Plastics News takes a look at Southeast Asia, and the recent Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2014 show.
The growth of Asia's middle class and the rising costs in China were front and center at the show, held in Ho Chi Minh City.
While Vietnam's economy has sputtered the last two years, companies were hoping to tap into growing local demand as middle class consumption rises in Southeast Asia. One December study said Vietnam's middle class, for example, will triple to 33 million people by 2020.
The growth of China's middle class is also expected to benefit manufacturing in Southeast Asia. As costs in China go up and the purchasing power of the Chinese middle class gets bigger, one analyst said China's export-oriented industries will increasingly switch to manufacturing for Chinese consumers.
That will leave openings for some new entrants in the global supply chain, and fairgoers were there to see to what extent Vietnam could fill that role.