The recent staging of upakovka, 25th International Trade Fair for Processing & Packaging, and interplastica, 20th International Trade Fair Plastics and Rubber in Moscow reflected the improving Russian market. Some 800 exhibitors from 33 nations presented their innovations to 23,000 visitors from Russia and neighboring countries (20,900 visitors in 2016). Following a difficult time dominated by political tensions, a drop in the oil price and a weak ruble, experts are expecting that the domestic economy will move out of recession. The World Bank is also forecasting economic growth in Russia for 2017. Western companies are anticipating an upswing and see this as confirmation of their policy of maintaining their business contacts in difficult years. This positive outlook applies in particular to the plastics, rubber and packaging sectors and the related processing industries.

“It is now paying off for the international exhibitors at upakvoka and interrplastica that they have maintained their presence in Russia and have remained in contact with their business partners there. They are benefitting now that business is gaining momentum again. The atmosphere in the halls was remarkably good, the exhibitors reported very interested visitors who were also keen to place orders. Trade visitors take the unique opportunity at the trade shows to familiarize themselves with the new developments on the world market and to negotiate directly with suppliers,” commented Werner M. Dornscheidt, Presient & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

The strong demand for Western technology in Russia continues and there is a particular need for further optimization in the manufacturing of consumer goods, food and packaging. The attendees gave the trade shows very good ratings for the wide range of companies and their product innovations

A visitor favorite at upakovka 2017 was the new innovationparc. The Forum was well attended on all the days of the trade fair, proving insights into selected innovations and creative, forward-looking packaging solutions. Especially popular was “75 Years of PET”, organized mainly by the food processing and packaging machinery association within VDMA (the German Engineering Federation), with thematic support from the German Industrial Association of Plastics Packaging Manufacturers (IK). Renowned companies in the PET sector - such as KHS - provided information on current trends as well as on recycling.

Another premiere at upakovka 2017 was the official launch of the SAVE FOOD initiative on the Russian market. The Russian office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), headed by Eugenia Serova, invited senior officials from ministries and industry to get information on issues of food losses and waste in Russia and to present solutions. Several companies operating on the Russian market, including the Metro retail group, the Rus food bank, the agricultural group Olam and LavkaLavka, a co-operative of small and medium-sized Russian agricultural enterprises, had already expressed interest in the SAVE FOOD initiative during the run-up to upakovka. It has been estimated that up to around 25% of all manufactured food is not consumed in Russia. Although this value is below the worldwide average of one third, it is still far too high.

For the development and organization of upakovka’s special thematic areas the Moscow trade fair organizers benefited from Messe Düsseldorf’s “interpack alliance” expertise, which includes all international events organized by Messe Düsseldorf within its processing & packaging portfolio. 

Bernd Jablonowski, Global Portfolio Director of Processing & Packaging, states: “The two special thematic areas innovationparc and SAVE FOOD met with positive responses. Together with the convincing presentations of our exhibitors, they ensured a substantial increase in the number of trade visitors, despite a difficult competitive environment. This meant we clearly strengthened the importance of upakovka as a leading event in the industry. Working with our partners in industry, we will continue to do our utmost in presenting market-focused, forward-looking content to Russian trade visitors. upakovka 2018, for instance, will be dedicated to the theme of Industry 4.0.”

German manufacturers of food and packaging machinery continue to be the most important suppliers to Russian enterprises. Vera Fritsche from the food processing and packaging machinery association within VDMA expresses cautious optimism about the current situation: “German engineering is still in demand. This was also reflected at this year’s upakovka. Russia’s food production keeps expanding and Russian and international companies are continually investing in the development and expansion of local production capacities.

After a fairly long lean period, Russia’s demand for German-made food and packaging machinery picked up somewhat in 2016. During the first 11 months of 2016 Russia imported food and packaging machines from Germany valuing EUR 304 million, nearly 8% more than in the same period of the previous year. German companies are more confident again. Quite a few of them concluded business deals at the trade fair and many are expecting positive developments and post-show business.”

The next concurrent staging of upakovka and interplastica will take place in Moscow next January. For information on upakovka or interplastica 2018, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America (