UAE paper consumption remains highest in world

DUBAI — UAE’s paper consumption is among the highest in the world as the country’s per capita consumption is more than 230 per cent compared to the global average, according to the statistics released on the sidelines of Paper Arabia exhibition, which started on Sunday.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2011, 10:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:51 AM

According to the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association, one of the biggest associations in the world specialising in paper, the per capita annual consumption of paper in the UAE is 200kg, against the global average consumption of 60kg. This is a significant figure for the UAE with a small population, when contrasted with a country like India where the per capita consumption is mere 9kg. UAE’s consumption is on par with Italy and Spain.

In 2010, the UAE consumed nearly one per cent of the total global consumption of 450 million tonnes and the country’s paper consumption also accounted for 19.4 per cent in the entire Middle East region. Last year the UAE consumed 3.5 million tonnes of paper and the region 18 million tonnes.

These statistics were revealed at the inauguration of Paper Arabia 2011, the first-of-its-kind industry expo, which was inaugurated by Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The event will continue until September 20.

Organisers of the show said that A4 paper led the demand for paper in the UAE, and the overall growth in paper consumption was between five and six per cent where 12 paper mills operates in the country. Speaking about the paper industry, Al Ghurair said that the paper industry is still evolving in the UAE, and it serves the entire region and Africa. Suresh Kilam, vice-chairman of Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association said, “Chinese paper and pulp industry will reach 168 million tonnes in 2020, 22 million of which will be exported outside Chinese markets, with the Middle East getting the bulk of these exports in the absence of antidumping policies. Chinese production was 92 tonnes in 2010 compared with 32 tonnes in 2001.”

North American paper market is shrinking at 1.8 percent yearly, and same applies to Western Europe market. Talking about the importance of using latest technologies in saving production costs, Kilam added that China is adopting new technologies that are reducing the cost by almost half.

He added that the global consumption of paper would reach 495 million tonnes in 2020. Talking about the tissue industry in the region, Kilam said that it was growing rapidly. There were four major machines in 2010, against only one in 2000.

Satish Khanna, general manager, Al Fajer Information and Services, which organises the show, said: “Paper industry is developing all over the world, especially in the Middle East. We have high hopes for this industry in Dubai and the potential is really huge. Paper Arabia 2011 is dedicated to the development of the paper, printing and packaging industry in the GCC.”

Paper Arabia 2011 is bringing together players from the paper, tissue and converting industries. This show offers opportunities to the manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to tap the Middle East and North African markets.

Paper Arabia, with more than 150 exhibitors from 25 countries from across the world, is a key platform for traders and industry players to interact. The show’s participants include leading global names from the UAE, Italy, Jordan, India, China, Netherlands USA and UK amongst others.

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