And, so, we have now come to our last issue of 2007, a year in which Asian economies have become the focus of attention. Not only is the whole world closely watching what is happening here, opinion is clearly unanimous in that this is where a large part of future growth in packaging markets is going to come from. Not surprisingly, this is where we can expect most action to be focussed during the rest of this decade. Leading the growth in packaging markets have been India and China, with other South and South East Asian countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Pakistan also chipping in with above-average growth in GDP and population (and, therefore, growth in demand for packaged consumer goods).
In this issue,we have tried to take stock of the packaging markets in China,where growth has been phenomenal not only because of its own large GDP growth but also because of demand generated by the quite astonishing level of manufacturing exports that the country has clocked up to even the most developed of nations. Despite the recent question marks raised by the quality problems and product recalls of goods of Chinese origin, there seems to be no stemming this tide. Another significant point is that it is China that has been grabbing a lion’s share of the foreign direct investments made by even world leaders in packaging. Everybody but everybody seems to want to beat a path to setting up manufacture, or at least shop, in China and, to a certain extent, in India. Both nations are projected to set and maintain rates of growth between 15 and 20 per cent per annum in packaging segments while the developed world struggles to achieve even a fifth of these numbers.
As you would have also seen, we have been concentrating quite a lot on how Sustainable Packaging is becoming the buzzword in our business and how corporate performance and responsibility has had to build in a significant amount of environment consciousness. This is especially important because packaging is generally viewed as the major source of post-consumer waste.We can expect to see a lot of statutory regulations to be enacted in this respect, particularly in Europe, and we will continue to try and be on top of what is happening and bring you the latest developments and their implications on our industry.
Finally, I would like to express a sincere “thank you” to our readers and the many people who have supported and encouraged us in our first year. When appreciation comes from industry stalwarts and the cognoscenti, it does make all our effort really worthwhile. I am especially grateful to our industry friends who attended our breakfast meeting in September this year at Noida to give us their feedback on the magazine and their valuable suggestions on how we should plan our future activities. We intend to hold several such meetings in various parts of the country as an ongoing exercise and look forward to seeing you there.
Here’s wishing all our readers and industry friends and associates compliments of the season and a very happy new year. May 2008 bring loads of success and prosperity to the packaging industry.