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On May 21, the 21st Azerbaijan international food industry exhibition, WorldFood Azerbaijan 2015 started its work in Baku Expo Centre. Over the years, WorldFood Azerbaijan has become a landmark for Azerbaijani and international manufacturers, and is a starting point on the Azerbaijani market for many of today's industry leaders. This year, the exhibition is taking place as part of the programme for the Year of Agriculture, as announced by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has been attending the exhibition for several years and has become acquainted with the new technologies within the industry. This year, the head of state has also visited WorldFood Azerbaijan. He has been informed of the exhibitionís main directions and has attended the national stands.
At the opening ceremony, Heydar Asadov, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan noted that the agricultural sector was one of the main directions of the non-oil sector of the economy. Meanwhile, the main focus lies with food security, competitiveness and imports. The current exhibitions not only ensure the exchange of advanced experience, but also ensure competitiveness of Azerbaijani products within the food market. Vladimir Semashko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus mentioned the growing role of the agricultural sector within Azerbaijanís economy and stressed the relevance of Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations in the implementation of large international projects within the agricultural sector. In his speech, Mr Edward Strachan, Executive Director of ITE Group Plc. expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan for their support.
The exhibition occupies two pavilions and an outdoor area at Baku Expo Center. This year, the exhibition bring together 151 companies from 33 countries, a 15% increase from last year. Local manufacturers and distributors make up 26% of the total number of exhibitors. Among the regular local exhibitors are leading companies such as Atena, Azersun Holding, BMS Agro, Caspian Construction Systems, Gabala Canning Factory, Metak and many more. Azerbaijani winemakers participate for the first time on a group stand, offering the best products from nine Azerbaijani vineyards.
This year's newcomers, including companies from Azerbaijan, Algeria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the United States and other countries, account for 40% of all exhibitors. Alongside the individual stands, there five foreign group stands. Representatives of companies and factories from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland present both their popular products and those that are new to the Azerbaijani market. The participation of national stands attests to the prestige of WorldFood Azerbaijan within the international food market.
Due to the Year of Agriculture, the exhibition presented a wide variety of new products. As usual, the exhibition present fish, meat and poultry, tea and coffee, milk and fat-and-oil products, frozen foods, dried fruits, groceries, confectionery and bakery products, fruit and vegetables, canned food, refrigeration systems, bakery equipment, and packaging equipment.
For several years, Ipack Caspian, the Caspian international packaging, labelling and printing exhibition, has been held in conjunction with WorldFood Azerbaijan. This year, packaging machines and equipment for packaging production, packaging materials and finished products, as well as labelling products presented by companies from Azerbaijan, the UAE, Turkey, the Czech Republic and other countries.
Food Gallery by Nubar Hasanova, a photography exhibition, introduce international exhibitors and visitors to Azerbaijani cuisine. The exhibition is being held to support young artistic talent. The bright and vivid photographs of Azerbaijanís national cuisine will be presented in the foyer of Baku Expo Center, accessible to everyone.
WorldFood Azerbaijan 2015 and Ipack Caspian 2015 are supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Foundation (AZPROMO) and the National Confederation of Entrepreneursí (Employers') Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASK). The exhibition is organised by Iteca Caspian and its partner ITE Group. ITE Groupís network of offices involved in the project includes ITE London, EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany), ITE Poland, and ITE Gulf (Dubai).