By: Jim Johnson
October 16, 2013
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Back in one of the corners of Hall 14 sits a relatively small booth, compared to some of the behemoths elsewhere at the K show, away from the hustle and bustle of the main corridors on opening day.
But the folks from Cypet Technologies Ltd., busy putting on the finishing touches to the booth Wednesday morning, are just happy to be here as the lone representative of their island country.
While some countries send hundreds of companies to exhibit in Düsseldorf over the next week or so, there are a handful of nations that are represented by a single firm on the show floor.
"It makes us proud, basically," said Constantinos Sideris, director of Cypet Technologies. "Being amongst the big guys, everybody has to start somewhere."
Cypet Technologies (Hall 14/C-58) historically has only traded in plastic machinery and materials, but now the company is in Germany to promote its own machine to create PET bottles and jars.
"The plastics industry in Cyprus is very small because the country is very small," Sideris said. Only about 40,000 tons of plastics are converted in the country on an annual basis. "It's one medium-sized company for a country like the United States."
Sideris is so sold on his company's patented technology, which uses the same clamping unit for both injection molding and blow molding, that he said it does not matter where his company is located.
"The value-added of our machine is such that the freight cost compared to the value of the machine," he said, "… is not a disadvantage."
It's really no surprise that nearly one-third of the exhibitors at this year's K show hail from Germany, considering the location of the triennial trade show.
And Italy is again showing up strong with just over 400 exhibitors this time around, just like three years ago.
And while a handful of countries send a hundred or more exhibitors to the show, there are many among the more than 60 countries with fewer than five companies with booth space. That includes 10 countries with a lone representative, according to statistics compiled by the show.
Tiny Liechtenstein, with less than 40,000 people in the entire country, is represented by two companies. That outpaces countries such as Kuwait, Croatia and Indonesia. Ukraine, with a population of more than 45 million in an area about the size of Texas, also checks in with a single firm.
Also showing up on the list with a single firm is Pakistan, with Pak Petrochemical Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. as the lone representative for its country.
Syed Noman Ali Turab, director of the polystyrene maker, was hanging out at his company's booth (Hall 8A/C-48) as the show opened Wednesday.
"It's a good feeling for sure. This is not the first time we were here," he said about representing his country.
Pak Petrochemical also was at the K show in 2010 and found its time in Germany to be a beneficial experience, with good leads coming into the company. About 25 percent of the company's business is local and about 75 percent is export.
Coming to the show allows Pak Pe¬trochemical to be on equal footing with other companies as some firms might consider dealing with a company based in Pakistan as a hurdle initially, Turab said. "Not everybody is willing to come down to Pakistan to meet us."
"At the end of the day, what matters for the customer is that he is getting good, quality production on time. It doesn't really matter where it's coming from."
Coming to the show allows Pak Petrochemical to look for new export markets, and the company is keen on exploring possibilities in Africa and Latin America these days.
While Cypet Technologies' booth could be considered modest by some K-show standards, Equate Petrochemical Co.'s space is not.
With two stories and a curved front, there's plenty of room and comfortable chairs, private meeting space and even a small fountain recirculating water.
That's where Homoud Al-Enezi, production leader for the company's pol¬yethylene plant, sat down for a few minutes to talk about what it means to represent his home country of Kuwait at the K show.
Equate (Hall 8B/A-63) is in Germany "to be recognized more as a world-class company and to be known globally," Al-Enezi said. "We are the only company in Kuwait that produces plastic as a raw material. Our plastic also goes all over the world."
"Of course, it's very significant for us to represent Equate and the state of Kuwait at the end of the day," he said. "We are proud to see our plastic all over the world."