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Wood instead of plastic – the message from The European Pallet Association to the Arab States of the Gulf

The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) attended the Gulf Packaging & Polymers Show (GPPS) in Abu Dhabi from 1st to 3rd February 2016 with great success.

As a silver sponsor, the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) appeared in front of industry specialists at the Gulf Packaging & Polymers Show 2016 (GPPS) in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). At the delegate conference that ran in parallel to the trade fair, Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL, spoke about the advantages of the EPAL-licensed wooden flat pallet, the EPAL system with its worldwide open exchange pool, and the further development of the additional digital services on offer from EPAL. Martin Leibrandt’s presentation, entitled “EPAL 4.0 – Ready for the future”, was received by the invited delegates with much enthusiasm.

The trade fair stand designed exclusively for EPAL and constructed entirely from EPAL pallets was an impressive head-turner for the international industry specialists. EPAL presented its full flat pallet portfolio at the GPPS: the conventional EPAL Euro pallet, the EPAL 2 and EPAL 3 pallets, and the newly developed EPAL half pallet. An “artistic” half pallet with motifs by Düsseldorf-based photographic artist Christian Gäbel was integrated into the stand along with an outdoor armchair made from EPAL Euro pallets.

H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Dhabi Group, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development of the UAE, Honorary Board Member, and H.E. Humaid Mohamed Bin Salem, General Secretary of the Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce & Industry, welcomed CEO Martin Leibrandt and his team at the EPAL stand.

In 2014, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) packaging industry was estimated to be worth approx. US$ 41.1 billion. According to the market analysis of international market research institute Smithers Pira, MENA is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of almost 5% between 2014 and 2019 to US$ 52.4 billion. This is a higher growth rate than the approx. 4% p.a. predicted for the global packaging market.

Sustainable materials such as wood are playing an increasingly important role in the development of the MENA packaging industry and were therefore a focal point of the GPPS conference at which EPAL lead the way in the field of sustainable, reusable load carriers.

Martin Leibrandt, CEO of the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL): “Our original plan was for EPAL to make an initial mark in the Middle East. Following the trade fair, I’m convinced that EPAL has left behind some very strong footprints and that business will also be generated in the Middle East in future. I was impressed by the frankness of the delegates when discussing another type of resource and their open-mindedness towards the EPAL system.

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