The 4th edition of Bursa Block Marble Fair, which was held in collaboration with TÜYAP Bursa Fair Organization, Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO) and Mineral and Marble Producer and Industrialist Businessmen Association (MADSİAD), with the support of the Ministry of Commerce, Kosgeb and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality was visited by 22 thousand 765 professionals from 42 countries.
Bursa International Block Marble Fair, where 500 blocks were exhibited on its first year, was a showcase for 2500 block marbles on its 4th edition.
Bursa Block Marble Fair, the first indoors block marble exhibition in the world, is on the way to become one of the world’s leading marble fairs. The fair where 550 blocks were exhibited in its first year, grew five fold in its 4th year. 2,500 block marbles with a total value of about $ 20 million, ranging from $ 250 to $ 4000, were exhibited in a 60 thousand square meter area consisting of 8 different halls and open spaces. The exhibition, which brought together the marble sector for four days, ended on Saturday, October 27. The fair will be opened for the fifth time between 23 October and 26 October 2019.
Blocks Should not be Marked Before the Fair Starts
The first and only indoors block marble fair was held in Bursa for the 4th time. Most of the companies that have the chance to introduce their blocks next to their stands have been satisfied with the fair as they did last year. There were also some negative issues that came up during the fair. Many companies were in the opinion that the marking of blocks before the exhibition was not fair. Erol Efendioğlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MADSİAD also touched upon this issue at the event they realized at the Hilton Hotel. Efendioğlu voiced serious criticism about the branding of the blocks before the beginning of the fair. He asked the companies to be more diligent about this issue and not to mark the blocks with spray paints before the exhibition starts next year.
Chinese Buyers Expected
Another subject mentioned in the fair was related to the visitor portfolio. Fair officials said that the fair was visited by professionals from 42 countries. However, many of the companies stated that the fair is on its way to becoming an event specific to Indian buyers and said that they would like to see more Chinese buyers in the coming years.
Heating Problem in the 8th Hall
Following the increasing interest in Bursa Block Marble, fair authorities who want to respond to the demands of the companies, increased the number of halls. 57 companies were able to exhibit their products in the open-air tent. However, the companies that exhibited their blocks in the open-air tent (8th hall) were affected by the unfavorable weather conditions most. Companies having the heating problem demanded that this problem be solved in the coming years.
Professional Visitors from Around the World
Stating that almost all of the block marbles exhibited at the Bursa Blok Marble Fair were sold in the first 2 days of the fair, where hot sales were experienced intensively, the fair officials said: “The fair was visited by 22 thousand 765 professionals from 42 countries, of which were mainly from China and India. Although in its 4th year, the fair that sector added power to the sector’s exports and competitiveness with its business volume.” Bursa Block Marble Fair which was held by the organization of The Ministry of Commerce, Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO), Uludağ Exporters’ Unions and Tüyap Overseas Offices welcomed delegations from countries from China, India, Afghanistan, Germany, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Algeria, Indonesia, Palestine, Georgia, Netherlands, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Canada, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Macedonia, Egypt, Nepal, Purchasing committees from Russia, Serbia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Oman, Jordan, Yemen and Greece amd professional visitors from 42 cities.
Production Should be Planned to Meet the Demands of Global Markets
The President of İstanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association Aydın Dinçer, in his speech during the opening ceremony of Bursa Block Fair held at Bursa International Fair and Congress Center said: “We are working towards branding Turkish natural stones abroad under the “Turkish Stones” name. We will continue our international trade delegation organizations in 2019 as well. The participant members of these delegations are being provided incentives by both the government (% 60) and İMİB (% 30). The members, who only pay the remaining 10 % share as their participation fee, will be able to market and sell their products abroad. I think it would be beneficial for all our members to benefit from the opportunities of exporters’ associations. We have to give importance to R & D. We set up a science committee. This scientific committee, turned the residue of natural stone into flour, and disposed the other mineral waste. With such new developments, we will do our best to pave the way for the sector. We should act with the logic of selling our Stones ay their value instead of making more amount of production. Our goal is to make production that will meet the demands of global markets.”
Give up Easy Marketing Techniques
The President of Aegean Mineral Exporters’ Association, Mevlüt Kaya, in his speech at the opening ceremony, said: “If I make a self-criticism, unfortunately, we do not achieve the common sense, like the Italians do, when it comes to the pricing of our products, The Italians applied the gentleman’s treaties, which they had done among themselves, as law, they never reduced the price. I would like to ask my friends to stop adopting easy marketing techniques in order to sell their products. If block marble is a showcase for us, we need to produce products that will fill the display, the interior of the store. This is possible by producing high value added products. For this purpose, we are trying to do our best with İMİB and other organizations. The mineral sector, which has created great wonders for 25 years, will certainly come out of this storm. We will continue our way through production and export.”
