Regional plastics consumption is projected to see a massive surge as preparations pick up pace for two premier international events in the GCC.

The combination of the World Expo in 2020 and the Fifa World Cup in 2022 – that too in quick succession -- is set to provide considerable momentum to regional plastics players, who are expecting demand to swell in the run up to these events.

While Dubai is set to spend over US$18 billion for the World Expo 2020, Qatar has earmarked a staggering US$200 billion for the Fifa World Cup in 2022, which could propel plastics usage much over a conservative estimate of nearly 6 metric tons.

“These mega events are going to have tremendous impact on the region’s plastics producers given that plastic products are heavily used in infrastructure projects, apart from packaging. Apart from infrastructure projects, millions are going to fly into the region, providing a strong boost to plastics consumption,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, ahead of the upcoming Plastivision Arabia 2014 trade fair.

Going by the previous editions in other countries, the World Expo is expected to attract up to 50 million visitors to the UAE and generate 270,000 jobs, drawing in business people, professionals, workers and others.

“The long-term benefits from hosting the World Expo 2020 are difficult to be quantified, but I am sure that there are going to be strong economic and cultural advantages that will lay the foundation for the country’s future growth. One advantage among them will sure be the rise in domestic consumption of plastics, much of which is exported today,” added Mr Midfa.

In fact, experts are of the opinion that both World Expo and the World Cup will be beneficial for the entire GCC region, with the rise in economic activities leading to a spill lover of benefits to the rest of the region, which means much of the plastics produced in the region are going to be used here only.

“Combine this with economies that are cruising in the fast lane, the region’s plastics producers will have to look at acquiring new machinery and technology to keep pace with the expected heavy surge in consumption of plastics, which has generated tremendous interest in the Plastivision Arabia 2014,” he added.

After its impressive launch in 2012, the second edition of the biennial Plastivision Arabia will be held from April 7 to 10, 2014, at Expo Centre Sharjah in association with the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA), the oldest and the largest apex body of the plastics industry in India.

Besides, in association with industry body Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), will play host to the fifth International Conference for Plastics Conversion (PlastiCon 2014) alongside Plastivision Arabia.

“Titled ‘Exploring Growth Through Innovation in the Plastic Conversion Industry’, PlastiCon 2014 will focus on the role of innovation in developing new plastic products and opening up new markets in plastic conversion,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA.

The inaugural Print Pack Arabia exhibition and conference will also be held alongside Plastivision Arabia, and feature latest printing & packaging technology, materials and machinery. Print Pack Arabia is co-organised by the Indian Printing, Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers' Association (IPAMA), and supported by the Printing Equipment Industries Association of China (PEIAC).

The second Arabia Mold too will be held alongside Plastivision Arabia, in association DEMAT, the organizer of world-renowned EuroMold, the world’s leading fair for mold-making & tooling, design and application development.

Together, these events form a comprehensive sourcing as well as networking platform for the entire regional print, packaging, plastics and mold-making industry.