Global paper and stationery manufacturers are increasingly eyeing the lucrative markets of the Middle East, with the UAE's position as the trade and commercial hub of the region being key to unlocking doors to regional emerging markets.
The spurt in international interest is being driven by the Middle East’s demand for paper and board which, according to RISI, a leading research centre for the global paper and pulp industries, has grown at a compound average growth rate of 5.7 per cent since 2000, reaching 8.1 million tonnes in 2013.*
Much of the regional supply and demand flows through the UAE; figures released recently by the UAE National Bureau of Statistics show that, in 2013, the value of the imports, exports and re-exports of pulp, paper, paperboard, and printing industry products in the Gulf country grew 12 per cent year-on-year, at US$ 2.8 billion.
The growing international interest in the market is also evident by the large number of participation requests being received by industry’s leading regional trade event, Paperworld Middle East, which takes place from 2-4 March 2015 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
With paper and board demand set to shoot up to 9.2 million tonnes by the end of 2015, the Middle East is bucking the trends of the digital evolution, and embracing the power of the written word – in print.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Paperworld Middle East, said: “Even with all the advancements of digital media and the shift of mass communications online, there is still no better way to express the spirit of the written word than on paper, whether it be for novels, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, gift cards; the list goes on.”
“The demand for paper, stationery, and office supplies in the MENA region is still on the rise, as is the demand for exhibition space at Paperworld Middle East. Located in the region’s leading trade and business hub, the event presents international manufacturers and suppliers with valuable insights into the regional market, as well as generates new business opportunities.”
The vast range of international exhibitors at Paperworld Middle East 2015 are looking forward to interacting with regional trade buyers and are confident of dramatically improving their business in the region.
Nicolas Poyant, International Development Manager at Beaumont Group, leading French manufacturers of gift wrapping paper, was among those extremely positive ahead of the three-day show.
“We are looking forward to working with major retail store chains in Dubai and the main importers of paper materials in the UAE,” said Poyant. “We are currently doing very well thanks to quality distributors in Dubai, and we are expecting to establish more relationships with regional distributors via Paperworld Middle East, thus doubling our turnover in the region in the coming years.”
Turkish manufacturer Guney Lastik was another exhibitor full of confidence in the market, and will return to Paperworld Middle East 2015 for the second year in a row with its latest range of PVC coated covers for diaries, boxes, ring binders, and invitation cards.
Sadi Baydu, Export Manager for Guney Lastik, said: “Paperworld Middle East is the focal point of the regional paper market, presenting us the gateway not only to the Middle East, but also Asia and the Far East. We will use the show to introduce our new covering designs, and look forward to growing our presence in the market.”
Other headline international exhibitors at the fifth edition of Paperworld Middle East include Mega Dynamic Marketing from Malaysia, National Pen & Plastic Industries from India, and Jarir Marketing from Saudi Arabia.
Dollar Industries, manufacturers of writing instruments from Pakistan, is targeting a 25 per cent increase in regional sales according to Sales Director, Anis ur Rehman, while Portuguese-based paper manufacturer Clipouro is also eyeing a 20 per cent increase in business in 2015 through its participation at Paperworld Middle East.
Paperworld Middle East 2015 is expected to grow by at least 10 per cent year-on-year, having featured 271 exhibitors from 37 countries in 2014, attracting 6,429 visitors from 105 countries.
In addition to top international exhibitors, the three-day event will also host several UAE-based powerhouses including Farook International Stationery, Al Fahidi Stationery Centre, and Al Gurg Stationery.
Returning once again is the popular Green Office Area, a dedicated section that showcases sustainably produced essential office supplies from pens and paper, to more elaborate items such as paper shredders.
Paperworld Middle East also features the Playworld Pavilion, presenting regional trade buyers with the world of kids’ toys, games, and children’s lifestyle products.
Wrapping up the list of show features at Paperworld Middle East 2015 is Wrap Star - the region's only gift wrapping competition, giving employees at regional retail outlets and malls a chance to showcase their gift wrapping skills to a global audience.