Messe Düsseldorf expands into Egypt: CEO Werner M. Dornscheidt meets Amr Nassar, Minister of Trade and Industry
Trade fairs as stimulants for growth markets: This was the topic discussed by Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Düsseldorf, and Amr Nassar, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt, when they met in Cairo on 14 February 2019. In December this year Messe Düsseldorf will be organising pacprocess Middle East Africa (MEA) for the first time. This new member of the interpack alliance, the international family of trade fairs for the packaging industry and the related processing sector, is an important signal for the economic recovery of the Egyptian economy.
Messe Düsseldorf is one of the most international trade fair companies in the world and is expanding, in particular, into the dynamic markets of the future, such as Africa, South America and the Middle East: “In all these markets there is a major need for investments in industry as well as in the infrastructure. By setting up trade fairs abroad, we create local platforms where the players of different industries meet and where they can work together to drive the development of their economies,” says Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Düsseldorf.
In 2019 Messe Düsseldorf is expanding, among other places, into the MEA region (Middle East Africa), where pacprocess MEA, a member of the interpack alliance, will be held for the first time from 9 to 11 December 2019. The event is associated with interpack in Düsseldorf, the world’s leading trade fair for the packaging industry and the related processing sector. Partners of pacprocess MEA are the event organisers IFP Egypt and Konzept who are simultaneously setting up FoodAfrica, the leading trade fair for the food industry in the region.
“We are moving along new paths with pacprocess MEA, as the new event will be supported by an advisory board consisting of Egyptian governmental organisations and international companies in the food, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries, such as Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Mondelez. This is new for a trade fair which is held outside our home base in Düsseldorf,” says Dornscheidt, who took part in person in the first advisory board meeting on 14 February 2019, when the specifics of the trade fair were discussed. “We’ve received wide-ranging support from government and industry, which shows that trade fairs are being recognised as major stimulants for the further development of the emerging Egyptian market.”
This topic was subsequently discussed between Dornscheidt and Amr Nassar, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Egyptian government is keen to see carefully planned, sustainable trade fair models that will attract investors to their country and will help to develop markets. Within the MEA region Egypt sees itself in a crucial role as the gateway to the African world, and it has therefore been paving the way through numerous free trade agreements. Its gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow from 5.4% to 5.8% in 2020. In 2017 alone investments in industry rose by 30%, and the Egyptian packaging market has grown by 35% between 2015 and 2019
“Through international expansion we are leveraging the potential of such growth markets, and the markets, in turn, are benefiting from the positive energy of our international trade fairs. They attract exhibitors and visitors, they create local jobs, and they foster an awareness of those regions as business locations,” says Dornscheidt. When he spoke to Amr Nassar, he described Messe Düsseldorf as an excellent example: According to a study from the ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, people coming to Düsseldorf trade fairs, conventions and other events spend around EUR 1.02 billion in Düsseldorf alone each year – and as much as EUR 2.09 billion in Germany as a whole. Düsseldorf’s trade fair, convention and event business has created 16,664 secure jobs in Düsseldorf itself (27,692 in Germany) and has provided the city with an additional tax revenue of EUR 36.3 million (Germany: EUR 567 million).
By becoming increasingly international, Messe Düsseldorf is also giving such added value to growth markets. It has 77 international offices, six international subsidiaries and a range of further international joint endeavours in 141 countries. In 2018, around 22% of its net revenue came from business outside Germany. Approximately EUR 63 million was generated by the Messe Düsseldorf Group internationally in 2018, of which 28.2 million was made in Russia, EUR 16.4 million in China, EUR 4.9 million in Singapore and EUR 3.9 million in the United States. “There are several reasons why we are continuing to expand our international activities,” says Dornscheidt, “Firstly, we want to meet the demands of the market in an increasingly globalised economy. Secondly, we want to attract more international exhibitors and visitors to our leading global trade fairs at home, in Düsseldorf. And thirdly, we're aiming to improve our ability to cushion cyclical fluctuations through robust international business.”
With a revenue of around EUR 294m in 2018, the Messe Düsseldorf Group has maintained its position as one of Germany’s most successful trade fair companies. 26,800 exhibitors presented their products to 1.14m trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf last year. Compared with previous events, this was an increase in the numbers of both exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf exhibition centre hosts around 50 trade fairs in five sectors of expertise: machinery, plants and equipment; retail, crafts and services; health and medical technologies; lifestyle and beauty; and leisure. The trade fairs include 23 own number-one trade fairs, as well as, currently, 15 strong partner and guest events. Also, its subsidiary Düsseldorf Congress held around 2,200 conventions, corporate events, conferences and meetings in 2018, attracting around 1.6m delegates in all. In addition, the Messe Düsseldorf Group organises 70 proprietary events, joint events and contracted events in other countries and is one of the leading export platforms in the world. The international attendance is particularly high with the capital goods trade fairs of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. In 2018, Messe Düsseldorf's own events in machinery, plants and equipment attracted approx. 77% international exhibitors and 70% trade visitors from other countries. In all, Düsseldorf trade fairs were attended by customers from about 180 countries. The group runs a global network of 77 international offices for 141 countries, including 7 international subsidiaries.