Block Fair is Constantly Growing
TÜYAP Bursa Fairs General Manager İlhan Ersözlü stated that the exhibition was held on an area of 60 thousand square meters consisting of 8 halls and open sections where total of 2500 blocks with the weight of 60 thousand tons were exhibited. Ersözlü said: “Last year there were 215 participants at the fair. This year the number of participants increased up to 240 by % 15 growth. In the fair, companies from 33 cities exhibited 2 thousand 500 blocks with values ranging from $ 200 to $ 4 thousand. This is to say that the number of blocks increased by 25% compared to a previous year.”
Exhibition that leads to the growth of the sector
The Chairman of the Board of Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO), Ibrahim Burkay said: “Bursa International Block Marble Fair is the worlds biggest indoors block marble fair. In all the previous fairs until today, all our block marbles were sold before the opening of the fair. In this respect, our fair is different from all fairs in a positive way. This Fair, which exhibited a total of 60 thousand tons weighing 2500 block marbles in different colors and patterns, will lead the growth of our sector. Within the scope of the fair, we invited purchase delegations from 40 countries in collaboration with TÜYAP. We bring more than thousand business people from many countries from China to India and U.S.A. to Italy.”
MADSİAD President Erol Efendioğlu reminded that in 2015, when the exhibition was organized for the first time, 550 blocks of marble were exhibited. Efendioğlu emphasizing that the number of block marble exhibited this year increased to 2 thousand 500. The number of block marble exhibited in 4 years increased by 5 times. This is a record growth,”
We Can do Better Than This
On the last day of the fair, Fatih Dönmez, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources visited Bursa International Block Marble Fair, which was held in cooperation with Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO), TÜYAP Bursa Fair Organization Company and Mineral Marble Producer and Industrialist Businessmen Association (MADSİAD). After the visit, the Minister Dönmez made a statement saying, “We had the opportunity to see the beautiful patterned marbles as if they were from the hand of a sculpture at Bursa International Block Marble Fair. We export Turkish marbles to all over the world from America to Far East and Europe to Africa. As the sector, we have to go far beyond the point reached today. In this respect, we continue to prepare legislation that includes legal and secondary regulations in the mining sector. We always support mineral producers, who pay attention to the environment and safe mining principles.”
Processed Marble Export Should be Given Priority
Minister Dönmez said: “The way to increase competitiveness in the mining sector passes through R & D and design. We recently went out to tender for metal mines. We require end-product production as condition in tenders. If the marble sector is ready, we can start this application for the new mining sites as well. It is possible to provide 5 to 10 times more benefit when selling the finished product. We have to force our companies to sell processed product. It is useful to evaluate the situation of our competitors in the world while doing this.”
Every Inch of Resources Must be Brought into Economy
The Minister stated that the mining sector has a national duty by saying: “Mineral reserves are the property of the public and 81 million people of this country hold rights of these resources. If the people working in this sector gains, the citizen gains more. We have to bring every inch of these resources into the economy. Our Ministry speeded up mine exploration activities. We have modernized the sounding, which is the classical search method and now searching minerals by air geophysical imaging.”
Minister Dönmez visited the stands together with BTSO Parliament Speaker Ali Uğur, BTSO Vice Chairman Cüneyt Şener, TBMM Human Rights Investigation Committee President and Bursa Deputy Hakan Çavuşoğlu, Bursa Deputies Mustafa Esgin, Emine Yavuz Gözgeç, Atilla Ödünç, Vildan Yılmaz Gürel, Zafer Işık, Bursa Mayor Alinur Aktas, AK Party Bursa Provincial Chairman Ayhan Salman, TÜYAP Bursa Fair Organization Company General Manager Ilhan Ersözlü, MADSİAD Chairman Erol Efendioğlu and BTSO Board Members and received information about the block marbles exhibited.
Great Celebration at Hilton
On the second day of the fair, a wonderful gala dinner was held at Bursa Hilton Hotel. Erol Efendioğlu, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MADSİAD who delivered a speech at the dinner hosted by MADSİAD, said:
“The number of blocks we had exhibited at the block fair in 2015 was 550. This year, this figure has increased up to 2500. I think, achieving a five-fold growth in only 4 years must be a records in the world fair literature. While planning this exhibition, our first goal was to ensure the promotion of the blocks produced in Turkey. As participants were able to make high amount of sales during the first editions of the fair, they began to perceive it as an exhibition suitable to make hot sales. So, the companies began to bring even sometimes 30 blocks to their 150 m2 booths. This overloading of the booths caused the visitors to feel uncomfortable while looking for blocks. It would be more convenient if we can arrange to exhibit 1 block in per 10 sqm. We also received serious complaints about the branding of the blocks before the fair. We request that the blocks not be marked with spray paints before the opening of the exhibition next year.”
Efendioğlu also made a statement about the rumor, which is saying that Turkish blocks were being sold to China under their value, said: “In public opinion, there is false information about the fact that our blocks were sold to China almost free of charge and that they were bought back from China as processed products. This is a completely wrong perception. We need to break this perception with lobbying activities. “
Text and Photos: Ersin Bozkurt, Şehriban Çimen, Levent Dörtyol