and the father and son team of Bilal Sheik and Hilal Sheik of Spotlit Printers in Karachi were at the Esko stand at the show.
We had an opportunity on the opening day of IPEX SA to meet some of the South Asian visitors who had already arrived. They happened to be leading packaging companies of Pakistan. Muhammad Arif Mian and Khurshi Anwar of Raiffisons in Lahore, and the father and son team of Bilal Sheik and Hilal Sheik of Spotlit Printers in Karachi were at the Esko stand at the show.
According to these extremely successful packaging industry leaders, the Pakistan economy has been booming and the packaging industry has been riding this high growth. As Bilal Sheikh said to us, “More equipment has been imported by the industry in the last three years than in the previous twenty.” Apparently, the Pakistani Rupee is stable against the dollar and the government policies are very conducive to the expansion of all industries. Industrial machines including printing presses attract only 5 per cent customs duty and no sales tax or the “pre-income tax” that is levied in Pakistan.
Our Pakistani friends also spoke of the huge increase in the organised food processing industry in their country which is responsible for some of their domestic and export consumption of packaging. These leading converters currently import 50 to 60 per cent of their board and they are very optimistic that with the start up of two new paperboard machines in the country, the entire carton-packaging requirement will be met by local manufacture.
According to these very knowledgeable visitors to IPEX SA, the quality of the Pakistan manufactured board is top class. This was a very interesting meeting and it was extremely enjoyable to meet some of the people that we have been writing about over the years including the Show Daily on the first day of the IPEX SA show.