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Middle East packaging industry growing between 5-15%

UA’s packaging industry to be worth $2.3 billion by 2016

Gulf News

Dubai: The Middle East packaging industry is poised for strong growth, say experts at the Gulf Print and Pack exhibition, which runs until April 11 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Manufacturers and suppliers of printers for packaging and labels say the industry is growing at a steady rate.

The Middle East packaging market is “growing five to six per cent year-on-year,” said Shyam Babu, director at Nilepter, a manufacturer of printers for labels and packaging, while Pankaj Patel, CEO at Printech, estimates it to be growing at “12 to 15 per cent year on year.”

Babu said his business is seeing “sustainable growth” compared to its performance during the financial crises in 2008.

In 2008, the local packaging industry suffered as consumption of goods declined — people left the country after losing their jobs. Now, however, the industry is seeing a revival as the economy continues to grow.

Patel credits this to the flourishing of local industries across the UAE and GCC, as well as the rise in population, and higher net income. “When local industries [and the population] are growing, packaging is growing too,” Patel said.

“The segments that are seeing most growth are halal cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food [packaging],” Babu added.

“Worldwide, food packaging [market] is growing more than 20 per cent. It went up by 24 per cent from 2011 to 2012,” said Ranesh Bajaj, director at Vinsak, a supplier of print equipment.

Additionally, the labels segment is growing in the region, according to Bajaj.

There is a move toward “paper labels because plastic labels are hard to recycle,” Bajaj added.

Equipment meant for making packaging labels accounted for 70 per cent of his company’s turnover last year, he said.

The packaging industry in the UAE, one of the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, is expected to be worth $2.3 billion by 2016, according to Bricdata’s Packaging Industry Outlook in the UAE report for 2012 to 2016.

Sarah Algethami is a trainee at Gulf News