The share of paper packaging in the estimated US$74 billion overall packaging market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) continues to see an exponential growth with e-commerce boom and consumer preference veers to sustainable and environment-friendly solutions.
Industry experts participating at the upcoming leading B2B exhibition, Propaper 2023, said that in line with this demand growth, investments in kraft paper mills have also risen in the region in the post-Covid era, with enhanced use of paper packaging across industry verticals such as food, catering hygiene, pharma and cosmetics driving up demand
Propaper Dubai 2023 will host a large contingent of global paper and packaging companies which are at the vanguard of innovation. The show which also incorporates Super Sourcing Dubai under the auspices of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), will run during September 12-14 at Dubai at the Festival Arena at Dubai Festival City.
“E-commerce continues to be on an upsurge in the GCC and larger MEA markets, and this has in turn catalysed the demand for packaging solutions across the board. Overall e-commerce market in the region may surpass US$25 billion within the next couple of years, and this will obviously fuel the need for paper packaging solutions, and paper industry with its sustainable and alternative propositions stand to gain,” said Mr. Majid Rasheed – Managing Director of the UAE’s Star Paper Mill Paper Industry.
Quoting a Data Bridge Market Research report, Propaper 2023 spokespeople said that kraft paper market will continue to gain market share. According to the forecast for 2020-2028, kraft paper market will grow at a CAGR of 3.8 per cent in the UAE alone to over US$54 million.
“The growth in paper food packaging which surged during and after the pandemic continues to create growth for paper players in the MEA markets, and specifically in the GCC, where internet penetration is the world’s highest aiding online commerce. The opportunity size has also grown with verticals like pharma, personal care and cosmetics taking to paper packaging solutions in a big way riding the e-commerce boom,” said Omar Ali Abdullah Al Hosni, Chairman, Keryas Paper Industry, Oman.
Anticipating increased demand in this sector, Keryas Paper Mills had announced investments in kraft paper segment to manufacture re-cycled kraft paper jumbo reels, unveiling a US$40 million kraft paper project in the UAE during the previous Propaper expo in 2022.
Star Paper Mills had also announced investments in kraft paper segment, and in collaboration with RC Paper Machines had announced an investment of over US$54 million in Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) to manufacture re-cycled kraft paper jumbo reels.
A Mordor Intelligence report also confirmed the growth trend in B2C and B2B paper packaging solutions at an estimated CAGR of 4.30 per cent in MEA during 2023-2028.
“The paper industry has been seeing a steady surge of investments, both as expansion in existing projects as well as greenfield projects with market for paper-based products consistently rising. In the GCC alone, the growth has been pronounced for paper packaging with a digitally savvy and sustainability-conscious young population accelerating their online spend,” said Jeen Joshua, Managing Director, Verifair.
Indian companies at the Propaper 2023 form the single largest contingent of exhibitors, while China and Egypt are the other pavilion participants. Indian participation also comes in the context of the growing bilateral trade between India and the UAE.
India and the UAE recently celebrated the first-year anniversary of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE Ministry of Economy indicating that from May 2022 to April 2023, non-oil trade touched US$50.5 billion, a 5.8 per cent increase.
Propaper 2023 will be a platform or paper industry stakeholders to congregate, showcase products and explore partnerships and growth opportunities, The expo in its second year is a unique buyer-seller platform which will facilitate partnerships, joint investments, market entry and exploration as well as increased sales forays for the participants.
The show will host paper industry companies from across a wide spectrum, including corrugated paper board makers to paper mill machinery manufacturers to tissue and converting machinery, as well as printing and packaging equipment.