Western technology for the production of packaging and related processes, as well as for the manufacturing of plastic and rubber goods is still highly valued by Russian companies. However, the political framework conditions, the fall of the oil price, and a continually weak rouble, having an inflation rate of approx. 15.8 percent last year, as well as hesitant lending as a result thereof are making it difficult to make investments, especially for small businesses.
On the other hand, there is still considerable investment needed inRussia and neighbouring countries. Above all, the demand has been placed on the domestic consumer goods industry, the food industry, and the packaging industry to optimise production processes and product quality in order to be able to substitute imports. Therefore staying informed concerning innovative technologies, maintaining business relationships with suppliers, or establishing new ones represented the main focus of visitors to the interplastica and the UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA 2016. From 26 to 29 January, 20.900 specialist visitors from Russia and its neighbouring countries came to the Moscow Expocentre in Krasnaya Presnya – around 1.900 more than in 2015. The atmosphere within the halls was remarkably great. The exhibitors reported there being extremely interested business people, who were also, in part, ready to make orders. A total of 828 companies from 38 countries presented their range of offers at both trade fairs.
“Russia is still a potentially significant market currently experiencing difficult times. At the moment, for small and middle-sized Russian companies in particular, it is not easy – the problem of financing planned investments is a quite big. However, the market has in no way come to a halt. There is still a high level of interest in high-quality and innovative machinery, systems, and materials. Companies want to invest and are also making effort to realise planned projects. In such a situation, trade fairs play an important role! With their participation, the exhibitors have provided that they do not only have short-term success in mind, but are making endeavours to sustainably maintain relationships. This was clearly rewarded,” commented Matthias Werner Dornscheidt, Chairman and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. The trade fair company organises both specialist trade fairs, the interplastica and UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA together with its subsidiary, Messe Düsseldorf Moscow OOO, the latter in cooperation with the Italian organiser CPA.
The visitors unanimously expressed positive feedback regarding the versatile range of companies and products, the numerous product debuts, and the presence of many market leaders. Special suppliers and newcomers were also able to be delighted with the lively activity at their trade fair stands.
Russian food and drink manufacturers still look to western technology: one in two confectionery machines used in Russia is German-produced and the same goes for brewery machines and drinks bottling machines. “In particular, it is large agricultural holdings and retail firms wanting to act independently from their suppliers who invest in the development and expansion of local food production, not least due to the import ban on foods and state subsidies. In UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA we offer an ideal platform to companies with the technology to meet this demand – and Russia is one of the largest sales markets for food and drinks worldwide,” commented Bernd Jablonowski, Global Portfolio Director of Processing & Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf.
As a result of the investments numerous new factories for the production of ready-meals and convenience products are springing up. This offers sales opportunities to German manufacturers of food and packaging machinery. Nevertheless, the hole in the order books from 2014 impacted 2015 and German exports of food machinery and packaging machinery to Russia fell in the first ten months of that year by 36% to Euro 261 m. This knocked Russia from its No. 3 position in the ranking of key export markets of the German food and packaging manufacturers, one it held since 2010, down to No. 5. “German technology is still in demand in Russia – both by international Food manufacturing concerns and by purely Russian operations across the entire value added chain. Today, it is more important than ever to fly the flag, maintain contacts and invest so as to be out in front when the economy picks up,” commented Vera Fritsche of the Specialist Association for Food and Packaging Machinery within the German Engineering Federation (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau – VDMA).
A similar view is shared by Andrea Briganti, CEO of the co-organizer CPA and General Manager of the Italian association of manufacturers of machinery for the graphic, converting and paper industry, ACIMGA: “The current conditions are certainly not ideal, but better times will come. In order to take advantage of the enormous market potential, one has to be on the ball when economic conditions improve.”
The special show “World of Packaging Materials” was also well attended. Here companies showcased their solutions from the field of packaging materials.
The next UPAKOVKA/UPAK ITALIA will be held in Moscow from 24 to 27 January 2017, once again in parallel to interplastica.
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