Middle East F&B sector experiencing strong demand for recyclable packaging solutions Consumer demand for health drinks and environmentally sustainable packaging will strongly influence the solutions on display at Gulf Pack 2009, to be held at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre April 6-9 2009. CROWN Bevcan Europe and Middle East, a business unit of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown), a world leader in beverage packaging, will participate in Gulf Pack for the third time in 2009. At the show, the company will highlight its can printing technologies, slim can format and environmental sustainability initiatives. “As a world leader in beverage packaging, it is natural for us to participate in such an important regionally focused event,” said Caroline Archer-Reed, Marketing Director, CROWN Bevcan Europe & Middle East. “Gulf Pack is one of the most effective shows that we participate in and has certainly helped us to reinforce our presence in the region. As well as networking opportunities, Gulf Pack provides us with a unique opportunity to view a wide breadth of packaging and market trends and innovation in a single location.” Crown is experiencing strong demand for its slim can format from beverage manufacturers throughout the Middle East as a result of increased consumer demand for energy and health drinks. The manufacturer is currently focusing on converting some of its production lines in the Middle East from traditional to slim beverage can formats. Crown will also be highlighting the environmental benefits of metal cans as a beverage packaging solution, “As a company, environmental commitment and pollution prevention are fundamental to our business philosophy. Because metal cans are 100% and infinitely recyclable without a loss of performance, quality or safety, they support sustainable packaging initiatives,” Ms Archer-Reed added. The Middle East is of key strategic importance to Crown, which currently operates 5 beverage can plants across the Middle East and North Africa. Crown has recently undertaken significant investment in the Middle East to grow production capacity in response to strong growth of both international and local beverage brands throughout the region. Fairs & Exhibitions, organisers of Gulf Pack and Gulf Print Dubai, are expecting the 2009 edition of the exhibition to be bigger than ever before. “The Middle East is one of the fastest growing packaging markets in the world with recent suggested growth figures from management consultants IMES forecasting a 15-20% increase in packaging across the UAE, far and beyond the global average of three per cent growth, said Sue Rothwell, Group Event Director, Fairs & Exhibitions. “This regional market growth means that Gulf Pack Dubai is ideally positioned to provide visitors and exhibitors with the opportunity to uncover sales opportunities, network with industry peers and learn about the latest industry developments initiatives.” Gulf Pack will run in conjunction with Gulf Print from 6-9 April 2009 at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre. The previous Gulf Pack and Gulf Print edition in 2007 attracted over 12.000 visitors and 400 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. Participants reported business benefits of over $US150million from the 2007 event.