17TH INTERNATIONAL PLASTICS AND RUBBER TRADE FAIR

Plastic industry in Pakistan expanding at an average annual growth of 15pc

KANWAL SALEEM, Lahore
July 16 - 22, 2007

The world's largest ''K-2007'', the 17th International Plastics and Rubber Trade Fair will be held in Duesseldorf, Germany from October 24-31, 2007 in which Pakistani businessmen will also participate. The event would provide opportunity to Pakistani businessmen, particularly dealing in manufacturing/trade of plastic and rubber, to get ideas, exchange views and experiences so which would help them to produce quality products for onward sale in Germany and other countries, said Jamil A. Naz Director Liaison Office for Messe Duesseldorf GmbH, Lahore while talking about the fair.

The fair is being held regularly after every three years since 1956. IN K-2004, 2914 exhibitors from 52 countries and 230, 978 visitors from over 100 countries covering a net exhibition space of 168,000 square meters, he added. This year, more than 2,900 companies will showcase their latest developments for all industry segments at the fair, Jamil said. He further said that share of plastic used in the medical field is just under 50 percent of the total consumption. An estimated 12,000 tones of plastics were used to make medical products alone in Germany last year.

Worldwide figure was more than 1.8 million tones for materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride mostly used in this field which accounts for around 80 percent of total consumption. The remaining 20 percent are engineering plastics such as polycarbonate, polyamide, polyurethane, polyester and copolymers, Jamil added. During 2006, Pakistan imported plastic and plastic products for an amount of $ 1.13 billion. There has been increase of 94 percent in the import of plastic and plastic products during the last three years. Plastic industry in Pakistan is expanding at an average annual growth of 15 percent and is contributing more than Rs. 7.5 billion annually to the national exchequer in the shape of custom duty, sales tax and income tax, the market sources told PAGE. They said that Plastic is mother industry to hundreds of manufactured components and products like automobiles parts, televisions, refrigerators, other electrical goods, furniture, house-ware, defence products, pipes, woven sacks, packages, sanitary ware, etc. According to President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Shahid Hassan Shaikh, plastic is widely used due to its toughness, water resistance, ease of fabrication and varied colour range. Plastics exhibit no corrosion problem and hence are ideal for handling acids and other such chemicals. Being a good insulator, plastic is used for electrical goods manufacturing and cable sheathing. Plastic geo-membranes are now being utilized to avoid seepage and loss of water. Due to its low density, strength and electrical resistance, plastic is extensively used in automation and aeroplane industry, he said.

"We can see innovation at† K-2007 Trade Fair for plastics and rubber technologies that are indispensable for those Pakistani businessmen who are engaged in plastic industry". They would get a chance to benefit from new ideas and new products. Products such as raw materials, semi finished products, technical parts, reinforced plastics, machinery and equipment, services for the plastics and rubber products would be displayed in the Trade Fair, he maintained.