Vitória Stone Fair in Brazil Rescheduled for June 2017 The largest annual stone event in the Southern hemisphere is back on the calendar.

Vitória Stone Fair/Marmo+mac Latin America will now take place on June 6-9, 2017, following a cancellation in February due to civic unrest in the host city.

Milanez & Milaneze, the event’s producers, announced the rescheduling in Mid-March.

“Brazil is important in the worldwide scenario of natural stones and continues to be a reference point for foreign purchases,” said CEO Cecília Milanez Milaneze. “We have already started different international actions to bring buyers and expositors from the strategic markets to the Vitória Stone Fair 2017, which will take place in June.”

Event representatives have already taken action by widely promoting the Vitória show at the Xiamen Stone Fair in China.

As an explanation for the cancellation in February, labor troubles involving regional police led to a lack of street patrolling and a wave of violent crime in the Vitória region. The temporary closure of public facilities and many businesses prompted event organizers to cancel the original dates for the safety of attendees and exhibitors.

 “We think that temporary difficulties act as a stimulus because at the same time they bring opportunities as well,” said Tales Machado, president of Espirito Santo’s stone association, Sindirochas. “The Espirito Santo State stone industry is formed by businessmen with strong entrepreneur capacity, which for many years has made the State of Espirito Santo the biggest producer, trader and exporter of stones in Brazil.

“We are optimistic that the new event date will go beyond our expectations of a great event.”

Espirito Santo is the main state producer of ornamental stones in Brazil. Stone is responsible for more than 80 percent of the exports and 10 percent of GDP of the Espirito Santo state.

Data from Ornamental Stones Industry from the Brazilian Association (Abirochas) shows that Brazil exported natural stones to 120 countries last year, with the United States, China and Italy as the main buyers. Shipments to these countries add up to 80.6 percent of Brazilian sales of this sector with Espirito Santo again in the spotlight, reaching 1.8-million metric tons and $921.4 million in exports.

The date change is also fortuitous because of a conflict with other events. For several years, stone producers had been complaining about the event’s proximity to Carnival and to the stone fairs in Xiamen and Izmir, as well as to the Revestir Show for design and interior architecture held annually in São Paulo, Brazil. Some exhibitors saw February as disadvantageous for Brazilian stone sellers: they said that at that time  of the year buyers’ stocks still were full as November used to be the preferred month for foreign importers’ stone shopping tours to the country.

“Vitória Stone Fair is one of the most important fairs of the sector in the world and the only one in Latin America, gathering businessmen, suppliers, local and international buyers in one place,” said José Eduardo Azevedo, Espírito Santo Development Secretary of State. “The fair has been already consolidated as an important international event, and contributes with the local market fostering employment and incomes.

“That is why the news that the fair will be take place in June is very positive, keeping Espirito Santo in the international marble and granite fairs route. The Espirito Santo 2017 events calendar will stay untouchable as well, and that is an important point for the Espirito Santo state economy.”

The Vitória Stone Fair, promoted by Milanez & Milaneze, in cooperation with the Veronafiere Group, will be held at the Carapina Events Center in Serra.

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