State-of-the-art and digital technologies have penetrated the Philippines packaging space with the recent staging of ProPak, the leading processing and packaging trade event in Asia.
The event, attended by more than 4,000 participants in January 2019, offered sustainable and affordable packaging solutions for the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises.
Organized by UBM Philippines and powered by ProPak Asia, ProPak Philippines 2019 is the first-of-its-kind food, drink and pharmaceutical focused international trade show in the country. It exhibited world-class packaging and processing machines to boost the capability of local packaging service providers and MSMEs.
UBM said food manufacturing remains the Philippines’ strongest manufacturing sector, representing 65 percent of the industry, which is in need of upgraded technology and a higher level of automation.
The Packaging Institute of the Philippines expressed optimism that the sector will replicate the country’s economic growth which is expected to be within the vicinity of 6 percent in 2019. PIP is also looking at a stable growth for the industry based on the strong showing of the manufacturing sector, said outgoing president Joseph Ross Jocson.
“Growth is a given for the packaging industry. It is always growing since it correlates food and to the rise in population. A growing population means more food and more food means an increase in packaging needs,” Jocson said.
While the biggest portion of packaging dedicated to food, almost everything that is manufactured needs to be packaged such as garments, consumer goods, electronics, appliances, among others.
Packaging comprises at least 20 percent of the total cost of a product, especially for manufactured food. For some products, there are times that packaging is even more costly than the product itself. Globally, it is estimated to be a $1-trillion industry.
Compared to its Asean neighbors, the Philippines is said to be one of the laggards in terms of packaging technology. “That’s precisely the reason why we brought in ProPak to give manufacturers options when it comes to their packaging requirements. For 20 years now, Propak has always been in Bangkok, China and Vietnam. Our MSMEs have no means to go these countries to look for the latest trend in packaging,” Jocson said.
“In MSME development, the key is to make entrepreneurs smarter by exposing them to all new developments via networks like ProPak to solve the problem of minimum order quantity that has been hampering MSMEs,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
The three-day event held on Jan. 24 to 26, brought together 292 leading companies from 29 countries with nine international pavilions from China, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK.
The Philippine government also saw the importance of good packaging in enhancing the marketability and competitiveness of Philippine MSMEs.
“Packaging in the words of Secretary Ramon Lopez, is your form of advertisement,” said Trade Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya.
ProPak is envisioned to be an annual venue for Filipino producers to explore more options for packaging.
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