China modern packaging industry develops rapidly after the implementation of reform and opening policy. With the development of domestic trades, especially the imports and exports, China packaging industry has experienced an essential change, and the level of packaging products has enhanced a lot and almost can reach the international advanced level in many aspects. In recent years, China's economy has witnessed a sustainable development and so do the foreign investment and import & export trade, all of which have driven paper packaging industry to advance amazingly. Now there are more than 11,000 packaging enterprises in China and the production value has increased from less than RMB 10 billion in early 1980s to RMB 410 billion in 2005. China has become the world's third largest packaging country next to US and Japan. However, the variety and quality still can not meet the requirements of export and high-grade products, and about 1/4 of products need to be imported.
Statistics of Import & Export of China Packaging Paper, 1996-2005
It is now the crucial moment for China packaging industry to get shuffled and upgraded. It has developed from single packaging products in early 1980s to current six packaging categories. There are over 4000 corrugation production lines in China, which have already outnumbered the total production lines of US, Japan and Europe. However, according to the market demand, 2/3 production lines are of overplus. Besides, the emerging note paper is growing up rapidly and is of broad market prospect.
With the economic development and the improvement of living standard, the demands for instant food such as microwave food, snack food and frozen food will increase constantly, and this will bring along the demands for food packaging directly, so, China food and packaging machinery industry will maintain the positive growth in quite a long time. During the 11th Five-Year Plan period, the annual total output value of China packaging industry is expected to achieve RMB 450 billion at an annual growth rate of 7%; during 2011-2015 period, the annual total output value is expected to break through RMB 600 billion at the average annual growth rate of around 16%. Classified by product, by 2015, the output of paper packaging products can achieve 36 million tons, plastic packaging products 9.46 million tons, metal packaging products 4.91 tons, glass packaging products 15.5 million tons and packaging machines 1.2 million sets.
It is estimated that the recycling economy will become the main model in the development of packaging industry, the recycling and application of packaging waste resources will realize the industrialization, green packaging materials will make great progress, and the growth of packaging basic industry will also be accelerated.
As a sunrise industry, packaging industry will face both opportunities and challenges in the future. With the stable economic growth, China packaging industry can still see a huge development potential.