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October 18, 2022
2 Min Read
Pictured left to right are Ulrich Reifenhäuser; Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director, Messe Düsseldorf; and Dr. Cornelia Jokisch, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications, Messe Düsseldorf.
This might just be the most important K show ever, Ulrich Reifenhäuser told reporters at a press conference a day before the show opens at Messe Düsseldorf. That is saying something, as the international plastics and rubber trade show celebrates its 70th anniversary. The pent-up demand to meet in real life, without the mediation of a screen, is palpable, said Reifenhäuser, who is Chairman of the K 2022 Exhibitors Council and Managing Partner of Reifenhäuser GmbH. “My agenda is as full as it has ever been,” he added. And as another panelist at the press conference pointed out, K is the first true international CAPEX trade show at Messe Düsseldorf to regain a pre-COVID footprint.
But K 2022 takes place under a gathering cloud, as well. Europe and Germany, in particular, are under fire, declared Reifenhäuser. Putin lit the match by invading Ukraine, of course, and the repercussions are being acutely felt in Germany, where energy prices are through the roof. Boris Engelhardt, Secretary General of the German rubber industry association, noted that rubber needs to be baked and the process consumes a great deal of energy. He mentioned one company whose energy costs are forecast to rise from €40,000 to €800,000! How do you survive as a business? That is the question, but don’t look to political leaders for an answer.
Reifenhäuser called into question government policy, which he suggested was not helpful at the moment. He declined to go into detail, even when prompted by a reporter at the press conference, but made it clear that the country’s leadership was pursuing counterproductive measures from an industry standpoint.
Whatever the future may hold, though, right now K 2022 is the center of attention for the global plastics industry. Will it be the most important one ever? Stephen Moore and I will be reporting live from the show floor all week. To borrow a phrase, we’ll report, you decide.
K 2022 is at Messe Düsseldorf, in Düsseldorf, Germany, from Oct. 19 to 26.
About the Author(s)
Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree. Reach him at [email protected].
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