MEXICO CITY — Mexico's main plastics industry exposition, Plastimagen, has rescheduled to avoid a conflict with Latin America's biggest plastics expo, Brasilplast. Plastimagen '99 now is scheduled for Feb. 9-12 in Mexico City, instead of March 9-12.
Plastimagen's organizers, Organizaci¢n de Promociones y Exposiciones SA de CV, first announced its planned 1999 dates shortly after the last Plastimagen show in September 1997. But Oprex recently decided to move the dates after its Brazilian counterparts announced in November that they planned to stage their SÃo Paulo-based show at the same time, March 8-13.
``We took a while to decide, because we had to evaluate the possibilities of moving the show,'' said Sandra Arellano, publicity and promotion manager for Mexico City-based Oprex.
``We made the decision about one month ago, and began to contact the exhibitors,'' said Elena Maribona, Oprex's executive director. ``The U.S. exhibitors were pleased, since many are planning to exhibit at both Plastimagen and Brasilplast,'' she added.
Oprex and Plastimagen's sponsor, Asociaci¢n Nacional de Industrias del Pl stico (Anipac), had hoped that Plastimagen '99 would be the show to open a new exposition center being built in Santa Fe, a new business area on the western side of Mexico City. The new facilities are being designed to show industrial machinery, something lacking in most other Mexico City facilities, including the World Trade Center.
But it looks as if the Santa Fe center will not open until September or October 1999, Maribona said, so Plastimagen again will be in the Palacio de los Deportes.
Oprex is not in direct contact with the Brazilian show organizers, nor does any international registry exist to record when shows are being announced within the same industry, Arellano added in a June 29 interview in her Mexico City office.
``The situation is that Brasilplast has defined dates, and we are programming Plastimagen for every 18 months,'' Arellano added. ``This makes us schedule, not irregularly, but in a different way than other shows that are annual, and makes it more difficult for other organizers to be aware of us when scheduling.''
Some members of the Mexican industry had wanted Plastimagen to be held every year. When they observe the ever-increasing success of the show, ``of course, they want it to take place annually,'' Arellano said.
``Nevertheless, for the health of the market and due to the fact that we want to attract more exhibitors that have a greater quality to offer, we have chosen a longer period,'' she said.
Oprex expects about 455 exhibitors next spring, up about 30 percent from the 348 at Plastimagen '97.
``This year is very important for us, since we are launching the pavilion for recycling and the processors' pavilion called Transplast 99,'' Arellano said.
Transplast 99 is the first international exhibition for processors at this show. This segment of the industry has been somewhat ignored in Mexico, she said.
By late June, 60 plastics processing companies had registered for Transplast, while 88 firms — mostly in machinery, equipment and mold manufacturing — had registered for Plastimagen. Arellano did not have figures available on how many had signed up to participate in the recycling, Canadian or U.S. pavilions.
Oprex's goal for attendance is to exceed 19,000, which would be up nearly 20 percent over the 15,874 that attended in 1997. Exhibitors are expected from 11 countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Portugal, Venezuela, Brazil and Italy.
Oprex also is making a special effort to promote the fair in Central American and Caribbean countries. With the aid of Mexico's national trade development bank, Bancomext, ``We hope to bring in more buyers from those areas to Plastimagen at convenient dates, and not compete with Brasilplast,'' Arellano said.
``The plastics industry continues to grow in Mexico,'' said Socorro Sedano, Anipac's general director.
She said a recent Anipac study shows plastics machinery imports have continued to increase, soaring 72 percent in value terms, to $589 million in 1997 from $342 million in 1996.