In the late 1980s and early '90s, the world saw the collapse of communism in Eastern and Central Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Several years later, the privatized label industry in this region emerged.
And so, while North Americans and Western Europeans began to tackle complex printing technologies, people like Vladimir Kurciev, Sterin Boris and Drabyk Volodymyr began a complex job of a different sort: launching the label industry in their own countries.
In 1993, Vladimir Kurciev founded label converting company Moniko in Skopje, Macedonia. He started out printing simple labels using flexography and says he was the first to bring the labeling industry to his country.
In Belarus, "I was one of the people who in 1995 first brought flexo technology and the first label printing machine to Belarus," says Sterin Boris, who is now joint owner of three companies related to the labeling industry: Printstar, Flex-n-roll and Label Express. He works out of Minsk, Leshinskogo, Belarus.
And in Lviv, Ukraine, Drabyk Volodymyr, general director of Ekko, says his 11-year-old company was first in Ukraine to manufacture self-adhesive labels in reels. "At the first stages of our activity we started purchasing labels in Poland and Slovakia and sold these products in Ukraine. In 1995, we bought the first, machine from the USA."
Compared with developed nations, the label industry in Central and Eastern Europe is young and inexperienced. But it is growing quickly, and with this growth has come the desire for increased capabilities. While there are still hurdles to get over, experts predict that the label industry in this area is looking up. Way up.
Several studies have documented the growth of the label industry in this region of the world. This includes not only growth in sales for label printers in the region, but increased opportunity for world suppliers to the industry. Here's a sampling:
* In a study titled World Labels, published in November 2001, The Freedonia Group Inc. in Cleveland, OH, concluded that "the best gains are expected in the world's emerging economies, which already account for almost one-third of global label production." Specifically, the report stated that "Eastern Europe will also log double digit annual gains as greater self-sufficiency in label production is achieved."
* In regard to the Russian self adhesive roll label market, The Russian AWAreness report, published in 2001 by AWA Alexander Watson Associates, in Amsterdam, concluded that "Although the market in Western Europe is expanding at an annual rate of 5 to 6 percent, the Russian market in its developing stage is growing at +25 percent."
* A study named Packaging Machinery in Poland--February 2003, conducted by International...