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Summary of Upakovka/Upak Italia 2009

February 16/2009

Even in hard times, the Russian packaging market offers a wealth of opportunities. Moscow trade fair records high levels of visitor interest and satisfied international exhibitor companies.

The effects of the global financial and economic crises have dampened demand on the Russian packaging market for the moment but by no means brought it to a complete standstill. Demand for packaging remains high and interest in innovative technologies and materials for production is unwavering.Despite the current difficulties, Russia is still set to become one of the world’s biggest consumer markets. Experts predict that, at the latest by 2025, the country will enter this league.

Packaging manufacturers in the Russian Federation need to invest in order to meet the expectations of customers in such sectors as food, confectionery, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

    Unsurprisingly, keen interest was registered in Upakovka/Upak Italia 2009, the International Trade Fair Machinery and Equipment for the Manufacture of Packaging, Packaging Machinery, Confectionery Machinery, Packaging and Packaging Aids, Logistics.

   Jointly staged between 27 and 30 January, Interplastica 2009, the International Trade Fair Plastics and Rubber, and the premier trade fair for the packaging industry in Russia together welcomed 20,500 trade visitors from all corners of the CIS and its neighbours. A total of about 900 exhibitors rented a net area of 19,000 square metres to showcase their offerings. Visitors’ far-reaching decision-making powers, their pre-fair preparations and targeted enquiries impressed exhibitors and revealed real interest in placing orders. The general tenor of exhibitor responses was one of surprise at the wealth of intensive negotiations which promise good post-fair business.

   Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, summed up the event in positive tones: - Economic conditions worldwide and in the region currently present Russian businesses with serious challenges. In particular, the financing of projects has become incredibly difficult and is putting SMEs under tremendous pressure. The fact that we have received such a warm response from both exhibitors and visitors in such trying times bears testimony to the role of Upakovka/Upak Italia as a leading platform for innovation and an economic spur to the industry.

   Trade visitors took advantage of the event’s four-day run in order to gather extensive information on the international range of offerings. Not only were they enthusiastic about the products and services showcased by companies from 19 countries but also unanimously agreed that, in the light of the difficult economic climate, the presence of globally active businesses was greatly appreciated.

   Officially sponsored national participations flew the flags of Germany, France and Italy. The biggest exhibitor contingent this year came from Italy with 99 companies, followed by Germany with 92 and Russia with 87 exhibitors. Upakovka/Upak Italia is organised by Messe Düsseldorf and its subsidiary OOO Messe Düsseldorf Moscow in cooperation with the Italian event coordinator Centrexpo
   For German suppliers of packaging and confectionery machinery, Russia remains the key market in Central and Eastern Europe. In the first eleven months of 2008, packaging machinery to the value of about EUR 401 million was sold to Russian buyers. This represents an increase in the export value over the same period in the previous year by 29 percent. Although demand for confectionery machinery dipped in comparison with 2007, the export volume valued at EUR 37.2 million recorded for the period January to November 2008 is still higher than for the whole of 2006. Germany remains Russia’s primary source of packaging and confectionery machinery.

   Vera Fritsche of the VDMA-Fachverband Nahrungsmittelmaschinen und Verpackungsmaschinen (Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association within the VDMA) emphasised the importance of the Russian market: - Despite the fact that demand is currently slightly weaker and some investment projects have been put on ice, the need to invest remains and interest is still strong. There are even major Russian and multinational enterprises which have chosen to invest now. Thanks to their reputation for innovative technology and reliability, German products continue to be highly regarded. Longstanding business relationships were deepened and new contacts forged at the trade fair. Many of the business discussions promise to translate into deals. As did the economic stimulus package announced in December last year which is intended to boost domestic industries such as the food industry.

   The optimistic evaluation is shared by the Italian exhibitor companies. Compared to the previous year, their joint presentation even grew once again. This is a clear sign that the market remains highly attractive to Italian manufacturers even if the times of untrammelled growth are over, at least for now.

   Annunziata Landi from the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) highlighted the tremendous potential demand that still exists in Russia and its neighbouring countries: - Italian businesses still have faith in the Russian and neighbouring markets and justifiably believe that there are very good sales opportunities. The interest shown by visitors proves that, with high-quality, innovative products, you can still keep a business on track for the future even in unstable times. I feel confident that in the coming year, similar numbers of Italian businesses will once again participate in Upakovka/Upak Italia.

   The specialist ancillary programme, which was staged on the second and third day of the Upakovka/Upak Italia 2009 run, was once again given a warm reception. The lineup included seminars and discussions that tackled topical packaging industry issues and were conducted by speakers from international associations and tertiary institutions. Exhibitors and trade media organised conferences and round-table events. What’s more, exhibiting companies and trade visitors were entitled to use the business center on the fairgrounds as a marketplace for jobs and finding contacts. Plus, students from various packaging-related disciplines were available to answer specific questions.

   The next edition of Upakovka/Upak Italia will once again be staged in Moscow in conjunction with Interplastica in early 2010.

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