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Exploring opportunities in ASEAN plastics and rubber sectors

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:8/23/2017 04:08:26 PM

To set the stage for modern-day innovations and solutions, T-PLAS 2017 will house 300 exhibitors from 20 countries. 
The International Trade Fair for the Plastics and Rubber Industries 2017 (T-PLAS 2017) will take place from 20 – 23 September. The biennial trade fair will continue to address future challenges and identify opportunities within the regional plastics and rubber landscape.  To set the stage for yet another successful showing of modern-day innovations and solutions, T-PLAS 2017 will house 300 exhibitors from 20 countries. Six national pavilions and country groups will reiterate the international capacity of the trade exhibition, including participation from Austria, China, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. 
The healthy showing of international participation is not a recent development as T-PLAS has successfully established itself as an internationally recognized plastics and rubber platform in the past, drawing exhibitors and trade visitors from more than 40 countries in its previous edition. “Thailand has established itself as an essential medical hub in Southeast Asia. With the introduction of Thailand 4.0, the industry will definitely open up many more doors to foreign investors. With the presentation of the inaugural Medical and Healthcare Plastics Pavilion, T-PLAS 2017 aims to offer industry professionals a meeting place to foster cross-border relationships.” explained Mr. Gernot Ringling, Managing Director, Messe Düsseldorf Asia.  Known as the “gateway to Asia” due to its centralized geographical location, Thailand is set to catapult into an advanced era. As the nation heads into its new economic model, Thailand 4.0, governing bodies have earmarked diverse initiatives that will create incredible business opportunities in both regional and global markets. 
To help exhibitors and visitors capitalize on the emergence of opportunities made possible by Thailand 4.0, T-PLAS 2017 will feature 6 dedicated areas that focus on forward-looking trends and technologies. These areas will showcase products and services from the burgeoning plastics and rubber markets, with an industry-related focus on automotive, bioplastics, electrical and electronics, lifestyle, medical and packaging. 
Growth sectors identified 
In the wake of Thailand 4.0, the automotive industry has been tipped for further growth as the Thai government plans to significantly increase tire production from 530,000 tons per year to more than a million tons in the coming years. Roadmaps for the development of the electric vehicle industry, complete with incentives, have also been put in gear to transform the nation’s economy into one driven by innovation and creativity. 
Another important sector is bioplastics which falls under part of the petrochemical industry. It is one of the many sectors that are strongly supported by the Thai government in the advent of Thailand 4.0. Thailand is fast becoming one of the epicenters for the evolving bioplastics industry in Southeast Asia by disrupting the public use of disposable plastic bags with biodegradable plastics from locally abundant sugarcane feedstock. Domestic demand for this sector is estimated to rise to 3 – 4 million tons annually over the course of the next few years. 
Electronics registered as the top exported product in 2016, taking up 14.6 % of overall exported goods. This figure is expected to increase over the next few years, growing in tandem with the huge boost in investments in the sector. The electrical and electronics sector is slated for a massive upgrade in the bid to futureproofing the nation via Thailand 4.0. 
A steep increase in online purchases in recent years has positioned the growth of Thailand’s E-Commerce market in second place in Southeast Asia, while also registering the highest M-Commerce penetration. This will continue to grow by 15% for the next five years, giving rise to the consumption of packaging and lifestyle plastics. Thailand’s online crossborder shopping is estimated to grow by 84% in 2017. With online platforms and e-payment systems becoming increasingly reliable through efforts to usher the nation into an advanced digital age via Thailand 4.0, the e-commerce and market will continue to flourish without a hitch. 
Thailand is also fast becoming one of the most popular medical destinations in Southeast Asia. The medical and healthcare industry and the nation’s medical tourism are areas the governing bodies are looking to develop through plans laid out for Thailand 4.0. Thailand’s healthcare spending is projected to grow 8%, and will reach $18.7 billion in 2018. 
Driven by Thailand 4.0, packaging in the food and beverage industry and agroindustry is set to grow at a rapid rate. As demand for convenience continue to grow in Thailand, packaged food evolved from supermarkets to neighborhood convenience stores all across Thailand. This has seen the rapid expansion of convenience stores, which are now close to 30,000, or a ratio of 1 store per 5,500 people. The packaging industries account for more than 48% of Thailand’s plastics consumption. 
“With its proven reputation as a unique platform for local and international players to explore business opportunities, T-PLAS 2017 will continue to connect participating companies and qualified buyers, through its many focus areas, by leveraging on the prospects brought forth by Thailand 4.0,” added Mr. Ringling. Complementing the exhibition and providing a knowledge-information exchange platform for the industries will be a series of concurrent conferences and seminars that will deliver enthralling topics on innovative technologies for cost-efficient plastics processing and problem-solving solutions in plastics injection molding, along with its many on-site product and service demonstrations. 
To further enhance the regional focus and international outlook of the exhibition, T-PLAS will be co-located with PACK PRINT INTERNATIONAL 2017, the 6th International Packaging and Printing Exhibition for Asia. The strategic parallel showing of the two exhibitions will sharpen the profile and enhance the relevancy of the two independent trade fairs as they bring together the best companies from the packaging, printing, plastics and rubber sectors.  


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