Globalized communications and access to international markets have set a new scenario for printing industries all over the world. With rich countries (i.e., United States, the European Union, Japan) no longer control the world economy and little profit margin, emerging economies are the focus of attention for American companies looking for print providers.
Where are these opportunities located? In these following five countries:
Chinese printing companies have a large influence over the Government, usually with the same company owners acting as Government officials. Tariff reduction for U.S. imports into China since the country has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and regulations to have the latest equipment help print companies improve their quality to comply with international market needs.
The Indian printing industry grows at higher rates than the rest of the economy and its growth is believed to be directly relational to GDP growth. Tariff reductions and regional trade agreements have also increased competitiveness along with print quality in order to meet international standards. Indian companies are relieved of importing tariffs for equipment if they show an increase in their exporting volume, so the printing industry focused on foreign customers has state-of-the-art equipment the domestic focused industry can’t afford to be penalized for. India, however, is at a disadvantage with China, where the Government has financial interest in most of the large printing companies so the risk is considerably higher for the private owned Indian ones. Other disadvantages include higher import tariffs on foreign manufactured equipment, comparative labor and capital costs, and shorter Chinese shipping times to the US West Coast.
The Russian printing industry provides products and services to newspaper, magazine, and graphic media printing. Digital printing is growing fast. Its demand was driven by printers who had bought equipment to become the leaders in a new field. This is a characteristic of Russian business, not only the printing industry. In Russia it is difficult to get financing for many printing medium and small-sized companies, as well as high tax rates and excessive certification procedures for imported equipment. The long distance between Russia and the US is also an issue.
Mexico is one of the world’s most open economies, is a member of the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and has free trade agreements with Canada, the European Union and many other countries. Many domestic Mexican printing companies have 20 year old equipment, and firms with modern equipment sometimes lacked the training needed to exploit possible opportunities. The creation of new degree programs in Engineering in Graphic Arts has covered this lack of trained personnel, and the Mexican printing industry has seen consolidation, increasing competition, and taking advantage of its strategic location with low shipping times to North American, Latin American, European and Asian markets.
This South American country has a leading role in the WTO and MERCOSUR, a customs union that includes Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia. Sixty percent of the printing industry is located in the wealthier regions of the South and Southeast, in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Menaus. As the poorer regions become wealthier, local printing industries will grow to serve local and regional markets, which may open a window for digital printing systems.