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Asia Paper & Pulp to drive MEA growth with new packaging solutions

Asia Paper & Pulp to drive MEA growth with new packaging solutions
From right: Sandeep Raina, Export Sales Head, Middle East and Africa and Letchumi Achanah, Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Advocacy, Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement Division, APP.

Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the Jakarta-based world’s largest paper mill said the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market is a critical growth geography for its paper and paper products in the light of the growing demand for bio-degradable green packaging solutions, estimated to be growing at around 4 per cent annually.

The demand for eco-friendly paper products has been on an exponential growth curve in MEA post-COVID led by food packaging and other verticals such as catering, hygiene, pharma and cosmetics with an estimated market size poised to touch US$28.72 billion. The demand is also catalysed by the surge in e-commerce with Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the trend.

“ME region is one of the important markets primarily because of our long presence of over three decades, as also the region being a net importer of paper products, with APP registering year-on-year growth over the years,” said Sandeep Raina, Export Sales Head, Middle East and Africa for APP, adding that the company’s sales have surged back to pre-COVID levels.

The Middle East region now accounts for almost 15 per cent of the global sales of APP, with a significant share of the growth coming from commodity and specialty grade paper. APP’s major markets in the region are the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the GCC, followed by Iraq and other markets. APP has fully integrated operations in Indonesia with a wide product range in the industry from Pulp, Paper, Packaging, Tissue and Stationery.

Carbon-neutral solutions

The increasing awareness on lessening carbon footprint and stricter legislation on single-use plastics in many countries in the region, particularly in the GCC, green packaging materials, particularly paper packaging solutions, are major catalysts of growth. APP has been evolving its product portfolio and market strategy in this context, leading to innovation and new product range.

Letchumi Achanah, Head of Stakeholder Engagement & Advocacy for APP said that in line with the changing trend, APP has launched its bio-degradable paper packaging solutions targeted at households, FMCG brands and the food packaging sector petroleum-free recyclable options to take on the plastic scourge.

“Sustainability is fundamental to APP’s vision as we continue to improvise and evolve towards our production towards a greener future. The company is making significant strides toward achieving its net-zero emissions goal by 2060 or earlier, whilst exploring and implementing various measures,” said Achanah.

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