The 18th edition of the World Ceramic Tiles Forum took place in Mexico City, between 18 and 20 October 2011. The Forum has been growing every year, with 13 countries present in this edition. Argentina and the United Arab Emirates joined for the first time this year older members such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. Ceramic tiles is one of the few industries to have a forum of meetings and discussions at worldwide level, the countries represented in the World Forum account for 90% of the global ceramic tile production.
The 2011 meeting was chaired by Alfonso Panzani, as President of the World Ceramic Tiles Forum. The five main themes of discussion were the global trends in ceramic tiles production and consumption, the status of trade liberalisation in the ceramic tiles industry, international standardisation and industry initiatives to promote ceramic tiles and the sustainability of ceramic tiles.
One of the main conclusions of this meeting was that the Forum should have a more active and decision making position and become more than just a place to exchange information. The Forum should achieve common agreements, even if not all the countries feel fully satisfied with them. In order to achieve these goals members feel the need to have a better work structure for the Forum, with dedicated resources working during the whole year to receive information from countries and structure the discussions. This way, participants would be able to give direct input on proposals, common propositions and shared ideas.
To conclude, Mr Alfonso Panzani underlined the role that the World Ceramic Tile Forum should play as developer of the industry. The Chairman also stressed the fact that very good results can come out if all the participants work towards a common goal. Mr Panzani adapted the words of John Kennedy to synthesise the 2011 edition saying that ceramic tile manufacturers should question "what we can do for our industry and not what the industry can do for us".
This year’s edition of the World Ceramic Tile Forum will be held in Kiev, Ukraine, from 27 June to 1 July 2012. For the CET members the Annual Meeting will be held on 26 and 27 June also in Kiev, in order to allow CET members to attend both events.