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SオO PAULO, BRAZIL — Called the largest plastics trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, Brasilplast is becoming more and more of a global event.

The biennial fair took place March 17-22 in Sテ経 Paulo, attracting 965 exhibitors, including 454 from abroad.

The biggest foreign delegation came from the United States, with 104 participants, followed by 93 German exhibitors, 68 Italian, 37 Argentine and 24 Taiwanese. At the fair two years ago, only 280 of the 700 participants were from abroad, and 50 of them had come from the United States.

About 64,000 people visited the 440 booths assembled in about 377,000 square feet at Brasilplast '97, according to show organizer Alcantara Machado Feiras e Promocテオes Ltda. Roughly 1,950 were foreign visitors, basically from South American countries.

Cincinnati Milacron Inc.'s Plastics Machinery Group made its debut at Brasilplast this year.

``The fair has become a major port for all the [countries] in the region to come to Brazil,'' said Richard Tinurelli, director of extrusion sales for Milacron in South America.

During the exhibition, the firm concluded a sale of four of its Pinnacle E55 twin-screw extruders to a new Brazilian PVC pipe plant for an undisclosed amount.

Officials of Avilla, Ind.-based Autojectors Inc., which makes vertical-clamp injection molding machines, worked out of the exhibit of Brazilian press maker Oriente Mquinas e Equipamentos Ltda. Orienta is handling Latin American sales and service for Autojectors. Mark Garrison, Autojectors' sales and marketing manager, made his first trip to Brazil.

``I'm extremely impressed with the local machinery people that are here, the size of the show, and also the international attention this show has received,'' Garrison said.

David K.F. Chik, regional sales manager at Welltec Machinery Ltd. in Hong Kong, also attended Brasilplast '97. Chik said he found the show well-organized. However, he added that communication posed a problem for visitors who did not speak regional idioms — Portuguese in Brazil, and Spanish in other Latin American countries.

``The fair doesn't offer any service to help the visitor with translations,'' he said.