Textbook printing in Bangladesh moves to web offset

Bangladesh printers likely to visit Printpack 2019

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web offset

After independence, Bangladesh did not inherit any developed infrastructure of printing equipment. However, there were quite a few printing presses running at that time mainly using single color second hand sheetfed offset presses. Even in the 1990’s, much of the text book printing was based on aid programs from western countries which also supplied the paper for printing books. Bangladesh has had to face difficulties that are typical to any developing nation and these challenges extended to many of its educational institutions although many new and interesting educational, cultural and social organizations came up and have grown.

In the last couple of decades the publishing and printing industries have grown quickly. More than 3 lakh people are now engaged in the printing sector in Bangladesh. Development of infrastructure and technology along with the installation of some of the latest machinery from leading multi-national printing equipment manufacturers are modernizing this sector and making it grow day-by-day.

With increase in literacy and new government initiatives to promote education among all, the school and college textbook printing industry in the country is showing healthy growth. The uncoated offset paper for printing the text pages for books is increasing produced in Bangladesh, while art paper and heavier cover stocks are often imported from various countries including Japan and India.

As the print runs increase and more text pages of the school books are printed in full color, the printing has largely shifted to web offset presses imported from India. At the last Printpack exhibition in Greater Noida in 2017, a large number of newspaper and book printers from Bangladesh visited the show and several placed orders that have led to installations in the last couple of years. A majority of the textbooks printed for the government schools are now being printed on web offset presses many of which consist of a 4-HI tower and a folder with quarter folder.

As newspaper and textbook production in Bangladesh seems to be growing, it seems likely that another strong delegation of book and newspaper printers will visit the Printpack India 2019 exhibition from 1 to 6 February 2019 at the Expo Centre in Greater Noida. u

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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