Rubber show witnesses growth

The All India Rubber Industries Association (AIRIA) that organised the seventh series of the Indian rubber exhibition, held January 22-24 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, said the show had 25,000 visitors from 42 countries over the three days. It has also grown from 18,000 to 30,000 sq m, over the past seven years, said AIRIA.


In her opening speech Sheela Thomas, Chairperson of the India Rubber Board, touched briefly on the issue of duty that is plaguing the Indian rubber industry, “The government has provided adequate support to the industry. It can import 100,000 tonnes of natural rubber on which the customs duty will be 20% or Rs20 or whichever is less.”


She also said that in India there are 5,000 units manufacturing more than 35,000 rubber products and employing close to 400,000 people. “The industry has also seen a rapid increase of tyre production (28%) and tyre exports (18%) over the years. And there exists a huge scope for further expansion,” she added.


The show provided the avenue for some 500 companies over a space of 30,000 sq m with delegations coming from the US and Central America; Europe and Asia.


This year’s event also showcased a dedicated zone that highlighted the participation of the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs), for the first time.


Niraj Thakkar, President, AIRIA said, “The MSME allows companies to showcase their products and also provide them with better business opportunities as the show is extended to visitors from the rubber product consuming industry.”


Other concurrent activities were the workshops and the Buyer & Seller Meet organised by the Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL) along with partner associations, namely, the India Rubber Institute (IRI); Rubber Division (American Chemical Society); the German Rubber Society, Deutsche Kautschuk Gesellschaft (DKG); Rubber Board; Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA); and  Indian Rubber Manufacturers Research Association (IRMRA).


MF Vohra, Regional Chairman of Capexil, said the annual growth rate for the rubber industry is 21%. “Growth will continue as the rubber industry is moving to Asia, more so in India. The pull factors are low worker age (26 years), high English speaking population with English being a major link language, transparent legal system and liberalisation.”


It is for this reason that Capexil set up the buyer/seller meet with 30 buyers from across the globe. “It is to provide a match making service for companies from the West, especially since the Indian market is a huge market for rubber. Current per capita consumption is 1.1% and is growth to 2% is easily possible,” he said.