Germany's Messe Düsseldorf, the largest overseas partner of the Plastindia show, has given its support to the last-minute move of Plastindia to a new convention center in Gujarat, but the German group has made it clear it would rather not have to shift locations.
“We were not really in favor of this move in this short time period,” said Joerg Duebelt, head of international department at Messe Düsseldorf, which is organizing the largest group of overseas exhibitors at the Indian fair. “This I can tell you quite clearly.”
But the Messe, which also owns the world's largest plastics fair, the K show in Germany, decided after consulting with its exhibitors and talking with officials at the Mumbai-based Plastindia Foundation, that it would officially support the move.
“We took a decision that we will stay as the overseas associate of Plastindia,” Duebelt told Plastics News in an Oct. 20 telephone interview. “We will take care of our client needs.”
PIF's decision in September to move the show from New Delhi to Gujarat — with less than five months before it opens — has been controversial.
It's an extremely unusual decision in trade show circles, and at first drew howls of protest from Messe Düsseldorf and PIF's main partner in China, Hong Kong-based Adsale Group.
Others are still protesting. A social media campaign started in India last week asking PIF to move the show back to New Delhi. And a PIF board member resigned in protest over how the group made its decision.
But Duebelt said Messe Düsseldorf on Oct. 17 officially asked its exhibitors and partners to reconfirm their participation in the show, which is India's largest plastics fair and a key entry point for foreign companies: “India is so important for the industry.”
Key partners like the pan-European plastics and rubber machinery trade association Euromap have signed on to support the move, he said: “They have now also confirmed their support for Plastindia in Gujarat.”
Duebelt said PIF has not responded to all of the concerns that Messe Düsseldorf's technical exerts presented after visiting Gujarat in late September.
A Messe Düsseldorf team is traveling again to Gujarat in late October.
“They answered some of this but we are of course still waiting for the other answers,” Duebelt said. “We are confident will get answers next week.”
The show will be held Feb. 5-10 at the Mahatma Mandir Exhibition Center, which is under construction in Gandhinagar, a small city near Ahmedabad.