DUBAI – Commercial printers are optimistic about their business growth in the Middle East, as industry stakeholders gather to discuss challenges and opportunities in the region at the inaugural Gulf Print & Pack Summit.
Stewart Johnston, Head of Consultancy for Europe, Middle East and Asia of Smithers Group addressed summit delegates and said print revenue growth in the MENA region will rise to $40.7bn in 2022 from $28.3bn in 2017 or annual growth of 8.7%. “This growth percentage is far higher than the global average and is driven by the region’s approximate 1,700 printers and their investment culture – the market is keen to stay up-to-date with the latest machinery and materials. It’s an approach that’s working, creating opportunities for growth that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago,” he added.
Amidst this encouraging projection, business leaders from various commercial printers and package printing companies have expressed optimism about their business prospects in the region.
“We cannot walk away from print, despite the growing digitization of many print products that many of our clients are consuming. Commercial printers just need to focus on niche areas of growth, invest in ancillary equipment and think of creative ways to provide value-added services to customers,” said Amit Radia, CEO, Atlas Printing Press.
Radia says the growing adoption of digital technology should not be cause for concern, saying Atlas has kept up with the changing business environment by “re-engineering our company and offloading conventional equipment for more advanced digital ones, and giving our customers a choice.
For our customers in Africa, for instance, we have given our clients the choice of receiving the copy or otherwise get the addition via the app we developed, and we did the same for our newspaper customers,” he added.
Though the past year has been challenging for commercial printers, Radia is confident their business will grow by at least 12% year-on-year.
For Wolfram Gruening, Executive Director at Kimoha Entrepreneurs, a leading supplier of a wide range of labeling and packaging solutions in the UAE, “The industry in the Middle East is in a transition phase in terms of technology. We continue to invest in more advanced digital technologies that will help us improve not just our products, but also cost and operational efficiencies to better serve our customers.”
Gulf Print & Pack Summit 2018 is produced by the Labelexpo Global Series team, which also hosts events in the US, Latin America, Europe, India, Southeast Asia and China. “We launched this event to address the need for industry stakeholders to keep abreast with the latest market opportunities as well as technologies that will shape the future of commercial printing and packaging in this part of the world,” said Andy Thomas-Emans, Strategic Director, Gulf Print & Pack, which will return to Dubai on April 15-18, 2019. — SG