Plastic Molding Industry Conference: The K-Show shows an increase in international exhibitors
Following the recent K-Show in Dusseldorf, which is the annual German trade show for the plastics and rubber industry, organisers have seen a growing trend of exhibitors coming from the Asia-Pacific region. Is this due to an increased demand for plastics from the area, highlighting a movement of resources from the US and Europe?
At this year’s K-Show, 58% of exhibitors came from outside Germany. With European and US economies still suffering from the global slowdown, countries across the Asia-Pacific region have managed to create more opportunities, leading to a growth in their plastics industry. They’re seeing more optimism from their customers and the industry has grown by an average of 9% annually. Even though they are still heavy exporters to Western countries, they have seen an increase in consumption at home, enabling them to continue this growth and buck global trends.
Regional Business Initiatives
One of the ways in which the Asia-Pacific area has increased trade amongst regional countries is to set up various trade initiatives. This prioritises links between neighbouring countries and makes trading between them much easier. The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has set up a Free Trade Agreement, which has reduced import fees amongst member nations. By 2015 they’ll have created the ASEAN Economic Community, which aims to foster a single-market approach to production and sales among its members.
Investing in Plastics
The Asia-Pacific plastics industry has had major investments over the past few years and analysts are estimating that it will see between 10 and 15 per cent growth by 2018. This is partly due to the increase in sales of electrical goods and cars. In particular, there has been a considerable jump in sales of more fuel-efficient cars, which demand smaller and lightweight parts manufactured from plastic.
Countries across the region have seen an increased need for plastics in a variety of different industries. This reflects the differences in consumer needs and requirements throughout the countries. Indonesia in particular has seen an 11% rise in revenue from the plastics industry. 70% of this has come from food and drink packaging companies.
Malaysia, on the other hand, has had a growth in the demand for plastics from the medical devices industry. This is set to be worth around €1.27 billion by 2015. The increase has come about because of greater access to health services, an older population and an increase in the number of tourists visiting the country for medical procedures.
Thailand is the hub of Asia’s automotive industry, helping to foster demand for plastics. This now accounts for 8.1% of GDP and is expected to reach capacity for 2.3 million units in 2014. The industry has benefitted from the free-trade agreements and local initiatives that are in operation.
With so many different requirements, there is now an increased demand for plastics within the Asia-Pacific region. Generally, their economies are becoming much more competitive against the US and European nations and the plastics industry has been one of the main beneficiaries of this.