Large international presence at Big 5

A total of 40 companies from France will be represented at the Big 5 in which starts today (Monday).

The event will see more than 30 international pavilions – including representatives from the GCC’s biggest construction markets – vying for the attentions of UAE buyers.

UBIFRANCE – the country’s agency for international business development – says it regards the region as a vital one for expansion.

A statement said: “For a number of years, French firms have been working to strengthen their presence within the area either by positioning themselves on major projects or by distributing products on the market that constantly incorporate new technologies.

“The French building sector is distinguished by the diversity and the quality and design of its products: innovative materials in the areas of smart buildings, home automation, sustainable and ecological buildings, energy efficiency and timber construction.”

Andy White, The Big 5’s group event director, said: “International companies see the Middle East – particularly the GCC – as a serious export market. Some of our largest international pavilions are from countries you might expect not to be active right now. Italy is our largest pavilion.

“We’re very proud to see an increasing number of exhibitors from countries where construction is slow. In Europe particularly – Italy, Spain, Greece – there’s very little construction. The companies there that are making construction products are looking at the Middle East and they’re exporting. They’re getting funded to do this, and they need to do this to survive.”

This year’s show will host more than 2,700 exhibitors, approximately 65% of whom hail from outside the GCC. Moreover, a quarter of those showcasing products and services at The Big 5 2014 have never done so before.