Worldfood Azerbaijan 2011: the meeting place cannot be changed
Today is the last day of the 17th Azerbaijan International Food Industry Exhibition WorldFood -2011, held in Baku and traditionally arranged by Iteca Caspian LLC and ITE Group Plc. The efficiency of this event and its topicality resulted in a positive international response, manifested by the participation in the exhibition of 100 companies from 19 countries. The success of the largest Trans-Caucasian forum of representatives from the food industries of many countries can also be linked to its venue. This year WorldFood Azerbaijan changed “its permanent place of residence” for the first time in its history and settled into the new Baku Expo Centre with its larger exhibition space and better facilities for participants.
Today the country’s official economic policy is to expand the non-oil sector of industry, and the leaders of our country are encouraging the development of agricultural industry and agricultural sector which has recently been experiencing a renaissance. WorldFood Azerbaijan systematically reflects the successes of this most significant sector of the economy, demonstrating the positive potential of products, technologies, services and financing which ensure the excellent operational efficiency of equipment and keep the national industry up-to-date with global trends.
While meeting the needs of specialists in the food industry, the exhibition also demonstrates the latest technologies used by the global food industry. A stable agro-industrial sector is considered to be an important factor in creating stability and prosperity for a country, and the sector-based social programme creates millions of new jobs and serves as a guarantee for the development of the macro-economy. This fact was mentioned by the speakers at the official opening ceremony of the exhibition, particularly by Rasim Mamedov, Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Industry and Energy, Farhad Osmanov, Leader of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ (Employers’) Organizations, and by Farid Mamedov and Mr Ludger Muller, the organizers of the event. The participants and honoured guests at the ceremony underlined the significance of WorldFood Azerbaijan in the development of international strategic partnerships, mutually beneficial business contacts and an increased exchange of experience between the specialists of all continents. Mrs Sylvia Meyer-Kaibic, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Austria to Azerbaijan particularly emphasized the most favourable conditions created by the exhibition for the demonstration of the potential of interested companies. In her opinion the exhibition promotes the further strengthening of mutually beneficial international business relationships and Austria having such a large stand for the first time is testimony to the excellent prospects for large-scale partnerships
“We hope that the annual WorldFood exhibition will allow us to establish close contacts with representatives from the companies showcasing their goods and services here.” Such hopes were expressed repeatedly by exhibitors at the event whose stands attracted the attention of thousands of visitors. The meat producers, including poulterers, as well as producers of dairy products, ice-cream, tinned foods, fruit and vegetables, baby foods, dieting foods and other products were presented in their traditional sections. The stands literally became hospitable cafe-pavilions where most visitors were able to sample the many delicious exhibits. Ice-creams and sweets, sandwiches and ready-meals, juices, wines, tea, cold beverages, instant foods and snacks, spicy marinades and delicacies, cheeses, yoghurts and dairy products were given the highest approval by visitors to the exhibition and afforded pleasure to everybody.
The undoubted significance of WorldFood Azerbaijan is due both to its contribution to the further development of the national food industry and to its influence on the socio-economic development of the country as a whole. The intense interest in this event in the Caspian region can also been explained by the fact that the exhibition combined five thematic WorldFood expositions. Thus, due to well thought-out arrangement, the WorldFood, WorldDrink, FoodPack, WorldFoodTech and AgriHort exhibitions covered almost all areas of the industry, underlining the promising outlook for the demonstrated technologies and equipment. The experts, engineers, scientists, specialists and entrepreneurs in the food industry, having visited the exhibition and spoken to and exchanged opinions with their foreign colleagues, were able to become acquainted with the grand proposals of the exhibitors. Innovative materials and equipment in the packaging sector, the best technological solutions for food processing and the production industry, equipment for supermarkets and laboratory analysis, agricultural equipment and machines and specialized additives, fertilizers and veterinary medicines were all on display at the exhibition.
The steady interest in the multiple knowledge-based proposals that have become the pride of the majority of the event’s participants, were also popular with businessmen. Confidence in the exhibition is always underlined by the real business relationships formed and WorldFood Azerbaijan 2011 resulted in the signing of a number of contracts and agreements, even on the first day, which made guests from Turkey, Russia, Germany, Austria, Iran, Ukraine and Lithuania very happy. All this proves, once again, that the Azerbaijan Republic has surely laid the path for its systematic integration into the global community. We must study the experiences and latest technologies of developed countries and introduce Azerbaijan slowly, taking into consideration our climatic and soil conditions and the peculiarities of the development of our agricultural industry alongside the best global practices. In this context it is not surprising that 30% of the exhibition space was occupied by local companies including both regular participants and highly specialized debutants that have availed themselves of this unique chance to demonstrate their potential to such a wide audience.
In terms of the development of agriculture in the country, special attention is being paid to the technical re-equipping of the sector and the procurement of production methods, mineral fertilizers and chemical and biological preparations for the protection of crops. Rural producers of agricultural products are exempt from almost every type of tax, fuel and mineral fertilizers are sold to farmers at preferential prices, and agricultural equipment is available to them on a leased basis. Year after year state assistance for the agricultural sector increases and strong support is steadily provided to encourage the creation of favourable conditions for the signing of the mutually beneficial contracts and agreements promoted at the WorldFood Azerbaijan exhibition.
While it is part of the world-famous WorldFood brand which unites the largest food industry exhibitions, the present exhibition has made its own considerable contribution to the development and promotion of the international food industry. It is no accident that during the past six years WorldFood Azerbaijan has been awarded with an “Approved by UFI” (the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Award which testifies to the compliance of the show with all international standards and demonstrates the high level of organization that goes into the event.
The partners of ITE Group Plc., namely EUF (Turkey), GIMA (Germany) and ITE Gulf (UAE), have helped with the creation of this event and due to their contributions the exhibition has gathered a great number of international exhibitors and visitors. The exhibition is supported by the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ (Employers') Organizations of the Azerbaijan Republic (ASK). Azerfon-Vodafone, AZAL, Greenwich Travel Club, Caspel and Caucasus Point Hotel are the partners of all exhibitions held in 2011.