Middle East printing trends on spotlight at Gulf Print & Pack Summit
⦁ Top industry players optimistic of growing business in the region
⦁ Region to print 1.68 trillion A4 sheets in 2018
⦁ Newspapers remain the largest printed product by output, but also the fastest declining as readers move to digital screens
Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 3 March 2018 – Commercial printing and packaging trends in the Middle East will be on spotlight at the inaugural Gulf Print & Pack Summit to be held on 4-5 March 2018 in Dubai.
Latest data from Smithers Pira, the worldwide authority on the packaging, print and paper supply chains offering testing and information services, show the Middle East will print the equivalent of 1.68 trillion A4 sheets this year, while newspapers are the largest printed product by output but also the fastest declining as readers move to digital screens.
Other significant findings from the Smithers Pira report reveal that advertising, packaging and labels will be the fastest growing end-use applications for print (by value) in 2018; and that the region will consume 91,640 tonnes of printing ink in 2018, with sales revenue from ink rising at 9.1 percent compared to 2017. As a result, inkjet is now the third largest market segment for new print equipment sold for Middle East installations, and the fastest growing.
Lisa Millburn, managing director, Gulf Print & Pack, explains: “Gulf Print & Pack Summit will be taking a hard look at the major issues affecting the printing sector both in the Middle East and the wider international scene. The event is set to be a lively forum for ideas and interactive discussion with a heavy focus on innovative production strategies and key technological developments. Delegates will be certain to take away good ideas and effective tips for ways to improve and streamline their operational processes and learn how they can implement the latest technologies to enhance their productivity and add value to their business and clients.”
A series of short presentations will cover technical innovation and industry applications from leading industry players such as Heidelberg, Bobst, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East and Phoenix Technologies.
The program features two standout panel discussions, with a CEO group to discuss initiatives for business expansion and how to remain competitive; as well as new technologies to modernize a printing plant and areas for investment. Among the panel participants are Vinesh Bhimani, Managing Director, Kimoha Entrepreneurs; Amit Radia, CEO, Atlas Printing Press; Chandrasain Negandhi, Managing Director, Leo Pack; and Sebastian Lonth, General Manager, Reprotronics.
A retailer and brand panel discussion will see Sukhdev Singh Saini, EMEA packaging lead at General Mills, and Perwaze Qaiser, Regional Head of packaging R&D for MENA, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus at Unilever, discussing private label versus premium brands, propelling personalization with seasonal, regional and local promotional products, and maximizing brand enhancement by creating a premium look.
The conference program is supplemented by a table-top exhibition, where the likes of Bobst, Heidelberg, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Nilpeter, Durst, Epson, Heliozid Oce, Afra, Anoop and Vinsak will be presenting their latest services and technologies and seeking to meet and educate attendees and potential partners from across the region.
Vinsak, for example, will present technologies from its own portfolio as well as partners Lombardi, Iwasaki and Pantec as it seeks to address predicted growth in flexo printing, UV inkjet for serialization and brand protection, and packaging for e-commerce. Vinsak goes on to identify a growth in packaging companies helping brand owners fight counterfeiting, sustainability initiatives within the packaging industry and an increase in the use of packaging formats like IML and HTL, taking market share away from self-adhesive stocks. More than 30 percent of Vinsak’s revenue comes from the MENA region, and the company predicts healthy growth the market in the future.
Afra, meanwhile, sees digital printing, light packaging, flexible packaging and corrugated as areas for growth. Vinay Krishnan, general manager at Afra, identifies how the region’s print industry is going through a drastic change, with Gulf Print & Pack Summit set to address this. “The major topic of discussion should be solutions for the current market problems of the printers in MENA that are contributing to the downfall of the commercial print business in the area.”
Konica Minolta specifically sees opportunities for digital printing technology in numerous markets over the next five years. Nayyar Ansari, production print business Development Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East, says: “Digital printing equipment sales show strong growth in all regions as printers understand how to capitalize on the opportunities. The technology is necessary for direct mail, transactional and security where variable data is used. It is growing in books, labels and commercial printing, while making inroads into catalogues, magazines and the big opportunity in packaging.”
Xerox identifies the event as an opportunity for business leaders and owners to discuss graphic communications market trends in the coming years and highlight specific market sectors and applications which represent growth opportunities for print service providers (PSPs). Identifying the right digital technology in which to invest and helping PSP’s overcome the issues which have prevented them from migrating more work from offset to digital will be important topics to explore. Chris Lynch, head of production Technology, Xerox Middle East and Africa, says “The MENA print market is hugely important for Xerox because it is a developing market where there is a growing demand for digital printing technology. However, with many competing suppliers vying for the same customers, it is likely that there will be some consolidation in the market with mergers and acquisitions taking place. That said, there is still a huge opportunity for growth in both toner-based and inkjet technologies and we expect to see PSPs develop their services to become more niche or specialized as they seek to develop stronger relationships with their clients and provide a greater range of services, such as marketing and distribution/fulfilment.”
Roger Nicodeme, General Manager, sales, Heidelberg Middle East, confirms that MENA is a very important region, even though the size of business is not as large as China, Europe or America. “It is a developing market and printers are eager to learn and to implement new technologies into the printing process. More commercial printers will disappear, and more competition will come to packaging.”
Heidelberg sees packaging, labels, digital and workflows to be the main areas of growth in the near future. Heidelberg will be showcasing zero defect packaging at Gulf Print & Pack 2018. The printing machinery manufacturer notes continued globalization, rising demand for different types of packaging and a shorter time to market being accompanied by increases in complexity. This can increase the risk of errors in production. A smart print shop, Heidelberg states, featuring its automated quality assurance technologies, can eliminate the risks.
Bobst likewise sees the main development in the MENA printing industry over the next five years as being packaging. Pharmaceutical and food applications will see a greater volume of short runs with higher quality requirements. This will drive digital adoption. In addition, evolving health, safety, security and the environment (HSSE) regulations will require investment in cutting-edge technology to respond to these requirements.
Mohamed Hassairi, Communications Manager at Bobst Africa & Middle East, comments: “The MENA print industry is important to Bobst as it is expected to keep growing and there are countries having big potential. Also, the growing number of Bobst machine installations is very important for the service business.”
Nilpeter Middle East highlights the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and hygiene segments as ones to watch in the near future. Company representative Manu Muraleekrishnan notes how mid web flexible packaging is of growing importance, along with the value addition provided by digital printing. As such, Nilpeter’s presence at Gulf Print & Pack 2018 will place a focus on the company’s new FA and FB presses, and the Panorama hybrid press platform that combines digital and flexo technology. AB Graphic finishing options will also be showcased. “The MENA region holds a decent share of Nilpeter’s overall business. We are taking the MENA market very seriously due to the developments happening in recent years,” comments Muraleekrishnan.
Further details on the summit agenda as well as registration procedure are available on the website at http://www.gulfprintpack.com/summit.
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