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Edana hosts conference in the Middle East: industry responds positively to symposium in India.

EDANA's first-ever Middle East Nonwovens Symposium and Tabletop Exhibition, which took place in Dubai, India February 20-21, 2007, was judged a major success by the 300-plus delegates and exhibitors alike.

East certainly met West at EDANA's launch event in the Middle East. Of the 305 participants (a record number for a first-ever EDANA event) from 36 countries, almost 40% came from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, making this a unique meeting place for the nonwovens industry in the EMEA region.

Pierre Wiertz, general manager of EDANA, opened the Middle East Nonwovens Symposium by commenting on the enthusiastic response to this initiative. 'We probably do not need to ask the question, 'Why hold an EDANA event here?' but rather, 'Why did we not do it sooner?"'.

The Middle East Symposium was launched as an exciting new initiative as part of EDANA's expanded geographical remit, which has already manifested itself over the past few years in an increase of non-European members and the organization of its popular training courses in Brazil, India, Malaysia and in South Africa this summer.

Although a number of companies have been producing and converting nonwovens in this region for about two decades, some of whom have been long-standing members of EDANA, it is only in recent years that we have witnessed an impressive local and foreign investment in all parts of the value chain, and in particular in roll goods. With a positive outlook in terms of its demographics and economics, this region is expected to be one of the world's fastest areas of growth for nonwovens and related products.

The symposium featured thirteen expert speakers from leading regional and global companies, illustrating several of nonwovens growth markets (hygiene and personal care, roofing, geotextiles, protective apparel and medical nonwovens), which represent huge opportunities for the industry.

The tabletop exhibition proved to be immensely popular, with the stand space having sold out by the end of last year. Thirty-five companies, from various European countries as well as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, India and Pakistan, promoted their products and services, ranging from raw materials and films to machinery and roll goods.

The symposium marked an important step forward in forging a closer partnership between the nonwovens industries in Europe and the Middle East. The status of economic and trade policies between the two regions makes business easier than in many other places. For example, the respect of intellectual property and the relatively easy transfer of capital, know-how and goods in either direction are certainly offering better conditions than many other countries around the globe.

Pierre Wiertz, encouraged by the first edition, has unveiled plans for a second Middle East Nonwovens event, provisionally scheduled for 2009. In the meantime, INDEX 08 (www.index08.org), which takes place in Geneva on April 15-18, 2008, is the next great opportunity for the international nonwovens industry to meet, network, exhibit and learn about the latest developments.

Other EDANA events not to be missed are the Annual International Nonwovens Symposium (30-31 May 2007, Berlin, Germany) and the seventh edition of OUTLOOK, the highly acclaimed personal care products conference (26-28 September 2007, Cascais Estoril, Portugal).

For further information, contact edana; 32 2 734 93 10 ; Fax: 32 2 733 35 18; E-mail: info@edana.org; Web: www.edana.org.
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Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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