By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 20 May 2014:
The tenth Libya Build 2014 exhibition was opened yesterday by Prime Minister-elect Ahmed Maetig, despite the . . .[restrict]security troubles in Tripoli the previous night. Various ambassadors, including the British, Italian and Turkish, and commercial attaches from Turkey, Italy, Holland, France and Austria were present.
Those present at the opening ceremony were surprised – pleasantly – to see the Prime Minister elect, as opposed to the caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Thenni or someone from the Ministry of Economy. Maetig did a whirlwind tour of the exhibition stopping at numerous Libyan stands as well as the Turkish, Italian, and Austrian pavilions.
No less than 494 companies are participating from 23 different countries. International participants make up 63 percent of the participants. Participation by Libyan companies was up 9 percent – the highest in the ten year history of the show. Outdoor exhibition space participation has also increased by 12 percent, again the most in the show’s history – organizers ATEX say.
Cemil Filizfidanoglu, International Relations Manager of Troy Expo, organizers of the Turkish exhibitors said that “Turkish companies still think it is important to come to Libya”, when asked if he still thought it was important to come and exhibit in Libya.
Libya “is still one of the biggest markets for Turkish companies. There will always be Turkish companies doing business in Libya.
Asked what he thought of the number of visitors on the first day compared to last year, he said that he thought it was down on last year – in view of yesterday’s security problems. However he was optimistic saying that “when things hopefully calm down, we will have more visitors and business”.
In reality, many visitors and exhibitors thought it was a miracle that the show continued with so many participants and visitors – in view of last night’s events. There were some – very few – empty exhibition booths, with some unable to come due to flight cancellations whilst others elected to cancel their trip. There is talk of members of one national pavilion leaving tomorrow – but nothing was confirmed.
There were, like last year’s event, opening day teething problems. The organizers are still unable to estimate electric consumption by the exhibitors, which led to a power shortage. This affected the air conditioning in some halls, including where Libya Herald’s booth was in Hall 1. This also meant that the promised free WiFi internet, supplied by Rawafed, was not working all day – which is a great inconvenience for an online publication! [/restrict]