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Middle East Printing Market to Witness Robust Growth in 2018

Although many Middle Eastern consumers will follow the general global trend of adopting electronic alternative to traditional print media – like newspapers and magazines – there is still scope for in other segments, like printed packaging.

The total value for printing in the Middle East will be worth more than $20 billion for the first time in 2018 as the market continues to grow and transform. The latest data was drawn from exclusive research conducted for the Smithers Pira report entitled “The Future of Global Printing to 2022.” This is testament to the fact that the Middle East is still a relatively immature market for the consumption of printed media.

Although many Middle Eastern consumers will follow the general global trend of adopting electronic alternative to traditional print media – like newspapers and magazines – there is still scope for in other segments, like printed packaging. With a positive business landscape on the horizon, commercial print and package printing stakeholders from around the region gathered to discuss latest industry trends and how to sustain future growth at the first Gulf Print and Pack Summit at Dubai’s Roda Al Bustan Hotel on 4-5 March 2018.

The conference agenda for the summit was packed with day one presentations focusing on market trends and new technologies. The keynote presentation was delivered by Chris Lynch of platinum sponsor Xerox Middle East and Africa alongside Atlas Printing Press’ Amit Radia. Highlighting how digital print technology can transform the business of printing, they examined investing and installing digital equipment, how to reduce production costs whilst improving print quality and how to serve the growing market demand for personalized, seasonal and customized products.

The opening day also featured a high-level CEO printer panel discussion with participants including Vinesh Bhimani of Kimoha Entrepreneurs, Leo Pack’s Chandrasain Negandhi and Sebastian Lonth from Reprotronics. Other presentations include Stewart Johnston from the Smithers Group who explored marco-economic trends facing the wider printing industry and discussing projected growth forecasts for the region’s market.

FINAT’s president and managing director of OPM Group, Chris Ellison, shared his expertise in using MIS and workflow automation. The second day focused on the key challenges facing the industry and also considered the future of print. Sessions focused on the latest developments in logistics labeling and tracking technologies, wide format printing and diversifying from commercial printing into the high growth segment of flexible packaging.

LEONHARD KURZ’s Ayhan Usulu also spoke about innovating for the future through anti-counterfeiting solutions, while Enayet Kabir from Landmark gave his insight into the strategic sourcing and procurement of offset and digital printing. The conference closed with a retailer and brand panel discussion where contributors including Sukhdev Singh Saini of General Mills and Unilever’s Perwaze Qaiser, shared their experiences and best practice tips touching upon a range of subjects such as private label versus premium brands and how to maximize brand enhancement by creating a premium look for products.

Supporting the conference program, the summit also hosted some of the print industry’s leading manufacturers as part of its table-top exhibition. Appearing alongside headline sponsor Xerox, fellow exhibitors included AFRA International, Anoop Plastic Products, Bobst, Durst, Heidelberg, Heliozid, Konica Minolta, Nilpeter and Vinsak.

Lisa Milburn, managing director, Gulf Print & Pack said: “We have a very strong line-up of technical sessions, candid panel discussions and best practice business case studies in store for delegates. As the first dedicated summit we have organized in the region, the event will offer invaluable sourcing and networking opportunities with face-to-face interaction guaranteed between visitors, exhibitors and speakers. As well as being of significant educational value, the conference program delivers a comprehensive round-up of the latest technologies being released into the market and mix of timely topics designed to cover and give practical advice on how to deal with the real issues, threats and opportunities facing businesses.”

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of ME Printer magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional print industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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