French plastics experts gathered together for the first time in a French pavilion at the ARABPLAST in Dubai, from 5 to 8 January 2019

in Business by
  • Inaugural French pavilion
  • 13 French companies

Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, will be organizing its first French Pavilion at the ARABPLAST trade fair with 13 companies representing different sectors of the industry. ARABPLAST has established itself as the leading trade fair for the plastics industry in the Middle East. Its privileged geographical position makes it a particularly popular business location and an ideal meeting place for French exhibitors wishing to develop or intensify their growth in local and regional markets.

Given the hydrocarbon reserves available in the United Arab Emirates, plastics processing is one of the country’s priority areas for industrial diversification. Demand comes mainly from the food packaging and electrical tube and cable manufacturing sectors. Last year, the packaging sector grew by 44%. All of the above are excellent reasons for French companies to offer the UAE market alternative solutions in the field of innovative plastics, a sector in which France excels.

A creative sector

French plastics processing is a structurally expanding growth sector. In 2017, the plastics and composites industry returned to its historic highs, achieving a turnover of €30.2 billion, which is almost identical to 2007 turnover (€31 billion) with 3,500 companies and 128,000 employees. It covers 110 economic sectors, principally food/agri-food (19%), automotive (17%), construction (12%), electricity/electronics (10%) and medical (10%).

Major advantages

The French plastics industry benefits from its collective innovative strength which is further supported by its Industrial Technical IPC Center (Innovation – Plastics – Composites). Innovation concerns not only products and materials, but also equipment and tooling. 7,600 employees work in R&D in the plastics sector with €636 billion being invested in R&D in 2016. A territorial network organization, that works in close co-operation with companies, total commitment to the French ambition of the circular economy, a conscious policy to train people in order to constantly improve employee skills and qualifications, are the other advantages of the plastics industry, which underpin its ambitions for the future of its undertakings.

Since 2010, exports of plastic products have been growing at a rate of 4.2% per year, a rate that may even reach 5.2% this year. France is ranked 2nd in Europe and 7th in the world.

There are many sectors that are promising for the French plastics industry:

  • For sectors that use packaging products, plastics offer an efficient means of meeting product safety and regulatory compliance requirements;
  • The automotive sector will require ever-increasing quantities of plastic if it is to meet the challenge of reducing vehicle weight;
  • Plastics are required for a wide range of construction industry products, such as coatings, pipes and cables, PVC joinery, insulation. French manufacturers place particular emphasis on energy efficiency, recycling, maintenance, durability, weight reduction, etc;
  • The medical/health sector, in which France is a world leader, is also very important for plastics. The applications are numerous and diverse – medical and pharmaceutical packaging, prostheses, syringes, etc.
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