In response to the recent publicity over the number of companies dropping out of Ipex 2014, Tim Webb, General Secretary of Picon - the leading association for UK manufacturers and suppliers to the printing sector - explains why Ipex's emerging market focus makes the show a strategic event for many Picon members. He says:
"As the UK economy struggles to emerge from the recession, the UK government is constantly reminding the country’s manufacturers that we are expected to play a significant role in ‘rebalancing the economy’ away from an overdependence on financial services and towards exports. The fall in the value of sterling in recent months helps, but this is counterbalanced by the uncertain economic outlook in both the Eurozone and the US. As a result, UK manufacturers are looking even more eagerly to emerging markets.
Which is why members of Picon has welcomed Ipex 2014’s pledge to focus on attracting visitors from the still-expanding regions of Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. In contrast to the flat growth in the developed economies, the combined value of these and other print media economies is forecast to grow from $273 billion in 2011 to $303 billion in 2014.
We are confident, too, that Ipex 2014 will deliver on this pledge, because the Ipex ‘brand’ has already demonstrated its pulling power in these regions. The overseas attendance at Ipex 2010 was 8% up on 2008, a rise driven in large part by visitors from the Middle East and Asia. A further powerful statistic was the 14,000 senior international managers for whom 2010 was their first Ipex.
And print service providers from these emerging markets will come to Ipex 2014 wishing to learn. Most are hungry to understand the new industry being shaped by digital and cross media and are prepared to invest. Ipex has always been the show where visitors expect to see many products that are ‘ready to buy’, not simply technology demonstrations.
And these visitors, remember, were drawn to Birmingham. Factor into the equation the global appeal of London, plus an International Delegation Programme specifically targeted at senior decision-makers in emerging markets and Ipex 2014 has high strategic importance for many industry suppliers.”
[photo shows Tim Webb, General Secretary of Picon, alongside Ipex 2014 logo]