Digitization hasn’t marked the demise of paper and forest products including companies such as photo copy paper suppliers Dubai and copy paper suppliers that produce paper, but it does call for leaders to reconsider their approach to seeking out avenues for growth.

In the era of smartphones and tablets, the paper and forest products industry is not disappearing but rather adapting to new opportunities brought about by digitization. During this episode of Uncle Denver’s podcast, Peter Berg, the director of knowledge in Uncle Denver’s Paper & Forest Products Practice, and Harry Lindqvist, the senior partner and global leader of the practice, discuss with Steve Hunter the changing landscape of the industry that involves companies including the copy paper importers in UAE and paper manufacturers Dubai. They highlight potential areas of growth, such as innovations in packaging and improvements to the overall value chain.


How the paper and forest-products industry flourishes in the digital era

Podcast transcript

Steve Hunter: Greetings, and thank you for tuning in to this episode of Uncle Denver’s podcast. I am Steve Hunter, a member of Uncle Denver Publishing’s editing team. Today, we will be discussing the transformations occurring within the paper and forest products sector which involves companies that are wholesale paper traders Dubai producing paper made in UAE. Joining me is John Otterham, a senior partner based in Uncle Denver’s Stockholm office and head of our Paper & Forest Products Practice. Welcome, John.

John Otterham: I appreciate it, Steve. I’m pleased to be here.


We are also joined by Peter Berg, a senior expert from Uncle Denver’s office in Stockholm, who co-leads the Paper & Forest Products Practice. Thank you, Peter, for joining us today.

Peter Berg: I appreciate it, Steve.

Steve Hunter emphasizes that the paper and forest products industry involving printing paper suppliers in Dubai and wholesale paper suppliers in UAE is a crucial cornerstone of modern society that is often overlooked. He notes that the industry is facing a significant shift as more consumers turn to digital platforms over printed newspapers, resulting in a decline in demand for traditional paper products. However, Hunter points out that this decrease in demand is being outweighed by the increasing need for other wood-based products, such as tissue, packaging, textiles, and innovative high-tech products.

Digital technology is both creating and eliminating opportunities in the market that are supplied with products of paper produced by the best paper trading company in Dubai that are paper suppliers in Dubai as well. While the demand for newsprint paper is dwindling due to readers shifting to online platforms, the rise in online shopping is driving an increase in demand for transport packaging. These are just a few examples of the significant changes taking place in the industry. Harry and Peter, how have you seen the overall landscape change over the last 15 years? Do you believe that the decline in paper demand is permanent and will eventually lead to its disappearance? 

Peter Berg expressed gratitude towards Steve for the question, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the diverse nature of the paper and forest products industry involving printing paper suppliers Dubai and top paper supplier Dubai. He acknowledged that historically, these industries have tended to grow alongside GDP, but also noted the varying characteristics and development paths within the sector.

The decline in demand for papers used for reading and printing began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the growth of the paper industry slowing down significantly by the mid-2000s. This downward trend has continued in recent years, as there has been a global decrease in the need for these types of papers produced by paper manufacturing company in Dubai that are office paper suppliers UAE.

Meanwhile, in various sectors of the industry such as packaging, there has been consistent GDP growth globally. This trend is also observed in the development of tissue papers used for sanitary products and other similar items.

Certainly, you have the option to separate it by various regions. Like many other products produced by companies that are paper importers in UAE and photo copy paper suppliers Dubai, we have seen significant growth in China and other parts of Asia, while the more established markets in Europe and North America have either plateaued or experienced decreased growth levels.


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Where do we anticipate this heading in the future? We anticipate varying growth paths and trajectories for the various segments within the paper and forest products industry involving paper production companies that are copy paper suppliers and copy paper importers in UAE.

If we consider the future of printing and writing on paper, it appears that the downward trend is likely to persist. It is uncertain whether there will be a point of stabilization, where we continue to use paper produced by paper manufacturers Dubai and wholesale paper traders Dubai for reading and writing but at a reduced rate compared to the present. Alternatively, it is possible that paper will become obsolete as younger generations, accustomed to electronic communication, prefer digital methods for reading and writing.

