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Thai Printing, Packaging Industry Needs To Transform To Survive, Say Experts
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
Thailand Needs More Innovative Technology And The Ability To Think Outside The Box To Maintain Its Position As Southeast Asia’s Printing And Packaging Hub.
Trade fair organiser Messe Düsseldorf Asia’s managing director, Gernot Ringling, said the printing and packaging industry has been relatively untouched by the Covid-19 pandemic and economic slowdown. One reason for this is the explosion in e-commerce, especially during the lockdown, he said.
He was speaking at a press conference held on Thursday to announce the “Pack Print International 2022” and “Corrutec Asia 2022” events that will be held at Bitec Bangkok on October 19 to 22.
The event is being organised in collaboration with the Thai Printing Association, Thai Packaging Association, Thai Corrugated Packaging Association and the Federation of Thai Industries.
Ringling said the recovery in purchasing power, production capacity, marketing and advertising is beneficial for the printing and packaging industry.
A recent study by worldwide packaging authority Smithers Pira found that the Asia-Pacific will account for the largest share of the packaging and printing market by 2024. The region now accounts for more than 40 per cent of global consumption.
However, to sustain the growth of this industry, Thailand should embrace more innovative technology along with adopting sustainable and eco-friendly concepts.
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the printing and packaging industry supports most of the manufacturing sector.
The print media industry is already transitioning to the digital world, so when industries go green to meet consumer demands, printing and packaging should follow suit, Kriengkrai said.
He added that this push to save the environment has encouraged the Thai printing and packaging sector to find processes that use less energy and materials. This also helps save money and time and cuts waste.
Kriengkrai also called on related sectors to invest in the new S-curve industries like biotechnology, bio-degradable materials and bio-plastic, which will be useful in creating green packaging and labelling.
“Our printing and packaging industry should transform as soon as possible because disruption never waits,” he added.
Prasert Loryuenyong, president of the Thai Packaging Association, said the packaging industry had performed well in the last two quarters of this year due to the exponential growth in food and beverage businesses and e-commerce.
Thailand’s export of packaging materials came in at 19 billion baht in the second quarter, up 22.03 per cent from the same period last year.
“Though Thailand is one of Asean’s key exporters of printing and packaging materials, there is still room for growth by focusing on recycled and renewable packaging and environmentally friendly ink,” Prasert said.
The value of the global eco-friendly packaging industry has risen by more than 6.2 per cent to the estimated value of 9 trillion baht in 2021 alone.
Pongthira Pathanapiradej, president of the Thai Printing Association, said digital printing was fast becoming popular because it produces high-quality, sharp, long-lasting prints in large quantities. He said digital printing is becoming the norm because it is also very fast.
“Thai businesses should, therefore, learn and adapt to the latest trends related to printing, like 5G networks, artificial intelligence, sustainability and well-being,” Pongthira added.
Chusak Deetrakunwattanapoen, president of the Thai Corrugated Packaging Association, said corrugated packaging was still in high demand, particularly in delivery businesses and e-commerce.
“Making highly resistant corrugated packaging with recycled material like recycled pulp will sustain the industry’s growth,” Chusak said.
The upcoming dual event is expected to serve as a hub for distributors, buyers and domain experts to promote business opportunities, exchange know-how and boost Thai manufacturing capabilities to make it competitive regionally.
The organisers are confident that this year’s event will draw many visitors, particularly those looking for commercial printing solutions and packaging to support manufacturing and trade in this new era.
The event was last held in 2019 and received a good response from Thai and foreign visitors. The fair attracted close to 20,000 visitors from 62 countries.