Thailand continues to strengthen its position as printing, packaging, and corrugated technology hub of Southeast Asia

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Thailand’s packaging, printing and corrugated technology industries continue to show growth and strengthen their role as critical players to Thailand’s economy and as industry leaders in innovation and adapting to changing customer demands.

Bringing these sectors to the forefront, international exhibition organiser – Messe Düsseldorf Asia, continues to work in close collaboration and partnership with Thailand’s leading industry associations; The Thai Printing Association, The Thai Packaging Association and now the Thai Corrugated Packaging Association. Presenting exhibitions for the industry by the industry, two synergistic co-located exhibitions – PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL 2022 and the inaugural edition of Corrutec ASIA 2022, will take place from 19 to 22 October 2022 at BITEC Bangna.

With a successful track record that continues to gain momentum since 2007, PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL serves as a strategic launch pad into Thailand and the wider Southeast Asia region for international companies. Commenting on this, Mr Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf Asia, said: “After a three-year hiatus and as the world emerges from the pandemic and navigates through a myriad of challenges and world events, we are optimistic and are heartened to return to a fundamental that is inherent and imperative to B2B events – this much anticipated return to an in-person edition of the exhibitions, and the healthy international participation at the exhibitions as must-attend events.”

The rise of corrugated packaging

The introduction of CorruTec Asia – International Corrugated Technology Exhibition for Asia to the regional stage is also timely as printed folding cartons and corrugated packaging has seen significant growth particularly on the back of the pandemic, the surge in e-commerce, and as manufacturers launch technologies to continue this trend. Once reserved for outer packaging the ability to produce full colour print on corrugated surfaces now enables secondary and even tertiary packaging to play a more integral role in the packaging chain.

The corrugated packaging market is growing rapidly, helped by the explosion of e-commerce and developments in digital printing technologies. Thailand is currently the largest packaging exporter in ASEAN with its strength due to the application of high technology and production of high quality products[1]. Thailand’s packaging market is anticipated to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.65% through to 2027, according to industry reports[2].

As the global community emerges from the pandemic and businesses get back on track, Thailand’s economic growth will be led by an export driven recovery aided by a cyclical rebound in investment[3]. This will also give steady rise to the production and consumption of packaging goods and packaging supplies as well as printing technologies and corrugated packaging.

Thailand – Hub for printing, packaging and corrugated packaging

With Thailand’s strong positioning as a manufacturing and innovation hub, the country continues to attract regional and global markets for packaging, printing and corrugated technology. On the domestic front, in a bid to remain competitive, many operators are scaling up their businesses in order to fulfil user specifications for both domestic and international customers. These efforts are being further supported by the Thai government; for instance, the Board of Investment has approved incentives for companies producing smart and environmentally friendly packaging, in line with the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) model. Smart and environmentally friendly packaging includes digitally-enabled packaging and packaging made from recycled materials, among others.

As Thailand continues to strengthen its foothold as a hub for packaging, printing and corrugated packaging technology, these three main areas are likely to remain a priority in the coming years:

§ Printing, packaging and corrugated technology that supports e-Commerce markets: The number of Internet users in Southeast Asia is expected to grow further, making the region the second fastest growing in the world. The region’s Internet users also appear to shop online more than any other. According to reports, Thai Internet users make the most weekly online purchases and overall e-commerce purchases[4].

The driving factors behind the growth of e-commerce in addition to increased Internet and mobile phone usage include improved logistics and e-payment systems, which have heightened convenience and consumer confidence to shop online. With packaging being a critical component, it has become more than protecting and preserving a specific product. It has evolved into the necessity of a deeper understanding of consumer lifestyle trends and behaviors, as well as retail shifts that influence and impact the consumer experience.

§ Sustainable packaging: With the Thai government’s focus on promoting the bio-economy, circular economy and the green economy; the printing, packaging, and down to the sourcing of sustainable raw materials is yielding opportunities for strong investment support. The rise of environmentally-conscious consumers is further propelling the demand for sustainable packaging solutions. According to a recent consumer survey by Euromonitor[5], consumers in Thailand are paying more attention to choosing the right type of products for their busy lifestyle but also for the environment. Packaging is an important consideration when practicing conscious consumption, where 45% of respondents in Thailand try to use sustainable packaging and 69% try to reduce the use of plastics.

Since 2020, the value of the sustainable packaging industry has grown by about 6.2% or THB9 trillion. What this potentially means for manufacturers, is the need to look into easily-recycled packaging, packaging using natural materials, bio-plastics, environmentally-friendly ink, and technology to reduce carbon footprint. It is also opens up opportunities for the industry to connect with relevant business sectors and new customer segments with the same shared beliefs, particularly Generation Z who tend to take a clear and strong environmental position.

§ Emphasis on safety and hygiene: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries are prioritising safety and potential contamination. Thailand has an edge in terms of confidence and volumes of exported packaging, as well as policies to become an international healthcare hub. This opportunity should be leveraged to overcome production handicaps and emphasise a memorable image of safe packaging at the international level. Examples of crucial target segments include Indonesia and India.

Summing this up, Mr Ringling said for Thailand’s packaging, printing, and corrugated packaging sectors to scale even greater heights and fortify its position as a manufacturing hub of the region, companies will need to be in tune with the global competitive landscape and customer demands, expand manufacturing capabilities and find new ways to create value to succeed. “Thus, international exhibitions such as PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL and CorruTec Asia offer an added channel in expanding efforts to better prepare Thailand’s industries for the future, and better position Thai companies for global opportunities,” he said.

For more information on the exhibition, log on to: www.pack-print.de and www.corrutec-asia.com

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