The growing consumer markets in the Middle East and Asia offer good opportunities to the gravure industry. This was the conclusion of the first international conference on packaging gravure in Dubai, UAE, organized by the European Rotogravure Association. Some 80 packaging printers, cylinder engravers and their suppliers attended the event in March, to discuss the economic perspectives in these emerging markets and the latest technical developments of gravure.
ERA secretary general James Siever stated: “Dubai has developed in recent years into a gateway to Middle East and Asian consumer markets and thus has become of great interest to the gravure industry. As these markets show a dynamic tendency for gravure the ERA is pleased to support this development and offers co-operation with Middle East and Asian gravure printers.” Saudi Arabia, the largest and fastest growing packaging market in the Middle East. The driving factors for the growth are a highly developed petrochemical industry providing most of the polymers used in packaging, the highest number of food processing and manufacturing companies in the Middle East, and a young and growing population.
The second largest flexible packaging market in the region is Egypt, where the young and fast growing population creates a “fertile soil for growth of fast moving consumer goods”. The third power in the area is the United Arab Emirates which is, according to one speaker, “an ideal place to launch and test markets and a trendsetter for the rest of the region”.
The country which offers the largest opportunities for flexible packaging in the Asian region is India. With over a billion inhabitants, it is one of the world’s largest producers of food grains and the largest producer of fruits and vegetables.
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