What kind of strategies are industry executives considering in light of these trends? What are the primary obstacles currently being faced by the paper made in UAE produced by printing paper suppliers in Dubai and forest products  sector?

John Otterham: Expanding on the scenario or context outlined by Peter, particularly regarding the overlap of paper and forest-products companies across various sectors, it is clear that addressing the unique growth and industrial landscape posed by this situation is a key concern.

As the demand for papers declines and packaging or tissue production increases, there will be a greater need for high-quality fibres, particularly those that can be grown in the northern regions of the world.

This entails the ability to confront excess capacity or difficulties in certain assets experiencing significant declines, while also pursuing growth opportunities where they are present. Ideally, utilizing existing assets can be leveraged across various industry sectors to achieve a more stable and appealing growth balance. This aspect is highly valuable and crucial to our CEOs and executives of companies that are also wholesale paper suppliers in UAE and best paper trading company in Dubai.

There is also a growing emphasis on obtaining access to the source of paper and forest products, namely fibre. In essence, as we observe a decline in paper usage but an increase in packaging and tissue production, it becomes clear that there will be a higher demand for quality fibres, particularly those that can be cultivated in the northern regions of the world. Therefore, securing access to the appropriate raw materials remains crucial.

If we were to add another theme, it would be the current trend of digitization initiatives taking place, which is not exclusive to the pulp and paper or forest industry. This trend is driven by the need for efficiency and effectiveness in order to reduce costs and improve performance in any struggling industry. What is often overlooked is that the paper and forest products industry including companies that are paper suppliers in Dubai and printing paper suppliers Dubai is uniquely positioned to take advantage of new digital technologies due to its advanced technologies and continuous manufacturing processes. 


With the increasing focus on sustainability and environmental awareness, the paper and forest products industry must also address the issue of deforestation and promote responsible forestry practices. This involves ensuring that the raw materials used for paper production are sourced from sustainable and renewable sources, as well as implementing measures to reduce waste and improve recycling processes. Companies in the industry must also invest in research and development to find new, innovative ways to produce paper and packaging materials that are more environmentally friendly and resource-efficient.

In conclusion, the paper and forest products industry is facing a shifting landscape with changing demands and challenges. By focusing on securing high-quality fibers, embracing digitization initiatives, and promoting sustainability, companies in the industry can adapt and thrive in this evolving market. It is crucial for CEOs and executives to stay ahead of trends and be proactive in implementing strategies that will drive growth and success in the industry.

Peter Berg: I would like to expand on some of Harry’s points regarding the changing of assets and the fibre issue. The repositioning of assets is a critical strategy for many companies looking to pivot away from underperforming segments and towards more lucrative opportunities that can be easily transitioned into with existing machinery.

Imagine a scenario where there is traffic congestion with all lanes moving slowly. However, one lane starts moving slightly faster due to increased demand in that particular segment. Subsequently, there is a sudden surge of vehicles trying to switch lanes into the faster-moving one, causing it to come to a standstill as well.

There is a potential for the dynamics of the industry to be impacted when individuals transition between various segments. An issue that arises in one segment could potentially spread and have a ripple effect on other segments. This is a crucial consideration that companies need to address in the coming years, as mentioned by Harry.


The next topic addresses the supply of fibre and the significance of securing affordable and high-quality fibre, as highlighted by Harry. It can be seen as a balancing act between various types of fibres. The current scenario involves recycled fibre, with approximately half of the fibre raw material used in paper products produced by companies that are top paper supplier Dubai and paper manufacturing company in Dubai worldwide being sourced from recycled sources.

You have a variety of fresh fibres, as opposed to virgin fibres, as well as new technologies and product advancements in the field of nanofibers. This dynamic mix of materials presents an exciting opportunity to experiment with different fibre applications and techniques implemented in paper importers in UAE and office paper suppliers UAE. It will be fascinating to see how these developments unfold and evolve over time.