The general economic conditions for the Intermat/World of Concrete Europe exhibition at the end of April in Paris, could hardly have been better – in France, all signals continue to point to growth both in building and underground construction. The number of exhibitors was accordingly high: 1,400 companies from the supplier industry had come to offer their products and services. Of these, 200 alone took part in the special exhibition World Of Concrete Europe (WOC).
The WOC participants in particular complained afterward that too few visitors had found their way to their exhibitions (see page 54, “Fantastic trade fair suffering from strike”). Whether that was really owing to the strikes of the railroad and the state-owned Air France personnel alone? Hard to say. It is undisputed that these strikes have had a negative impact on the French construction industry: in April, according to a trade association, around 2 million t of construction material were left without transport by rail or substitute trucks.
At the end of June, a decision on a possible railroad reform will be taken in France. The unions want to stop their strikes at that time. That is good: because, by then, the next important event for the French precast concrete industry could take place without hindrance – on 05 July, Cerib (Centre d’études et de recherches de l’industrie du béton, Study and Research Center of the Concrete Industry) will invite the sector to the Expertise and Construction Day in Épernon, near Paris. Since its debut four years ago, this event has increasingly grown to become a get-together of the French concrete industry. The quality of exhibitors and visitors certainly fits the bill.