THE PRLOVDIV FAIR - FROM SURVIVAL TO DEVELOPMENT
The Plovdiv Fair is usually referred to as the showcase of Bulgarian economy. If we accept this cliche as an undeniable truth, we can relax as the foreign participants in the 59th edition of the International Technical Fair are adamant that the business climate in Bulgaria is improving. Moreover, the foreign exhibitors this year are 37% up from 2002. According to Yordan Radev, Director of the Plovdiv Fair, this tendency indicates that the interest towards our country is increasing. After the Deputy Premier and Minister of Economy Lidiya Shouleva officially opened the international autumn fair and saw various exhibition halls, she mentioned that she was pleasantly surprised by the optimism of Bulgarian entrepreneurs regading their own business. Bulgarian firms which participate in the fair are already passing from the stage of survival to a development strategy, Ms. Shouleva summed up her impressions. However, the sad fact is that the presence of domestic companies in the autumn fair is 30% down from last year. By tradition, mobile operators offered the greatest surprises to visitors. In the very first days of the fair MTel announced it was launching a new service for sending multimedia messages, combining picture, sound and text. At its stall the company presented also the possibility for high-speed transmission of data through the GPRS technology. Nokia representatives pointed out that a Tetra network that is unique of its kind in the Balkans has been set up in Bulgaria by finances from the EU's PHARE Programme. It is intended for the Border Police National Service. Krassimir Ganchev, Director of Nokia - Bulgaria said that the exchange installed in Sofia implements the most state-of-the art technologies in the sphere of communications. However, the French satellite KEO of Aerospecial turned out to be the greatest attraction for the guests to the technical fair in Plovdiv. Exhibition hall No 22 where it is displayed is visited by almost 3,000 people every day. The visitors are given an opportunity to write down their message to the space. The satellite will launched in the year 2005.