From left to right: Eva Suto (Strategy and Marketing Director at Heminsley & Tiger Marketing Agency), Csaba Harmath (Member of Consortium: Eastern European Commercial, Cultural, Tourism and Knowledge Center, and Anina Hough (Business Development and Exhibition Manager: SAITEX and THABS) signing the agreement for the Eastern European Pavilion

This year’s massive co-located AB7 and SAITEX Expo will host the first-ever Eastern European pavilion, organised with the cooperation of the Eastern European Commercial, Cultural, Tourism and Knowledge Centre Consortium. Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) is the continent’s biggest food and beverage trade show, and SAITEX is Africa’s biggest business opportunities expo. Both take place simultaneously at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand from 21-23 June 2015.

“Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class population is fuelling demand for new products, services and technologies across the Continent,” says John Thomson of show organisers Exhibition Management Services. “Eastern Europe is the latest region to recognise Africa as a growing consumer market, and leverage the networking power of AB7 and SAITEX to explore these opportunities.”

According to the African Development Bank, 34% of Africa’s 1.1 billion people are now considered middle class – that’s over 370 million people with money to spend.

“With almost 900 exhibitors from 35 countries, and over 14,000 visitors from all over the world, AB7 and SAITEX together form a highly effective business networking platform to gather information, explore new markets, find new products, suppliers and customers, and connect with people and companies determined to do business in Africa,” adds Thomson.

Why AB7 and SAITEX?

“It is vital for Eastern European companies to exhibit at shows like AB7 and SAITEX if they are serious about growing their business,” says Edina Szabó, Editor-in-Chief of H&T Business Journal. Szabó adds that the Consortium is also strengthening communication between Eastern Europe and Africa in education and cultural matters, as well as in business.

“We specifically chose AB7 and SAITEX because of the professionalism of the organisers and their increasing success every year – these shows deliver business results,” continues Szabó. “We have also noticed massive interest by Eastern European companies to explore new markets in South Africa – there is equally high demand for South African products in Eastern Europe.”

The Eastern European Pavilion will include exhibitors from Belarus, Hungary, Estonia and Ukraine, and the Eastern European Consortium will host an official opening ceremony on Monday 22 June 2015.

What visitors can expect

Estonia’s biggest exports last year were electrical equipment (23%,) mineral products (13%) and agricultural products and prepared food (9%.) More than 60% of Ukraine’s exports go to post-Soviet era countries. Its biggest exports include seed oils, corn and iron ore.

Hungary’s leading exports are motor vehicles, broadcasting equipment and video displays, while Belarus’s top five exports are refined petroleum, fertilizer, organic composite solvents, commercial vehicles and tractors.

“We are also planning to organise a fashion showcase of Eastern European clothing, and a conference focusing on our renewable energy products, due to the energy crisis in South Africa,” says Consortium member Csaba Harmath. It will also host a wine tasting event, where aficionados can compare South African wines with Eastern European wines.

“While South Africa has many famous beverage brands, Eastern European drinks are available, though less well-known, with few distributed in your country,” says Szabó. “We would like to use AB7 to change that.”

About AB7 and SAITEX

The Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) and Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) are two iconic South African trade shows on the world’s exhibitions calendar. Both have grown into global events, with almost 900 international exhibitors taking part, and over 14,000 visitors from 35 countries – including 19 in Africa. Together, AB7 and SAITEX provide a powerful springboard for any company to explore or expand market share in Africa.