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Container glass cheers Middle East market

Post Time:Feb 19,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:289

The appearance of major international names in holloware glassmaking technology at this year's Gulf Glass exhibition (16-18 March, Sharjah, UAE) reinforces the message that for this industry not everything is on the slide and, indeed, prospects in this particular part of the world are good for more growth in container glass.

Already confirmed at the show, the third in the series, are leaders such as Sklostroj Turnov (Turnov, Czech Republic), Lattimer (Southport, England), Ernst Pennekamp (Ennepetal, Germany), and Gedevelop (Helsingborg, Sweden).

Naturally with the enormous amount of building activity taking place in recent years in the Middle East, and particularly in the Emirates, much of the marketing emphasis by suppliers has been concentrated on the flat glass sector. Clearly there is going to be an easing off in demand for the end product following the postponement of many projects.

For many reasons this is an important time for the region and the Gulf Glass event director, Kevin Hudson, has just returned from a special short tour in the UAE. While there, he spoke to representatives from glassmaking, glass processing and machinery supplier companies, both in order to get their views and to plan for the future.

Mr Hudson said:

'Clearly there is a sense of nervousness in the business - it would be remarkable if there weren't. But underlying this I believe there is nevertheless a recognition that taking a global view, the GCC and wider Middle East still represent good markets for our exhibitors.'

Mr Hudson added, 'Competition is bound under these circumstances to be somewhat tougher than before but at least this sort of atmosphere tends to be a very good driver for technical improvements. Of course, it should, conversely, also be good news for our visitors from all around the region. There will never be a better opportunity for them to hammer out a really good deal on the exhibition floor.'

'I've certainly seen an indication that this is being picked up around the area - several Egyptian and Turkish manufacturers, for instance, have made enquiries just this week. We have the very best international machinery and materials groups out on parade in Sharjah next month and they are all very keen to secure the business they need to take them ahead,' he stated.

The container side of the industry has been less affected by the global downturn, certainly compared to construction glass in the UAE, and it is surely no coincidence that more suppliers that specialise in this sector have taken space at Gulf Glass this time round.

As the event has established itself as the dedicated glass show for the region, it makes sense that the whole glass community here gathers at the same time and uses Gulf Glass as its marketplace and talking shop.

The opportunities that exist are brought into sharp focus when one considers the continuing upswing in demand for container glass right the way from the Maghreb, across through Egypt, Turkey, Iran and the rest of the Middle East, the GCC and neighbouring East Africa.

This has evidently changed the thinking of a couple of other international suppliers that specialise in this sector and that are currently considering exhibiting at Gulf Glass for the very first time.

'Despite the economic climate, we already have other exhibitors this year who have never participated before and we would naturally welcome others who are contemplating dipping a toe in the water,' commented Mr Hudson. 'The continuing force of the event means everyone can maximise the chances that are out there and realise the potential that still makes this an attractive market.'

Source: AME InfoAuthor: shangyi

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