The packaging industry regains confidence in the Russian market

The packaging industry regains confidence in the Russian market
Following difficult months as a result of the international economic crisis, there is renewed confidence in Russia, with increased demand for innovative packaging solutions from food & beverage producers, confectionery manufacturer and companies in the cosmetics as well as pharmaceuticals industries. Although it’s still a long way from returning to the dynamic market of bygone days, there is a positive mood in the air. This became very apparent at UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA 2010, the international trade fair for packaging machinery, packaging production and packaging material.

Some 21,000 trade visitors from throughout the CIS and the neighbouring countries visited the Krasnaya Presnya Expocenter over the four days of the fair, which was held in parallel to INTERPLASTICA 2010, the international trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. A sum total of around 800 exhibitors, who had rented approximately 15,000 square metres of exhibition space, were very pleased with the interest shown by the visitors. Those showed increased interest in specific projects and investments, far exceeding expectations. This made for a very optimistic mood at the beginning of 2010.

Erhard Wienkamp, Member of the Management Board of Messe Düsseldorf responsible for international trade fairs, was very pleased. "Our exhibitors" confidence in the Russian market appears to be starting to pay off now. Although we are still a long way from the boom of bygone years, the enormous potential is evidently gradually gathering momentum again.”

The largest contingent of exhibitors at UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA this year was Russian companies (83), followed by Italy (80) and Germany (75). It also featured official national presentations from Germany, France and Italy. UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA is jointly organised by Messe Düsseldorf and its Russian subsidiary OOO Messe Düsseldorf Moscow in cooperation with the Italian event coordinator Centrexpo.

The German manufacturers of confectionery machines were completely oblivious to any crisis in Russia last year. According to figures provided by the VDMA (German Engineering Federation), Germany exported about €46.6 million worth of confectionery manufacturing machinery to Russia in the first ten months of 2009, a rise of approximately 31% in comparison to the figures for the same period in 2008. However, the German packaging machine manufacturers saw themselves confronted with entirely different circumstances, with exports to Russia falling by 43% to €207 million in the same period in comparison to the previous year. Vera Fritsche from the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, a division of VDMA, emphasised the great importance of the Russian market. “The food & beverage industry is one of the key growth industries of the future in Russia, which means there are excellent opportunities for suppliers of food processing and packaging machinery. The good outcome of the fair for the German exhibitors at UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA gives us cause for optimism that we will be able to continue to exploit this potential.”

The Italian exhibitors also sensed that the market was picking up again and were satisfied with the outcome of the fair. Annunziata Landi from the Italian National Institute for Foreign Trade, ICE, emphasised the importance of the Russian market. “As our third-largest export market, Russia holds very attractive sales prospects in the medium and long term, making it especially significant for Italian companies. Now there seems to be movement in this market again, not least because there is once again more capital available for investments due to the rising price of raw materials.”

On the second and third days of the fair, UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA 2010 was augmented by a supporting programme of workshops and seminars. It attracted a large number of people interested in the practical topics addressed such as state-of-the-art packaging solutions for the Russian market, or the impact of high quality packaging on the goods it contains. The programme was drawn up with the involvement of representative from several leading national and international companies and associations as well as members of Russian governmental organisations.

The next UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA is scheduled to take place from 25 - 28 January 2011 in Moscow and will once again be held in parallel to INTERPLASTICA.