'Import Shop' - Display of quality handicrafts from 62 countries
On 12 November the Import Shop, a symbol of Berlin, will be opening its doors for five days again. For over 47 years this event has been inviting visitors to take part in a fascinating shopping tour of products from around the globe. Every year, many thousands of devotees of quality handicrafts come to the trade fair halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, where products from all over the world await them.
Exhibits range from knitwear from South America, quality felt work from Central Asia, to ethnic jewellery from Africa and saris from Asia. Natural products and natural cosmetics are on offer, as are wooden toys from around the globe.
At the Import Shop 2008 Messe Berlin is offering a so-called comeback ticket for the first time. With these tickets all visitors (except school groups) may visit the fair on a second day of their choice from Wednesday to Saturday as of 4 p.m.
More than 530 exhibitors from over 62 countries will be in Berlin. Egypt is this year's partner country at the Import Shop Berlin, succeeding Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia, the partner countries of the last two years. 15 exhibitors will be representing the many-faceted cultural heritage of this North African country, and during the course of the fair there will be presentations of Egyptian folk art in Hall 9.
This is the first time that Portugal and Italy will be represented at joint stands at the Import Shop Berlin. In Hall 9, Portugal's exhibitors will be displaying mainly ceramics, embroidery, horn products and ironwork, clothing and accessoires, home textiles from sheepswool, bags and belts made of cork, and small leather articles.
Among the products visitors can find on Italy's joint stand in Hall 13 are leather goods, shoes, gloves, clothing, confectionery, shirts and knitwear from the region surrounding Naples.
Following a long break, Argentina and Paraguay are again represented at joint stands at the Import Shop. On Argentina's stand in Hall 9 makers of handicrafts will be exhibiting silverware, woven clothing and wooden jigsaw puzzles. The Art + Style section in Hall 12 will be displaying designer jewellery from Argentina.
Paraguay's Chamber of Handicrafts is organising the country's joint stand in Hall 9. This organisation was set up to support makers of handicrafts and their families. In Paraguay there are around 300,000 families producing handicrafts. At the Import Shop the products on display will include natural leather, jewellery, silverware, home textiles, hammocks made entirely from cotton, and shirts embroidered with typical designs from Paraguay.
The goods at the Import Shop Berlin are just as colourful as the exhibitors. If visitors follow the beat of drums they will be able to hear they will find themselves in the section entitled "Lebendiges Afrika" in Hall 8.1. Visitors in search of a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle should go to the "Natural Living" section in Hall 11.1, where exhibitors will be offering ayurveda products, feng shui, organic wine, natural cosmetics, eco fashion and wellness products and services.