The 34th edition of Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, taking place in the Bologna Exhibition Center in Bologna, Italy, is under way.

The show draws tens of thousands of visitors, including industry professionals, journalists and consumers from all over the world.

Six product sectors are showcased in 1.6 million square-feet of exhibition space, representing 852 exhibitors from 43 countries. Ceramic tile represents the largest category of exhibitors with 491 companies (including 237 non-Italian), followed by bathroom furnishings with 194 companies. 

The show opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in Piazza Costituzione followed by a seminar on fair trade and the competitiveness of Italian manufacturers in the global marketplace. Opening remarks were given by BolognaFiere chairman, Franco Boni and the president of the Emilia Romagna regional government, Stefano Bonaccini.

The panel discussion covered the debate on whether or not to grant market economy status (MES) to China, the commercial policies protecting Italian products, the renewal of anti-dumping duties on Chinese tile imports to Europe, the differences between costs of the various production factors and the state of progress of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union.

In September 2011, the European Commission imposed duties on ceramic tile imports from China with the aim of rebalancing a market situation. At the time, Chinese products sold below cost and had gradually been winning market share from the European industry. Now, industry leaders discussed whether import duties on China should be extended in order to continue protecting European market share, according to Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Ceramic Manufacturers' Association.

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