Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, will be organising its first French Pavilion at the ArabPlast trade fair with 13 companies representing different sectors of the industry.
ArabPlast, taking place from 5th to 8th January at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, has established itself as the leading trade fair for the plastics industry in the Middle East. Its privileged geographical position makes it a particularly popular business location and an ideal meeting place for French exhibitors wishing to develop or intensify their growth in local and regional markets.
Given the hydrocarbon reserves available in the United Arab Emirates, plastics processing is one of the country's priority areas for industrial diversification. Demand comes mainly from the food packaging and electrical tube and cable manufacturing sectors. Last year, the packaging sector grew by 44%. All of the above are excellent reasons for French companies to offer the UAE market alternative solutions in the field of innovative plastics, a sector in which France excels.
A creative sector
French plastics processing is a structurally expanding growth sector. In 2017, the plastics and composites industry returned to its historic highs, achieving a turnover of €30.2 billion, which is almost identical to 2007 turnover (€31 billion) with 3,500 companies and 128,000 employees. It covers 110 economic sectors, principally food/agri-food (19%), automotive (17%), construction (12%), electricity/electronics (10%) and medical (10%).
The French plastics industry benefits from its collective innovative strength which is further supported by its Industrial Technical IPC Center (Innovation - Plastics - Composites). Innovation concerns not only products and materials, but also equipment and tooling. 7,600 employees work in R&D in the plastics sector with €636 billion being invested in R&D in 2016. A territorial network organization, that works in close co-operation with companies, total commitment to the French ambition of the circular economy, a conscious policy to train people in order to constantly improve employee skills and qualifications, are the other advantages of the plastics industry, which underpin its ambitions for the future of its undertakings.
Since 2010, exports of plastic products have been growing at a rate of 4.2% per year, a rate that may even reach 5.2% this year. France is ranked 2nd in Europe and 7th in the world