MEXICO CITY — The British Plastics Federation is stepping up its interest in Latin American markets, as evidenced by its debut appearance at the Plastimagen México 2014 trade show in Mexico City.
“We want to project ourselves more into the global market and try to establish the U.K. as the place to go for plastics technology and products,” Philip Law, BPF's director general, told Plastics News at the show.
Law, a fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining in London, said that after deciding to expand its activities outside its “traditional zone” of Southeast Asia, Central Europe and the Middle East, and exhibiting in China since the early 1990s, “we decided to try Mexico.”
“We have in the past considered Brazil but there are import duties there. We were given great confidence to come here [to Mexico] by the success of the plastics automotive supply industry here and also the significant opportunities for packaging and recycling.”
Law said BPF is “testing out” Mexico as an entry point into the whole Central America area. “We're very impressed by the density of visitors here and the openness of the people and the organization of the fair and the serious resolve of the Mexican businessmen we have met.”
He added that “we feel we have some very good strengths in terms of technical molding, specialist materials, such as compounds and master batch, and energy efficiency expertise that we can bring to bear to help Mexican processors reduce their energy costs.”
He said BPF's 470 member companies, which account, he said, for 75-80 percent of the U.K. plastics industry's annual sales, “have also got great strengths” in the equipment used in plastics processing, such as testing machines, materials handling equipment and rotational molding.
“We have more rotational molders in the U.K. than any other European country. As well as ancillary equipment, we have a global leader in extrusion technology, which is Boston Matthews Machinery Equipment Ltd, of Worcester. We are also very strong in thermoforming.”
Martin Spencer, managing director of Rototek Ltd., of Newark, England, an authority on rotomolding, spoke for most of the first day of a two-day rotational molding conference held simultaneously with the exhibition.
“The U.K. is incredibly innovative, much more so than in the United States,” said Law, who also mentioned Boston Matthews' sister firm Munchy Inc., a recycling technology developer.
Eleven companies from the United Kingdom exhibited products and services on the British pavilion at Plastimagen México.