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FESPA has extended its global reach with the addition of two more Asian associate members, as it welcomes the Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP) and the Nepal Printers’ Association (NPA).

As associate members of FESPA, members of SLAP and NPA will now benefit from a wide range of educational resources, training and best-practice development tools, as well as participating in a growing number of international projects and events. FESPA will benefit by forging even stronger links with the Asia-Pacific region, which as a whole is an increasingly significant player in the global screen, textile and digital printing markets.

FESPA’s firm commitment to the Asia-Pacific region is evidenced by the number of events it runs in the area. FESPA launched the first ever screen and digital print exhibition in India, FESPA India 2005, which has continued to run every two years since the inaugural show, with the third FESPA India taking place in December 2009. Further to the success of these exhibitions, FESPA launched FESPA Digital India in 2008, dedicated to the digital wide format printing industry.  Last year the association also launched FESPA Asia-Pacific, the region’s only international event dedicated to screen and digital printing which will return in 2010.

Sri Lanka Association of Printers
Founded in 1956, SLAP currently consists of 288 printers and 125 suppliers. Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the association undertakes a wide range of activities on behalf of its members. It provides advice and an array of services to promote the welfare of its members, including researching the latest market developments and trends, as well as developing the industry through the introduction of modern technology. It is firmly committed to training the country’s youth in all aspects of printing work, and provides career guidance and employment opportunities.
The Sri Lanka Association of Printers communicates with public authorities and other associations on matters affecting the interest of its members and the wider printing industry, and enters into arrangements with the government or other authorities to obtain rights, concessions, licences and privileges to support the industry. Its links with the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the South Asia Print Congress, the Forum of Asia Pacific Graphic Arts Technology, the Sri Lanka Institute of Printing and the INGRIN Institute of Printing and Graphic Arts provide additional support to the country’s print industry.

SLAP President, Mrs. Dharani Karunaratne went on to say: ''We are honored to be a part of FESPA's global member community. As an association, we are strongly committed to promoting and, overall, developing the printing Industry in Sri Lanka. Being a member of FESPA has great meaning and value that enables us to provide a wide range of educational and training resources, as well as access to a number of other services that FESPA has to offer that includes exhibitions to its members."

Nepal Printers’ Association
Established in 1978, the Nepal Printers’ Association, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, has 211 members consisting of digital, offset, and screen printers, print suppliers and, pre- and post-press-related businesses. The NPA provides its members with a number of services and support initiatives. It organises various training schemes to help members better understand, manage and use the latest printing technologies. It runs a range of interactive printing workshops and seminars and also runs broader business sessions on income tax, the VAT and tax registration to help members develop their commercial awareness. The association provides members with valuable business and economic information that it disseminates via the post, circulars and newsletters.

The NPA is also involved in lobbying and making recommendations to the government on relevant policy matters. It played an integral role in securing projects for the country’s domestic printers, such as the printing and distribution of school texts books with its Public-Private Partnership Approach. It also represents the business community in various governmental and wider organisations, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FNCCI), the South Asia Print Congress (SAPC), the Federation of Small & Cottage Industries (FSCIs), and the Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), creating strong networking opportunities for members.

Mr. Uday Narsingh Shrestha, President of NPA says: “At the NPA, we pride ourselves on providing members with a wealth of information, resources and support. We are delighted to become an associate member of FESPA, which will enable us to offer our members even greater value, thanks to FESPA’s international links and industry expertise.”

Nigel Steffens, CEO of FESPA, comments: “We are thrilled to welcome both SLAP and the NPA to FESPA’s international community. We are committed to expanding our global reach and influence, particularly in emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. We’re confident that our partnership with the SLAP and the NPA will be mutually beneficial and look forward to collaborating with these new members in the coming months.”

Both associations will support FESPA at FESPA India running from 7 – 9 December 2009 at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. For more information please visit the FESPA India website at http://www.fespaindia.com