NPE ’12: Non-US companies take expanding role in plastics forum

01 April 2012 23:57  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--The 27th triennial international NPE plastics exhibition opened on Sunday, with what show sponsors said is the largest and broadest participation by non-US companies in the event’s six decades of operation.

“Companies coming from outside the US account for 40% of the total exhibitor count in 2012,” said Bob Martino, NPE spokesman, noting that the foreign-based participation represents “a substantial increase from the one-third share for recent NPEs".

In addition, he said, “approximately 41% of the international exhibitors come from China – by far the largest contingent from that country at any NPE”.

Overall, the number of registered participants is expected to reach and perhaps exceed 60,000, Martino said, a turnout that marks a 30% increase from the recession-plagued 2009 NPE.

Among those estimated 60,000 registered visitors, Martino said that foreign-based participants account for 25% of the total.

Fully half of the foreign visitors are from Latin America, Martino said, “attesting to the advantages of the Orlando venue for travellers from Mexico and Central and South America”.

Sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), the NPE conferences previously had been held in Chicago, Illinois, spanning a 40-year period in the event's 66-year history.

Gene Sanders, SPI senior vice president and general manager for NPE, said that this year’s event and its Orlando venue also has “attracted many new first-time exhibitors and visitors, not just from other countries but from manufacturing companies in the south-eastern US that are within easy reach of Orlando”.

“At the same time, the economic advantages of Orlando, combined with recovery in the US economy, have ensured the return of our long-time exhibitors and visitors, including those that didn’t come to NPE 2009 because of the Great Recession.”  The 2008-2009 recession ended in June 2009.

Sanders said many more NPE seminars and technical working sessions are being offered in Spanish this year compared with 2009, and attendance by Spanish-speaking visitors has expanded six-fold.

In recognition of the growing international participation in the conference, SPI has provided on-site translators to accommodate 12 languages, including Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Italian, German and Korean, among others. 

The conference began on Sunday and runs through Thursday, 5 April.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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