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Industry stakeholders across the Middle East discussed challenges and opportunities of the commercial printing industry at the Gulf Print & Pack Summit, held in Dubai from 4 -5 March 2018
Stewart Johnston, head of consultancy for Europe, Middle East and Asia of Smithers Group, addressed summit delegates and said that print revenue growth in the MENA region is expected to rise to US$40.7bn in 2022 from US$28.3bn in 2017.
“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 is 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 digitisation 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 at Atlas Printing Press.
Radia further added that the growing adoption of digital technology should not be cause for concern, noting that Atlas has kept up with the changing business environment by re-engineering the company and offloading conventional equipment for more advanced digital ones, giving 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 noted that their business is set to grow by at least 12 per cent year-on-year.
Wolfram Gruening, executive director at Kimoha Entrepreneurs, one of the leading suppliers of a wide range of labelling and packaging solutions in the UAE, commented, “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. The event will return to Dubai from 15-18 April 2019.