1st Central European Plastics Meeting in Siófok, Hungary - photo report
The two-day meeting took place on 14 and 15 September 2017 at Balaton. The special guest of the 1st Central European Plastics Meeting was Russia. 80 companies from Hungary and Central-Europe delegated their representatives to the meeting in Siófok, there were some 600 negotiations at the B2B meetings.
The organizers promised that the I. Central European Plastics Meeting would be more than just an exhibition and more than just a conference. László Büdy, the organizer of the event, director of myCEPPI matched the needs to the familiar forms. In addition to the trade-related presentations, exploiting the networking potential of B2B meetings he seated the representatives of plastics companies and businessmen at the table, who would like to sell, buy, establish business relations, cooperate, and invest in Central-Eastern Europe.
At the effective and expedient “business dates” 18 host companies, most of them feedstock producers, master batch producers or traders received their potential business partners for 20 minutes meetings based on previous online registration. Plastics companies delegated representatives from Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and even from Italy, Belgium, Turkey and Finland as well. The special guest this year was Russia as idea generating host, they arrived at the meeting with ten high-level delegates.
László Büdy said he simply filled the gap he felt during his daily work. The series of B2B meetings constituting the backbone of our program is a reconsidered, explicitly business-oriented version of the “speed networking” which is wide-spread in the Anglo-Saxon world:- Our partner is MNPC, we visit their conferences for years. They told the idea that this conference they organized previously in Kasan, St. Petersburg, should be organized in Hungary. We have further considered this idea, namely that you go to conferences to get familiar with other partners during the breaks and to exchange visit cards, to get new business connections. Thus if this is the main goal, we should not hide the original intention, but we should turn things.
This shall be the main program and the conference shall be the accompanying event. The B2B event is not a new thing, what we have improved on it was that we have backed it up with a state-of-the art software, in this way it was possible to reserve the meetings online. Those who came here as a host knew exactly whom they were going to meet during two days and how many meetings they would have. What we offer is that participants can meet in a cost-effective way with a relatively high number of new and old partners within a short time.
|László Büdy from the company MyCeppi opened the meeting|
In addition to the most significant polymer producers, distributors of Central-Europe also machine builders and distributors introduced themselves at the conference. In addition to the Fanuc and Wittmann machines there was a continuous interest also in the Turkish Hürmak machines and at the booth of their Hungarian representative, Extrémplast. Jakub Macka, director of Hürmak did not hide their intentions about wanting to enter the Hungarian market. There are two layers in the plastics industry he said: one is looking for the cheapest, the other one is looking for high quality and pays also the high price related to it. We aim at the intermediate category. But it is very hard to enter an already saturated market, therefore we try introducing ourselves at as many venues as possible. People are afraid of new things, though the feedbacks from our already existing buyers are positive. So far we managed to sell two machines in Hungary, but at this conference we had the possibility to introduce ourselves in a targeted way.
Jelena Repac, head of department at PetroHemija was happy to hear the news about the conference of myCEPPI, which is, in their opinion, a gap-filler in Europe. They think it is a serious possibility that the plastics companies of Central-Europe are present in such a concentrated way. There was continuous interest in their products, first of all from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Ljiljana Pop-Manic, marketing manager of the company added: even before they had connections with Hungarian plastics production companies, they have found good cooperating partners in the Hungarians, but they would at any rate like to increase the number of their connections. She said that the strength of PetroHemija is the quality of their feedstocks and the fact that they absolutely adapt to the expectations of their partners and of the market.
|Sales agent of Turkish Hurmak injection moulding machines|
Organizers promised they would extend the number of the conference participants next year by injection molding companies, Barna Lükő, managing director of Albis Plastic Kereskedelmi Kft. came to the event to collect experiences:- Next year we will certainly hold presentation and we will participate also in B2B meetings. I think that conferences of this type are at any rate necessary, in consideration of the fact that here in Central-Europe there are no similar events or no real exhibition specializing in plastics industry. As far as I know it has been a tradition in Western countries that companies gather, they exchange experiences, myCEPPI filled a huge gap in this field.
Basically there were companies operating in the same field attending this conference, Barna Lükő continued, but I saw no sign of rivalry. Here everyone has his own goal, concept and the people rather pay attention to each other, try collect information about who is doing what and how, how they purchase feedstocks for example, various dosing activities, who is working with what kind of machines. There are discussions and networking going on, on regional level. What is miss here is that the discussion between foreigners and Hungarians could be more intensive, maybe the evening party aboard the ship and the common dinner would remove the inhibitions that still exist.
|Working atmosphere at B2B meetings|
The owner of the Belgian Bremstein company, Lieven Van Nevel heard about the conference from his Polish partner, who had the first impression that all were quick and focused. He specializes in trade, within 25 days he obtained 25 usable contacts. He feels is particularly useful that he could get insight on the European market he could use as foundation for his future business connections:-There are market analysts who consider the whole of Europe as one. They talk about global goals, they see it as a uniform market, though it is not uniform. The behavior of the Central-Eastern European market is completely different from that of WE, and because of this I’m happy about the possibility that at this conference a window was opened up in front of me, through which I can see my possibilities in real light.
Minsue Hong from the Warsaw center of Lotte Chemical, the head of the plastics division had almost 30 meetings during two days. He thinks the rise of the Central-European region is noticeable, business connections are sought after first of all in Hungary, Slovakia, in the Czech Republic and Romania.
Recycled plastics feedstocks were in the focus as well. István Busa, CEO of Everplast Zrt. told that first of all partners from Romania, Serbia, from the Czech Republic and Slovakia showed interest in their products. He mentioned as interesting thing that companies became familiar with their feedstock who worked with original plastics so far, but now they think about extending their portfolio in the future.
|Sociable atmosphere during the evening cruise on Lake Balaton|
In the Russian industry just a very limited number of plastic grades are produced, because after the collapse of the Soviet Union this process was moved to other member states, Igor Tsapenko, president of the Association of Plastic Processors of Russian Federation said: in Russia development in plastics production started only in the 2000ies. Today seven companies produce polypropylene, they cover the demand in Russia almost completely and the four polyethylene grades. The plant where polyamide production started was built seven years ago, in Kazakhstan there is polycarbonate, polystyrene and technical plastic production. We still have three companies from the Soviet times, where there is PVC and polystyrene production and now a plant was opened where PET is produced, but this one can cover only 40% of the Russian demand. Irrespective of this plastics industry maintained itself best compared to other industries, the plastics processing index did not drop after the collapse. We attended this conference because we wanted to get informed about what is happening in Europe in the field of plastic production and processing. What we need most is engineering plastics that substitute iron, aluminum.
MNPC matched demand and supply in the field of the plastics industry in Russia, the director of MNPC, Inna Artyimenkova said that they started getting familiar with the Hungarian market now:-What we think is strong at the present is the packaging industry and the production of agricultural film, and we look for automotive part manufacturers as automotive suppliers. I have discovered a highly imaginative design in the production of household appliances. We would rent or buy molds suitable for the manufacturing of household appliances that are already outdated on the European market, but are still innovative in Russia because of their design, I mean first of all plastic crockery, plates, cups. We learnt that agricultural industry is highly developed in Hungary, also in this field we look for cooperation with companies manufacturing plastic parts for agricultural machines. The market of medical appliances, medical accessories can also be of interest to us, we would contact the manufacturers of boxes containing hazardous wastes. Our aim is not to get familiar with each other only, we should also progress together. The conference is slowly coming to an end, but now this is the beginning for us. We work on the next steps.
Summary: From the presentation of Laci Büdy, Mikhail Katsevman and Gábor Farkass!!!!