebrate their day.

25th anniversary invitation by İZFAŞ
Xiamen Fair witnessed an intense routine of working not only for natural stone firms, but also for fair organizations. İZFAŞ promoted MARBLE Fair, which it organizes, and invited the firms to İzmir. Having stated that they were working hard for a larger turnout for the 25th anniversary of MARBLE International Natural Stone & Technologies Fair in 2019, Chief Executive Gül Şener said ‘’We have worked on promoting by attending the fairs in USA, India, Brasil, Iran, Italy, China, Indonesia, Morocco and Germany. This year, there will be an area of 57 thousand sq. m for stands. 1500 blocks weighing 30 thousand in total, will be brought and ours will be the heaviest fair in the world.”

First day chaos
Generally known for its professionalism, Xiamen Fair started with a chaotic day this time. Due to the fact that Chinese personnel made the exhibitors and visitors go through X-Ray devices and a body search upstairs, long lines were formed in the entrance. This caused exhibitors’ reactions and complaints but in the second day the problem was solved by increasing the number of entrance gates.

Marble Trend, the Strategic Partner
As the leader Turkish natural stone magazine, we participated in this vast event, which is the peak of natural stone fairs, just like every year. For the 11th time, we took pride in being a part of this grand organization which we’ve been following since 2008 continuously. After having prepared it in Chinese and English and printed in China, we gave away our special issue for China to exhibitors and professional visitors at our stand in the Hall A1. In addition, Marble Trend was given a place in the international publications area at the entrance of Hall C1, which was prepared for Xiamen Fair’s strategic partners and won acclaim of people coming from all over the World.

Ambassador Önen examined Marble Trend
The Turkish ambassador in China, Abdulkadir Emin Önen, examined the Marble Trend magazine after the opening ceremony of the fair. Asking questions about the special issue prepared for the Xiamen Fair, Önen received detailed information from our magazine’s publisher Mr. Çağlayan Sueli.

From Xiamen to Shuitou
The special China issue of Marble Trend wasn’t distributed only in Xiamen but also in Shuitou, one of the biggest marble markets of China. Examining Marble Trend magazine, Chinese sector representatives obtained up to date information about new products and news of the Turkish natural stone sector.