A study produced by the Graphics of the Americas Expo & Conference (GOA) forecasts a positive state for the print industry in Latin America, a core GOA audience, in 2013. Produced annually by the Printing Association of Florida, and now in its 38th year, GOA will be held February 21-23, 2013, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, USA.
Based on statistics reported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the study reveals that the Latin America printing industry remained positive for most of the last decade, with a projected growth of 4% in 2013. The projected GDP in 2013 for Latin America and the Caribbean is 3.9%.
National economies that are driving the growth include (projected) Mexico (3.5%); Brazil (4%); Chile (4.4%); Colombia (4.4%); Peru (5.8%); and Panama (7.5%).
"The findings in this latest report are not at all surprising to us," says George, GOA president. "The very reason for the specialization of our show is the resounding success the printing industry is experiencing in Latin American countries. Our exhibitors and attendees are reporting growth year over year, even when the economy is not at its peak. This study is very promising and invigorating for our audience and those who serve it."
According to the study, the packaging segment has the best outlook within the industry. Another survey, published by Conversion Magazine in 2012, shows sustained growth in all three major categories: flexible packaging converters; label converters; and folding carton. The growth in the packaging segment is producing changes to the structure of the industry within the entire region, and there has been an increase in mergers and acquisitions of packaging converters with high volumes.
The GOA study finds that the most dynamic sectors of the Latin American printing industry have modernized technologically, and have maintained a significant investment capacity despite fluctuations in growth in the last ten years.
A significant number of large companies, particularly in Mexico and Brazil, have acquired world-class status in their markets, given their levels of efficiency, quality and service. In addition, a segment of small and medium-sized enterprises has achieved sustained growth and now faces the challenge of retooling to increase its competitiveness in the context of global competition. According to Agfa Graphics Brazil and Latin America President Fabrizio Valentini, many printing industry companies have experienced double-digit sales growth in the past decade.
The study concludes that the printing industry in Latin America is going through a period of transformation and redefinition, similar to the overall printing industry, worldwide. Opportunities abound for companies to refine vision, improve competitiveness, and invest in technologies to improve quality and productivity. Companies report that they will now be focusing on differentiating services and, in certain niches, leveraging the opportunities created by online advancements, new methods, and progressive philosophies.