This year Paper Arabia faced a number of challenges in relation with dismal economic situation in Europe and the absence of APP as its major sponsor.
ME Printer Magazine sat down with Satish Khanna General Manager of Al Fajer Information and Services to find out more about the upcoming Paper Arabia exhibition and Al Fajer’s plan to face the difficult challenges. Our take away from interview is that for organizer of the flagship Paper Industry event in the region the business is as usual.
It seems Paper Arabia this year is smaller than the 2012 edition, why is that?
Not at all but it is not bigger in size than last years, we were expecting a 20% growth in exhibit area this year, unfortunately economic situation in Europe didn’t helped us to achieve it. We were expecting a bigger participation from France and Germany in this year edition. At the same time we have increased participation from Asian countries.
What impact the absence of APP which has always been the prime supporter of Paper Arabia will have on the show?
We cannot say that APP is not participating in the exhibition, sure they are not sponsoring the exhibition this year, and reason behind it is too many exhibitions for the year 2013. They have extended their full support and cooperation to make this event a grand success. At the same time Paper Arabia is an established brand now and whosoever involved in Paper business in Middle East are already registered with us for the exhibition.
What would be the major focus of Paper Arabia 2013?
This edition we are focusing on Paper packaging, as the world is changing and moving towards more eco-friendly products it is the time for PAPER industry to reap the harvest. We expect big demand for high grade packaging boards especially from food packaging industry.
How many visitors you expect this year?
It will be more than 7000
Who are the major exhibitors this year?
We do have our regular exhibitors from UAE, Orient Links LLC, Abu Dhabi National Paper Mills, MEPCO Gulf, DARPAP, Triton International etc to name a few and to highlight this year we have international pavilions from Italy and China. Orient Links LLC is our Strategic Sponsor in PAPER ARABIA 2013.
There are large contingencies from China as well as India but European paper manufacturers are mostly absent this year, why is that?
This is what we have mentioned to your query for exhibition growth, Europe is still in the recovery path, and we hope by next year we can see number of companies and government agencies showcasing their products in PAPER ARABIA. We do have some paper mills from Italy exhibiting in PAPER ARABIA 2013
What are the dominating trends in paper industry today, more environmentally products, more paper for digital printing?
Eco-friendly packaging paper and high quality tissue paper is dominating in Middle East paper industry today and it will continue to grow in coming years.