Canadian Plastics

India ripe with opportunities for Canadian plastics firms (July 01, 2005)

India's rapidly growing plastics industry is creating many opportunities for Canadian plastics firms, but few are taking advantage of them, according to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPI...

July 1, 2005   By Rebecca Reid, associate editor



India’s rapidly growing plastics industry is creating many opportunities for Canadian plastics firms, but few are taking advantage of them, according to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA).

Serge P. Lavoie, president of the CPIA, said that Canadian businesses simply don’t take India seriously, and when they do, they’re not aggressive enough.

“The perception is that we come, we talk, but we don’t follow through,” Lavoie said, adding that has also heard similar complaints from Polish and Ukrainian firms.

As a result, India often overlooks Canada, but Indian companies are receptive to Canuck technology when it’s presented to them properly, Lavoie noted.

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Lavoie spoke at a meeting hosted by Export Development Canada (EDC) in Toronto in early June, where delegates discussed how Canadian companies could take advantage of India’s plastics market.

The preferred method of doing business with foreigners is by forming a joint venture, or “tie-up” as they are called in India, Lavoie said. Navin Dave, Canadian managing partner with KPMG, recommends contacting EDC or the CPIA for assistance accessing reputable contacts because it is not uncommon for foreigners to be preyed upon by slick con-artists.

Additionally, Canadian companies venturing into India need to learn how to protect their intellectual property (IP), said IP lawyer, Ken Dhaliwai, a partner at Heenan Blaikie LLP. Now that India has joined the WTO, it has to comply with TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights), an attempt to make patent laws apply across borders between WTO members. However, India still has a ways to go before it will be able to enforce the rules as well as westernized nations. India knows it is under scrutiny and is doing its best to improve, Dhaliwai said.

Right now, India’s biggest problem is that it cannot do enough plastics processing, or produce enough resins, molds and machinery to satisfy its domestic needs. That’s why India turns to importing. Its biggest trading partners include the U.S., Taiwan, Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, the Netherlands, France and the UK. But now, EDC and the CPIA want to help Canadians tap into this lucrative market.

The rise of India’s middle class means plastics consumption is increasing. Demand for more consumer goods and more hygienically packaged food, are just a couple of things the middle class want, and both require plastics for parts and for packaging, explained Luc Dupont, regional manager for Asia at EDC.


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