As per the Industry sources, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the Jakarta-based world’s largest paper mill said the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market is a critical growth geography for its paper and paper products in the light of the growing demand for bio-degradable green packaging solutions, estimated to be growing at around 4 percent annually.
Industry sources further added that the demand for eco-friendly paper products has been on an exponential growth curve in MEA post-COVID led by food packaging and other verticals such as catering, hygiene, pharma, and cosmetics with an estimated market size poised to touch US$28.72 billion, according to Mordor Intelligence.
Further, the demand is also catalyzed by the surge in e-commerce with Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the trend. The Middle East region now accounts for almost 15 percent of the global sales of APP, with a significant share of the growth coming from commodity and specialty grade paper.
APP’s major markets in the region are the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the GCC, followed by Iraq and other markets. APP has fully integrated operations in Indonesia with a wide product range in the industry from Pulp, Paper, Packaging, Tissue, and Stationery.
“ME region is one of the important markets primarily because of our long presence of over three decades, as also the region being a net importer of paper products, with APP registering year-on-year growth over the years,” stated Sandeep Raina, Export Sales Head, Middle East and Africa for APP, adding that the company’s sales have surged back to pre-COVID levels.
Industry sources further added that APP has a long association with ME and it has an official presence through a branch office in the UAE since 1989 and a wide network of distributors and customers in the region. “APP has chosen the UAE as its official base since the emirates are the largest business and trading hub in the region with best-in-class facilities in terms of banking, warehousing and re-exports,” stated Raina.