(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Middle East's annual consumption of paper will increase to 29 million tons by 2020, from 18 million tons in 2010, according to Asia Pulp and Paper, the second largest paper manufacturer and supplier in the world with operations in more than 65 countries.
This was revealed at the conclusion of Paper Arabia 2011 which concluded today with key players agreeing that the digital boom in the Middle East is not largely affecting the printing of paper as seen from the fact that UAE is among the highest consumers of paper in the world despite the increase penetration of electronic pads in the country.
According to Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association, it is estimated that 110 million pads were produced in 2010 globally, that reduced the consumption of paper by 1.1 million tons. Each pad displaced 10 kg of paper including newsprint, photocopy and office paper but it has added 3 kg for packaging each item.
According to the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association, in the Middle East, the consumption of paper will increase by 11 million tons despite of the digital boom taking place in the Middle East and the demand will be met by international players as local paper manufacturers don't have abundant water.
Suresh Kilam, Executive Director, APP, said: "With the recent unrest in some countries, the traders have grown more cautious and have adopted a wait and watch approach. They have to buy the paper in cash and they don't want to take risks. So in countries which are going through rough political climate, the business is on hold but that doesn't mean that the business isn't growing in the Middle East and growth in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt is tremendous.
" When asked about effect of digital media on the printing industry, Kilam said: "We heard ten years ago that school books would vanish and it didn't happen. Similarly, we will always hear the same for news print, but it seems this is a long way to go, which will keep the consumption of paper on the rise." Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services, organizers of the show, said: "Paper Arabia 2011, the first-of-its-kind industry expo attracted over 6120 trade visitors. Big names such as APP, Abu Dhabi National Mill (ADNPM), Orient Links and others participated in full force in Paper Arabia 2011 and they introduced new technologies and products and concepts such as new textured tissue by ADNPM which received lot of attention by visitors.
This year many companies offered environmentally friendly products based on agricultural or post consumer wastes. Paper Arabia has grown to become a must attend event opening doors to paper industry in Middle East and beyond." The Abu Dhabi National Paper Mill (ADNPM), manufacturer of jumbo tissue rolls said that unlike writing paper, tissue has a major growth in the world. In the UAE, tissue market is growing by 5 to 8 percent.
ADNPM highlighted its water treatment plant whereby 40-60 percent of the waste water is treated and re-used. This is helping the mill not only reducing water consumption and being environmentally friendly.
Sunil Bakht, Orient Links Co Chairman said that he was happy with the quality of visitors. He added: "The visitors are much focused this year.
We met with many visitors for environmentally products and the demand is high and we are responding to it very efficiently. We are aiming to become a carbon neutral country by next year." Bakht added: "Regarding Paper Arabia and its position as the leading paper show in the region, some are skeptical about the yearly frequency of this show.
However, I believe that Paper Arabia is emerging as the leading paper trade exhibition in the region with its own character." Orient Links showcased a wide range of products at the show and they have recently ventured in packaging market.
The paper industry in the Middle East has been on the move and the value of the Middle East printing substrates is forecast to reach 5.0 billion in 2012, according Pira International.
Khanna added: "With the demand for tissue and household papers on the rise in the region, Chinese pavilion has grown by over 20 percent. This year, the Chinese National Household Paper Industry Association along with 17 companies participated at the show." Youssef Amin Jaber, Sales and Marketing Manager, Saudi Paper Converting Paper said that the show was very good and they have had the opportunity to be closer to customers and partners.
INPAP said that it added new range of specialty papers to its kitty, while Abros launched innovator, multifunction A4 paper.