Feicon 2001: A Ceramic Showcase in South America
Feicon 2001, the largest and most focused construction trade exposition in South America, takes place in S‹o Paulo, Brazil, during the first week of April. Not surprisingly, the bulk of exhibitors and attendees will be from the Southern Hemisphere, but a growing number of representatives from North America, Europe and Asia will participate as well.
Because Brazil's construction industry has skyrocketed during the last few years, Feicon's management team made the decision to divide this year's fair into two simultaneous showings. Feicon TEC, April 2-6, will focus on the technology, machinery and equipment required to make construction possible, while Feicon, April 3-7, will concentrate on the construction-related finishing segment. The two fairs will provide a shuttle service between their respective venues, making it easy for attendees to visit both shows.
"Feicon is the biggest construction trade fair in Latin America," notes Jose Roberto Castro, foreign trade coordinator of Anfacer, the Brazilian National Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers. "It's one of the most important fairs from around the world because people from neighboring South American countries - such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, etc. - come to conduct business.
"Many people who do not attend other global fairs - such as Surfaces, Coverings or Cersaie - focus on Feicon," Castro explains. "And, not surprisingly, Anfacer members have 50% of the total exhibit area."
Perhaps the main reason why so much floor space will be taken up by Anfacer-member exhibits is that Brazil is currently the fourth-largest ceramic tile producer in the world. No longer considered a "new player" when compared to global stalwarts such as Italy and Spain, the Brazilian ceramic tile product line is extensive and readily competes on a worldwide basis with products from any nation. Recently, a focused marketing program tailored to bring even more attention to Brazilian ceramic tiles was unveiled in the United States.
Jo‹o Paulo Borges de Freitas, president of Anfacer, says that, "our national tile industry, which currently represents $1.3 billion in sales volume throughout the world, generates 23,000 direct job positions and 160,000 indirect positions. Overall, our industry has grown at an average rate of 7.5% per year. This, in part, is due to the advantages of ceramic tile as compared to other products regarding aesthetic values, design, environmental consciousness, durability, maintenance, cleanliness and so on.
"Watch for our marketing program to build more awareness of Brazilian ceramic tile," Freitas adds. "The 43 companies which comprise Anfacer want not only to bring their tile materials to North America, they want to let North Americans learn a little bit about Brazil itself."
More information about Feicon may be obtained on the Internet at www.feicon.com.br.