27/12/2018 08:23 AST

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continues to present one of the world’s key growth regions for printing.

In 2019, the total value of the commercial print business in MENA is forecast to reach $32 billion, according to exclusive research from Smithers Pira, the worldwide authority on the packaging, print and paper supply chains. They released the data ahead of the 2019 edition of Gulf Print & Pack, the leading industry event for the commercial print and packaging industry in the region.

“The MENA region presents a vast opportunity for companies in the commercial printing business, which the report estimates will grow by 6.2% by next year. This is way ahead of the growth rate for the world print market, which, at 1% is struggling to adjust to declines in demand for traditional print products as media products become increasingly digitised,” said Andy Thomas-Emans, Strategic Director at Tarsus Group, which organizes the biennial Gulf Print & Pack. In its last edition, the show welcome close to 10,000 visitors from 98 countries, with 252 participating exhibitors.

The report further identified a number of strategic trends that will influence the print business in MENA in 2019. Inkjet will remain the region’s fastest growing print technology, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7%. This is followed by electrophotography and gravure. “This shows that the region still has a huge untapped market for digital technologies that could spur the growth of the industry in the future,” added Thomas-Emans.

Xerox, a long-time exhibitor at Gulf Print & Pack, sees the Middle East region as one of the most strategically important markets for the company and considers the trade show to be a great platform for strengthening its customer and partner relationships as well as showcasing the brand’s latest offerings. It has launched new machines at the show, often ahead of their global roll out to “underscore the significance of the event to our business throughout the Middle East and Africa,” said Pui Chi Li, Head of Marketing, Xerox MEA.

Meanwhile, package printing is the most valuable end-use application for print in MENA, worth $20 billion in 2019. Industry stakeholders aiming to secure business projects are encouraged to attend Gulf Print & Pack 2019, scheduled to take place in April at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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