One of the most important annual events in the region’s food sector, the 18th Azerbaijan International Food Industry Exhibition, WorldFood Azerbaijan, opened in Baku on 15 May 2012.
WorldFood Azerbaijan is part of the world-famous WorldFood brand of exhibitions, which includes the largest food industry exhibitions in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India and Turkey. In addition to Iteca Caspian LLC, other partner companies of ITE Group Plc., including EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany) and ITE Gulf (UAE), have helped to organize the exhibition, which has greatly expanded the geography of the international exhibitors and visitors.
As was mentioned by the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ismet Abasov, during his speech at the opening ceremony, holding exhibitions of this kind has a positive influence on the development of domestic production and thereby increases the export potential of the country and the interest of foreign entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan.
Abasov observed that “The Government is tasked to double the country's GDP over the next 10 years, which will mainly be achieved through the growth of the non-oil sector. Given the important role of agriculture in the non-oil sector of the country, the implementation of such exhibitions is very important.”
The Minister said that this exhibition is important in terms of ensuring food security in the country and the region.
According to the President of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), Adil Mammadov, who also spoke at the opening of the exhibition, WorldFood Azerbaijan offers an excellent platform for establishing business relationships between local and foreign entrepreneurs. In particular, Mr Mammadov mentioned the excellent organization of the exhibition by Iteca Caspian.
After the opening ceremony the delegation, led by Minister Abasov, toured the exhibition. The Minister visited the stands of Qızıl Quyu, Cemsan Mezbahane Sistemleri, Atena, Kronen, Milkomac, Bayan Sulu, and Empire of Jams, among others, and enquired about the products and production technology presented by them, as well as the conditions in the country for their businesses. Mr Abasov also visited the national stands of Hungary and Serbia, where he discussed the possibility of future joint co-operation in the export of Azerbaijani products to these countries, and the importation of their national products.
This year, WorldFood Azerbaijan is attended by 120 companies from 24 countries, providing a unique opportunity to become familiar with the advanced developments and achievements of the global food industry. About 40% of the exhibition stands have been taken by Azerbaijani companies. And this is understandable! According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, in the first half of 2012 the production volume of the food industry increased by 16,8 times on the same period last year and accounted for 21,9% of the total manufacturing industry. Among the participants of WorldFood Azerbaijan 2012 are the following Azerbaijani companies
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whose products are in demand on both the local and international markets.
The growing number of companies from other countries, and especially those from Europe, account for 30% of the total number of exhibitors, while 40% of the participants are newcomers. This testifies to the high status of WorldFood Azerbaijan, which has become an effective business platform that facilitates the search for new partners and strengthens pre-existing relationships.
In addition to commercial organizations, the exhibition is also attended by government institutions. For example, the participation of Serbian and Afghan businessmen is organized with the active assistance of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the Farm Service Center Association of Afghanistan, respectively. From the Azerbaijani perspective, AZPROMO has a stand at which visitors can become acquainted with the specificities of the country's food market and its investment opportunities.
Covering virtually all areas of the industry, WorldFood Azerbaijan combines several thematic exhibitions – the food industry (WorldFood), beverages (WorldDrink) and technology (WorldFoodTech). The exhibition features stands from companies who produce meat, canned goods, ice cream, grocery products, various ingredients, cooling systems, confectionery, beverages, and equipment for laboratory tests and other areas of the food industry.
This year, the Caspian International Packaging, Tare, Label and Printing Exhibition, Ipack Caspian 2012, has become an independent industry event for the region’s packaging sector. This exhibition includes interesting solutions from packaging companies from Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey and the Czech Republic. The exhibition covers areas including packaging machines, equipment for packaging and printing on the packaging, packaging materials, finished products and labelling products.
These professional exhibitions will be saturated with events at which visitors will be able to see and taste food, test modern equipment, establish useful contacts, and sign lucrative contracts. Alongside WorldFood, the 6th Azerbaijan International Agriculture Exhibition, AgriHort Azerbaijan 2012, opened on Tuesday.
At AgriHort Azerbaijan goods and services from leading manufacturers from Azerbaijan, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Germany and Belgium, among other countries, can be found. The main zones of the exhibition cover feed additives, fertilizers, plant protection and livestock. Companies offering agricultural equipment and machinery are widely represented. For the first time, Germany has a common national stand at AgriHort Azerbaijan, at which global leaders in the production of agricultural machinery can be found, including the well-known names of Claas, Lemken, Grimme and RAUCH. In addition, the list of newcomers includes stands from Ukrainian companies engaged in breeding cattle, companies from the Netherlands specializing in the construction of greenhouses and their exploitation, and the Russian Federal Centre for Animal Protection.
Thus, the exhibition this year will open many new niches for co-operation and will facilitate the introduction of new technologies into the food and agricultural sector of Azerbaijan, contributing to the development of the sector. The exhibition will continue until 17 May.
It should be noted that over the past 7 years WorldFood Azerbaijan has received the recognition of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. The “Approved by UFI” status shows that the exhibition meets all international standards and demonstrates a high level of organization. Organizational support for the exhibition is provided by Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and by the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers’) of Azerbaijan Republic. The partners of exhibitions in 2012 are Azerfon LLC, AZAL, Greenwich Travel Club, Hilton Baku and Caucasus Point Hotel.