Sharjah / EMIRATES BUSINESS
With the region looking at increasing its downstream capabilities as part of its economic diversification policies, the regional plastics, molds, printing and packaging industries are virtually untouched by declining oil prices as well as other economic and political headwinds.
Top executives, who turned up for the opening of a multi-industry trade event at Expo Centre Sharjah, believe that demand from domestic as well as Asian markets is not hit and this will prompt regional industry to continue to invest in advanced production & processing technology to achieve greater efficiency. Expo Centre Sharjah has become a gathering point for the regional plastics, mold-making, printing and packaging industries as the 3rd Plastivision Arabia, 3rd Arabia Mold and 2nd Print Pack Arabia got under way on February 22.
The four-day event was opened by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salim Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. The opening ceremony was also attended by Mr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, senior executives of co-organisers All India Plastics Manufacturers Association, DEMAT and Indian Printing, Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, other dignitaries and industry representatives.
“There is a renewed focus on the downstream capabilities by regional governments. Besides, the UAE is the least impacted by oil slump because it is the most diversified among oil-exporting countries. The industry is also upbeat because demand for plastics and packaging products has not diminished. Hence, business owners and industrialists are keen to explore innovative technologies and maintain or establish business contacts with suppliers, even if business projects are not rolled out immediately,” said Mr. Midfa.
Experts also point out that low oil prices will in fact prod the plastics and packaging industries to improve their efficiency and sustainability across all facets of the sector, and in the process keep their products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.
Besides, though the UAE’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 3 per cent in 2016, according to the median forecast by several research reports and consultancies, the manufacturing industry, including plastics processing, printing & packaging, is likely to expand at a rate greater than the GDP growth.