Sunaina Rana / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Manufacturers, professionals and key decision makers from the Middle East paper, office supplies, and stationery market shared the stage, as the industry’s dedicated trade show opened on Tuesday with the largest exhibitor turnout in its six-year history.
With 305 exhibitors from 36 countries spanning more than 5,000sqm at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Paperworld Middle East 2016 got underway with international and local players looking to the wider region as a key growth market. The show was inaugurated by HE Butti Saeed Al Ghandi, Second Vice Chairman of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.
Running until Thursday, March 3, the annual three-day event features seven country pavilions spearheaded by European heavyweights Germany, Italy, and Portugal, while UAE participation is again strong this year, with 31 exhibitors taking part.
Returning UAE exhibitors include Farook International Stationery, which exports 10 UAE paper and stationery brands throughout the world, proudly flying the ‘Made in UAE’ flag in more than 90 countries; along with Al Gurg Stationery, Al Fahidi Stationery.
Rubbing shoulders with them are major global manufacturers of stationery, office supplies, school products and gift articles, including Calidad from Australia, a producer of toner and ink cartridges; paper and pulp producers The Navigator Company from Portugal, Singapore-headquartered April, and Thai company Double A; as well as German makers of writing instruments, Lamy and Schneider.
All are showcasing their latest innovations to an expected audience of more than 6,000 trade buyers from throughout the Middle East and Africa, as they initiate new business, cultivate existing relations, and exchange regional viewpoints and preferences.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Paperworld Middle East’s organiser, Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Paperworld Middle East plays a key role in connecting suppliers and buyers under one roof, while it benefits from its strategic location in Dubai, long regarded as the ideal trading hub for imports, exports, and re-exports to surrounding Middle East and African countries.
“More crucially though, it plays a positive role in setting industry trends in stationery, paper and office supplies, presenting the latest inspirational products shaping the future of the regional market – from eco-friendly paper made from stone, to the latest school, household, or office items that are embracing the Internet of Things.”
Among those vying for the interest of regional trade is Saudi-based Hoshan Pan Gulf (HPG), which is looking to grow its distribution channels through participation at Paperworld Middle East 2016 for its wide range of office product brands such as Uniball, Staedtler, Pentel, and Maped.
“We have recently starting distributing Tesa, the German Adhesives giant,” said HPG’s CEO Abdulrahman Ibrahim. “Today we are delighted to showcase it as a successful launch at Paperworld Middle East and it’s a great addition to our DIY sector.
“We’ve also signed a distribution agreement with Simba bags and toys in selected countries of the Middle East and we’re very proud to share the exclusive collection here at the show. Our vision is to triple business in five years in the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth Independent States. This growth will be generated organically and by penetrating adjacent industries,” he added.
Paperworld Middle East has been the platform of choice for a large number of international exhibitors to launch products across the wider region. This edition sees a continuation of the trend with more than 50 exhibitors launching new products in 2016.
Among these is Swedish company Rahmqvist, Europe’s market leader for specialized office and school products, which is turning the spotlight on ergonomic office equipment with its Vidamic Ergonomics range of lamps, mouse pads, fore arm rests, laptop stands, and back and leg supports.