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December 15, 2006

2 Min Read
Middle East plastics shows close 2006—one with a bang, another a bust

ISTANBUL — The plastics exhibition in Istanbul, Plast Eurasia 2006, ended Dec. 3 on a high note with an increase of exhibiting companies (1050 compared to 905 last year) from 43 countries (36 in 2005). Last year, visitors totaled 24,410 while this year show organizer Tüyap, based on initial registrations, estimated that 30,000 attended, although final figures were not available at press time.

The Istanbul show now covers eight halls at the expanded fair grounds and attracts visitors from neighboring Mediterranean countries as well as Russia and other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. This year Istanbul Rubber, which occupied one building, ran in conjunction with the larger Plast Eurasia.

Competing show Iranplast 2006, which saw successive growth during its last four years, fared substantially poorer this year. This show appears to have lost its momentum due to mismanagement, according to Ali A. Saatnia, editor-in-chief of domestic plastics publication Plastics Industry Magazine.

Previous shows in Tehran were sponsored and managed by the country’s petrochemical giant, NPC. However, this year NPC awarded management to a new organizer with just a three-person staff, which according to Saatnia, had no previous exhibition experience. The show, which ran from November 7-11, saw a decrease in foreign exhibitors of 11% compared to 2005. Total rented exhibition space occupied by foreign exhibitors dropped 14%.

Unfortunately domestic raw materials and equipment makers also pulled out after being unable to get adequate information from the show organizers. The number of Iranian exhibitors in the machinery sector decreased from 91 in 2005 to 71 this year. Exhibition area for this sector dropped by 38% this year. Iranian raw materials suppliers sank from 64 last year to 59 companies this year, and the exhibition space dropped by 23%.

But there may be hope on the way for the show. One week before, the Iranplast venue, NPC, and its polymer-marketing arm, IPCC, saw a shift in management (see Names in the News), which may bring some constructive changes, says Saatnia. First on the line is a consideration to hold the show either biennially rather than yearly and not to conflict in years with the world’s largest plastics show, K, in Düsseldorf, Germany. There is also a consideration on the table to award the management to a newly established organization representing Iranian equipment and raw materials producers. At press time decisions on these issues were still outstanding.—[email protected]

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