And, so, we start a brand new year. A year that is going to see an unprecedented overdose of trade show activity. Not only do we have both must-attend mega events Interpack and drupa taking place in April and May respectively at Dusseldorf and Emballage 2008 – another important show – in Paris in November, there is a plethora of other packaging related shows in the South Asian region, all scheduled between March and December this year. These include Labeltech 2008 at Mumbai in March, India Packaging Show 2008 and All About Food Expo 2008 at New Delhi in August, Indiapack 2008 at Mumbai in September, Label Summit South China 2008 at Guangzhou in September and the India Label Show 2008 at New Delhi in December. While it is exciting to see so much interest in packaging events, it is really time that trade show organisers sat down and worked things out among themselves to prevent ‘show fatigue’. Not only does the interest of exhibitors get dissipated, the strain in terms of logistics and deployment of quality personnel, not to mention finances, on industry majors is immense. Especially, those who wish to exhibit working machinery or those who need to be present at more than one of these events will find themselves stretched to the point where they actually start questioning the wisdom and effectiveness of participation. Even potential visitors get confused about which shows are worth attending. It would be so much more useful and productive to see that there are no more than two large focussed events spread out conveniently over the year in a particular region than to have a clutter of sub-optimum shows.
The South and South East Asian countries are also witnessing a veritable flood of investments in packaging. This issue alone reports on an additional 250,000 MT per annum of new BOPP film capacity and 13,500 MT per annum of CPP film coming up in Asia. I also know of six more large BOPP/BOPET plants being planned in India and the Middle East. There is also a lot of activity in investments to manufacture other packaging materials and machinery in China, India and Vietnam. According to another forecast by PCI Consulting, 50 per cent of new global investments in conversion and printing in the next 5 years are expected to come up in China and India. I am sure that, in due course of time, we can expect the Asian region to emerge as the largest producer, and possibly consumer, of packaging. We need to convert our volumes into technological prowess as well and this will be a major challenge. Assuming the mantle of technological leadership is something we have to build into our goals. All in all, a tightening of seatbelts is well in order and we at PSA are really looking forward to bringing you all the dizzying news and developments.
We will be visiting Interpack as well as exhibiting at drupa (where we are premium media partners) this year and we will bring you extensive first hand coverage on both these shows. Please write in and let us know if there is something you would specifically like us to check out or write about.
I hope you enjoy this issue. We have a special write-up on an exciting new system – the aluminium bottlecan – that could well become the next big thing in packaging. Our design column is on the design and creation of luxury packaging and we are carrying stories on two leading packaging movers, one each from Sri Lanka and Pakistan.