Belgrade Furniture Fair returns to Belgrade Fair, Serbia, from 6-11th November. One of South-east Europe’s key furniture events, the 56th edition of the exhibition – which encompasses design, manufacturing and distribution – will benefit from a greater number of global brands, plus exhibitor awards and a diverse seminar programme.

Last year’s fair saw debut appearances from world-renowned exhibitors including Vitra, Elica, Mattiazzi, LaCividina, Forestier, Petite Friture, Mobles 114 and Emko, and this edition – which comprises the 56th International Fair of Furniture, Equipment and Interior Decoration, as well as the 56th International Fair of Woodworking Machines, Tools and Production Materials – promises to take a step forward in every area, from design quality to communication.

Belgrade Furniture Fair’s exhibitors are both regional – from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina – and international, drawing on US, Austrian, German, Italian, Polish and Turkish product. This year’s event will be more international than ever, bolstered by an improved hosted buyers programme.

Over six days, the show will present a diverse mix of discussions with designers and architects, while an international jury will grant the Golden Key awards to the most successful exhibitors at the end of this year’s fair.

The exhibition’s setting reflects a manufacturing base rife with competitive advantages. Serbia’s highly-skilled workforce has a strong tradition of woodworking, furnituremaking and exporting, and labour rates are among the lowest in Europe.

Raw materials are not in short supply – the country boasts some 2.5 million hectares of forests, with beech, oak and other hardwoods and softwoods in good number (some FSC-certified). Meanwhile, local manufacturers are able to produce particleboard, polyurethane foam and other important raw materials.

Within 2000km of most major European markets and Moscow, and with a currency linked to the Euro, meaning greater price stability, Serbia also enjoys free trade agreements with most major economies, which help make it an attractive prospect for those seeking new import opportunities.