The regional industry is always on the lookout for greater connectivity with consumers, optimization of packs for ecommerce, sustainable materials, greater customisation of packs for promotional campaigns, and designs for optimal instore location. Other factors that are conducive for the industry’s growth are the fast-progressing preparations for World Expo 2020, expanding retail landscape, increasing incomes.

Middle East presents new boom market for international print industry
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) print market is offering dynamic and exciting opportunities according to the latest exclusive research from Smithers Pira.

According to Smithers Pira report - The Future of Printing in the Middle East and North Africa to 2022 – shows the region as a whole is set to expand from a value of $26.8 billion in 2017 at an annual rate of 8.7% to pass $40 billion in 2022. This contrasts with a mean annual growth of 2.4% for 2012-2017 reflecting the opening of until now underdeveloped countries to the full range of modern print products and technologies.

This expansion is occurring against a more static backdrop for the print industry generally, with annual global growth pegged at a more sober 2% as traditional segments decline. As a consequence the Middle East and North Africa can be seen as an attractive strategic growth target for international print equipment and consumable suppliers.

“The drop off in demand for high volume print products – like books and newspapers – in core European and North America markets, means the print industry needs to find new markets. And from a number of perspectives MENA is very attractive for this. We are seeing global print firms opening new offices and reporting sales to the region, and local print service providers diversifying their product offering as they rapidly adopt new technologies. Of course, selling effectively into MENA has some unique challenges but our research shows the demand is and will be there; and there are specific opportunities now, like the opening up of the post-sanctions Iranian market, and transition economies moving towards food sold in supermarkets in locally printed packaging.”
Stephen Hill, Smithers Pira Operations Director –EMEA

MENA is not divorced from wider print technology trends, with digital – inkjet and toner – output set to rise at the fastest rate. Overall MENA output will rise from 2.61 trillion A4 sheet equivalents in 2017 to 2.76 trillion in 2022. This is a more modest 2.8% annual growth, but emphasises the value-adding potential and higher per unit print service providers will be able to realise with a new generation of print, pre-press, and finishing equipment.

Regional facts and figures

From US$26.8 billion in 2017, the printing industry in the Middle East and North Africa is to grow at a rate of 8.7% to hit US$40 billion by 2022
Consumption of printed materials to rise from 15.8 million tonnes in 2017 to reach 22.6 million tonnes by 2022