Paper industry's centre of gravity has shifted eastward; environmental standards have become more stringent: Paper Arabia 2012
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, October 04 - 2012 at 09:03
- PRESS RELEASE
Paper industry in Dubai resembles the situation paper industry was in Singapore eight years ago, as it is becoming a regional trade hub for paper and tissues, according to statement conducted by major participant at Paper Arabia 2012, the first-of-its-kind industry expo at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre which concluded Wednesday (October 3, 2012).
Paper Arabia sent a clear message to industry players that environmental standards in the paper industry are going up, policies are becoming stricter and the demand for eco friendly products is on the rise. The next edition of Paper Arabia will be held from 29th September to 1 October 2013.
The fifth edition of Paper Arabia was a huge success. Companies' stands were buzzing with enthusiastic visitors from all over the region. Leading paper manufacturers found the opportunity to meet face to face. The increased number of Chinese and Indian suppliers sent out the signal that the center of gravity within paper industry has shifted eastward.
Industry expert says: "USA and Europe are no longer the dominant forces in paper industry. Asian companies are setting the standards in productivity and in diversifying paper products. Environmental issues also are becoming more relevant and more important in our region."
Mr. Suresh Kilam, of the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association, one of the world's biggest associations specializing in paper and Executive Director, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), world's second largest pulp and paper producing company and the largest vertically integrated pulp and paper producer in Asia, excluding Japan, said that UAE's paper industry resembles to a large extent Singapore's paper industry eight years ago and the country has great potential to be a trade hub for paper and tissues."
Suneet Sood, CEO of APP Dubai, added: "As a paper manufacturer in the Middle East, we need to showcase our products in an exhibition/trade fair and Paper Arabia is a good forum for paper manufacturers like us to participate. It's an opportunity for us to meet our customers. We saw customers coming from Iran, Kuwait and other GCC countries."
Talking about the popular paper varieties in the Middle East, Suneet said, "The writing and printing paper is of a major grade sold by us. This constitutes about 50% of our sales. In writing/printing we cover the uncoated wood free and the coated wood free. The second segment is packaging. Though the packaging sector is comparatively small for us, the growth is high in this sector. Last year, our packaging sales grew by almost 30%. Growth in stationery is stable, while the writing and printing paper segment has grown by over 10%."
Khanna said: "Paper Arabia offered through three days opportunities to manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to tap the Middle East and North African markets. The show placed special emphasis on hygiene and disposable products, reflected in the demand for various products such as wet wipes, baby diapers and sanitary napkins."
Manufacturers, converters, distributors and traders from all over the world visited Paper Arabia 2012 to grow business and share expertise.
Khanna added: "The UAE has certainly emerged as a leader in the re-export of paper and is making progress in producing paper. After talking with major paper industry players who participated at the show, we are upbeat about the industry which we think has great potential for further growth. Dubai has an instrumental role to play in the paper industry. Many high tech and heavy duty machines from China were sold at the three day show to companies from the region."
Khanna added: "Asia and India are becoming major suppliers of paper to the UAE and the region. They have taken a front seat against Europe and Unites States due to the Dollar-Euro fluctuation. We have felt dominant Asian participation at the show and these companies are willing to put more investments in the region through opening up headquarters in Dubai."
Sunil Bakht, Chairman of Orient Links was upbeat about the show. He said: "I think specific buyers and the decision makers are here. The quality of the visitors is very high. We had visitors from entire GCC as well as Nigeria, Kenya, Iran and Syria."
Bakht also believes that Paper Arabia is becoming more important and a must-attend event to participate and to visit. "It has evolved to become one of the most important paper industry events in the world," said Bakht.
Talking about his company's plans, Bakht added: "Packaging is growing very fast and we have to be part of this lucrative market. We are setting up a new division dedicated to packaging. At the moment we are selling more than 200,000 tons of writing and printing grade paper. But in the near future packaging boards will also be part of our offering."
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