Egypt and Jordan: progress against the odds

By Helen Morris, Editor, Tissue World Magazine

15SeptOct_helenTissue makers well know the difference between potential growth and realisable growth.

Growth which has every chance of being turned into revenue when consumers enjoy more spendable income, and growth which even when that occurs will remain elusive for cultural, historical reasons.

Egypt and Jordan are a case in point. In Egypt’s case is does seem surprising that a civilisation so old should today still be described as “developing.” That is the word Abdul Karim Natout, the founder and chairman of Egyptian tissue mill Zeina uses: “Egypt is a developing country, the consumption (of tissue) per capita ranges from 700 – 1,000 grams compared to 5kg per capita in the Middle East.”

On the best way of solving any overcapacity he has this to say: “The development of the country and consumer product education is the sole solution.”

On green issues: “The consumer mindset and culture doesn’t promote environmental-friendly products to a great level. This market is still primitive with great room for development in the future.”

Advertising and marketing of toilet paper, for example, remains limited.

Egypt is the Middle East’s most populous country at 88m, with 12.3m more inhabitants expected by 2020. That is one kind of potential.

General economic indicators are fairly promising: 3.8% improved GDP expected in 2015, a relatively stable political situation; and retail tissue volume is 4% up, with more retail outlets established in urban centres.

On the debit side, traditional markets are less accessible amid the Middle East’s ongoing security crisis, and, as Indevco Paper Making vice president Imad Issa Elkhoury explains, recent energy price increases in Egypt have coincided with worldwide energy price decreases and major currency devaluations hitting profitability.

Both are doing their utmost to fill that “great room for development,” but given the somewhat more intractable reasons already spelt out it remains one of the more precarious jobs in tissue.

Tissue World New Orleans: March 2016

TWM offers a warm welcome to all those attending Tissue World New Orleans, our biggest event in North America!

The US tissue market maintains its dominant position across the globe as our full exhibition hall featuring leading companies from across the tissue supply chain proves. It comes at a time when the US tissue market is packed full of new ventures, technology developments and merger and acquisition activity; over $700m changed hands in M&A activity in 4Q 2015 alone.

It all sets the stage to make the eighth edition of Tissue World in America the biggest ever in its history.

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