20th GAST fair opens in Split

SPLIT, 4.3.2015.

The 20th GAST fair, at which exhibitors from 11 countries will present beverages, food, hotel and catering equipment and furniture, opened on Wednesday in the southern coastal town of Split

The fair, held under the auspices of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, was opened by her envoy, Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Zlatko Zevrnja, who said that the event was extremely important in promoting the county as a gastronomic destination.

In an effort to win the favour of the market, native cuisine is making its mark and Split-Dalmatia County stimulates local culinary products, Zevrnja said.

He underscored that the county's tourism was developing by the year and that around two and a half million tourists visited the county each year, generating around 13 million overnight stays.

Split Mayor Ivo Baldasar highlighted the significance of the GAST fair but also its timing ahead of the coming season, when numerous guests come to Split to establish business contacts and conclude contracts.

The CEO of the Sajam (Fair) company, which organises the GAST fair, Sanja Vukovic-Veic, said that despite the difficult economic circumstances GAST was 12% stronger this year compared with last.

The president of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bruno Bojic, said that GAST had helped many companies from his country to present themselves and establish contacts. Croatia is Bosnia and Herzegovina's most important trade partner, he said, adding that cooperation could be further enhanced with the two countries appearing together on third markets.

The GAST fair, to last until March 8, has brought together exhibitors from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Serbia, Poland and Indonesia.