The World Packaging Organisation (WPO) has selected China as the host for the World Packaging Congress in 2006, officials announced on Saturday in Beijing. This will be the first time that the country hosts such a large international gathering for packaging industry.
Hopes are high that the event will help to promote the development of this industry in China, said Qiu Chunfu, president of the China Packaging Technology Association.
To prepare for the event and meet the challenges brought on by the country's entry into the World Trade Organisation, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the WPO have approved the establishment of the WPO Asia Packaging Centre in China.
The center, set up to focus on packaging equipment, materials and products manufacturing, has the modest aim of becoming the comprehensive packaging industry base for the world.
Sergio Haberfield, WPO president, has said that the establishment of the Asia Packaging Centre in China comes at just the right time and that the centre will play an important role in promoting the development of China's and even the world's packaging industry.
Since the 1980s, China's packaging industry has maintained an average annual growth rate of more than 18 per cent. Last year, the industry's output value reached 237.6 billion yuan (€28.8 billion), ranking it 15th among the country's 40 major industries and accounting for nearly 2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Qiu said.