China, Singapore, Canada, the US state of South Carolina, Belgian region Walloon & Flanders and Northern Ireland have booked group stands in NEC Hall 5 adjoining Civils. The government-sponsored stands will be filled by companies looking for business in the UK and Europe.
'Many firms see the UK as a first step into the European market,' commented Civils manager Sally Devine. 'Firms are looking for distributors and specifiers.'
A surge of interest is expected from governments represented at Interbuild in 1997, including Australia, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and South Africa.
More than 150 Japanese buyers are to attend as part of an inward trade mission organised by Government agency British Trade International.
Although inward missions from other nations are in the pipeline, the Japanese mission will be 'by far the largest group of any one country, said BTI design and construction export promoter Ron Marsh. Previous missions have attracted mainly 'medium sized' firms, representing a cross-section of the construction industry.
A business centre is at the NEC will provide a forum for dialogue between exhibitors and Japanese buyers. Mission organisers are aiming to find out what markets the visitors are interested in so that they can be directed to relevant stands. 'Where companies are likely to be targeted we'll let them know in advance,' said Marsh.
Tel: Sally Devine 44 20 7505 6644