The Middle East paper industry, one of the fastest growing in the world, today meets half of the requirements of local consumption, up 12 per cent over 2008, when the local production met just 38 per cent of demand, said an expert.
The region is thus less dependent on import of tissues from outside the Arab region, as mills increase their production, stated Satish Khanna, the general manager of Al Fajer Information and Services.
He revealed this on the sidelines of the launch of 'Paper Arabia 2012,' a three-day exhibition that will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from October 1 to 3.
Paper Arabia 2012 will bring together players from the paper, tissue and converting sectors. The show will offer opportunities to manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to tap the Middle East and North African markets.
"Paper Arabia is getting continued support from some of the world's biggest paper suppliers and paper machinery suppliers," said Khanna. "Some leading paper mills and paper machinery suppliers will be using the show as their platform to explore the Middle East market for the first time," he noted.
According to Khanna, this year's event will place greater emphasis on the tissue and converting industries.
Paper Arabia, with more than 175 exhibitors from 30 countries from across the world, will be a key platform for traders and industry players to network.
He pointed out that the number of exhibitors had increased by 15 per cent this year and more than 8,000 trade visitors were expected to visit the three-day show.
Middle East's annual consumption of paper will cross 29 million tons by 2020, from 18m 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. Asia Pulp and Paper is the Principal Sponsor of Paper Arabia 2012.