The third edition of Paperworld Middle East was a busy three day event, where exhibitors and visitors signed deals and renewed their relationship with clients. The event held at Dubai International and Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 5-7, 2013 was inaugurated by Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. The exhibition featured 270 exhibitors from 39 countries and was held along with Playworld Middle East. The show welcomed 5,912 trade visitors from 97 countries, which is an increase of 7.5% compared to the previous year.
“Both Paperworld Middle East and Playworld Middle East are events serving industries that see the Middle East as a market of enormous potential,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt. “That the exhibitions have garnered tremendous support from international exhibitors despite being new on the scene, not only highlights the significance of the regional market but also the value of these trade fairs as business enablers.”
Talking to ME Printer, Michael Dehn, Group Exhibition Director, Messe Frankfurt said, “We have a lot of loyal exhibitors at our Frankfurt show, and speaking to them I have realized that though they have very strong products they are not selling outside Europe. Now they are thinking to sell outside the region and Middle East is considered a suitable place by many of them to do business.”
He added, “Paperworld ME has been very diverse from the beginning, both in terms of business and exhibitors. At the first edition we had visitors from 108 countries and I believe that this year visitors from more than 100 countries will make it to the show. The expectations of exhibitors are very reasonable and they are confident with the show proceedings. Here you can see many high quality products and with so many to choose from, customers are spoilt for choice. An industry such as paper is not an easy one to do business and I am really happy to find that companies are finding ways to survive in the changing world.”
Michael said, “Visitors from outside the Middle East are very few at the show. So far we have seen 2 to 3 people from Uganda, couple of people from Kenya, Uzbekistan and the like. This small lot of people, who come from far away countries are really important, as they can prove to be an entry point for us in those countries.”
Commenting about the newly introduced gift wrapping competition, he said, “With the gift wrapping competition we wanted to engage retailers and to involve them more into the show. It’s a new concept and I hope that it takes off well.”
Major Brands and Their Products
Asia Pulp and Paper that participated at the show launched their premium stationery brand- Inspira. The company primarily focused on promoting the sales of exercise and spiral books of their stationery brand – Paperline and Sinarline. During the show, the company launched their premium photocopy brand called X-Brite. Suhasini C.G., Branding and Promotion Manager of the company said, “The exhibition was successful for us and we were able to do good business, especially there were many new enquires from the Middle East and African region.”
V. Sreekumar, April Fine’s Regional Director commented that the show was successful for the company. He said, “In Middle East and Africa we have shown a growth that’s quite substantial than other industry players. Based on figures of 2011, we have recorded a growth of 24%. In UAE, there’s a market for our prime products, which are fine paper, photocopy paper, paper for digital printing and we also have some variety for the packaging industry.”
Explaining about the family owned company’s facility, he said, “We have paper machines in Indonesia and also one in China. Apart from cut sheets, we also sell rolls and large sheets to the offset industry. Our flagship brand is PaperOne, and we sell our products to over 70 to 72 countries worldwide. Our total capacity in Indonesia is about 820,000 tons and on an average we sell about 550,000 tons.”
“April Fine is the largest producer of pulp in Asia and the second largest company in the world for producing pulp. We produce over 4 million tons of pulp in Indonesia and China,” concluded Sreekumar.
Portucel Soporcel is a company based in Portugal, and is one of the largest producers on the international market for uncoated woodfree (UWF) paper for the printing industry and for the office use. They also produce bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP). Hermano Mendoca, Marketing Director of the company explained, “There is huge demand for uncoated products in this region, and we also see a high interest from customer’s viewpoint. More than 52% of the total products sold are premium products and about 2/3rd of our sales consist of our own brands.”
Commenting about Paperworld ME he said, “Paperworld ME seems to be a very professional show to me. We expect positive outcome from this show and have been able to build new contacts through this show.”
He added, “Our Company invests a lot in creating its brands. We are the number one company in Europe for our segment, and globally we stand number six. To succeed in the market, either you must sell your products in a cost efficient manner or you should find specific areas in the market where you can differentiate yourselves.”
Talking about the trends in ME market, Hermano said, “In Middle East paper consumption is growing, which indicates that it’s an area that we should focus. We are here in the market for over 20 years now and after the installation of a new paper machine, the growth in Middle East has been more than 21%. At the moment we have our presence in 113 countries around the world, and are looking forward to produce more environmental friendly and innovative products in the future.”
Roxcel Trading, based in Vienna in Austria participated for the first time at Paper World Dubai. This year they exhibited together with subsidiary companies Brigl & Bergmeister – manufacturer of label papers and flexible packaging papers; and Obeikan Paper Industry, a paper mill in the Middle East and North Africa that specializes in duplex paper cardboard. Peter Hutter, Head of Department (Middle East) for Roxcel commented, “The core business of Roxcel-RMG Trading is the supply of raw material solutions for printing and packaging industries. It also deals with Graphical paper (WF coated and uncoated), Publishing/Mechanical paper (coated and uncoated), Packaging Board (Duplex and Folding Carton Board) and Corrugating Paper and Sack Kraft.” He added, “Exhibiting at Paperworld Middle East gave us a chance to personally meet with our partners, and to focus on growing trends and exchange ideas about recent market activities and developments.”
There were more than a few product launches by exhibitors as well as a range of innovative products and services being showcased for the first time in the region. Organisers reported a noticeable increase in trade buyers looking for prospective suppliers from the African continent at Paperworld Middle East.
There was also considerable interest in the dedicated Green Office Area which highlighted recyclable and environmentally friendly products that were available at the fair. The Green Office Area enjoyed the support of the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and was designed to enable easy access to trade visitors interested in sourcing ‘green’ products.