Top 5 growth regions beyond China and Russia

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he only constant in life is change. What the Greek philosopher Heraclitus already knew two and a half thousand years ago is still true today. Far-reaching changes in traditional markets require a reorientation and the exploration of alternative sales opportunities for the German packaging industry. This is the only way to spread risks and generate new opportunities. By implementing market intelligence strategies, companies can react to changes at an early stage and turn their attention to emerging markets. We present the top 5 emerging regions and identify the fastest-growing segments for packaging.


Extraordinary events such as the Russian attack on Ukraine and the associated sanctions, as well as the slowdown in trade activities with China, have had a significant impact on the German packaging industry.

  • The Federal Statistical Office recently stated that German exports of goods (in total) to Russia in 2023 will have fallen drastically by 38.8 per cent compared to 2022.
  • Trade activities with China also declined. In a recent study, Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), the successor to the Federal Agency for Foreign Trade, points out that China’s dominant position in foreign trade with Germany is crumbling. The reasons for this include weaker growth in China, geopolitical risks, and the endeavours of German companies to become more independent.

These changes in traditionally important markets also require the packaging industry to reorient itself and explore alternative sales opportunities. This is the only way to spread risks and develop new opportunities.


Monitoring and analysing global markets

Based on the latest forecasts from Global Data for the period from 2022 to 2027, we have identified the top 5 regions with the strongest volume growth in the packaging sector for you.


India – 1st place

India ranks first among the most promising growth markets.

  • With a forecast annual growth in demand for packaging of an impressive 6.2 per cent (2022-2027) and an annual population growth of 0.9 per cent until 2027, companies have enormous potential.
  • The World Bank is forecasting an increase in private consumption of 6 per cent for the financial year 2024/2025, while India’s GDP is expected to rise by 6.4 per cent in the same period.
  • The top growth sectors are pet care (especially with the bag/sachet packaging system), followed by bottled soft drinks. Flexible packaging in the food sector remains the largest sales market in terms of volume.


Philippines – 2nd place

The Philippines secure second place.

  • The country in the Western Pacific with its more than 7,000 islands boasts an annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent (2022-2027).
  • Although the population is comparatively moderate at 114 million inhabitants in 2023, the country is experiencing strong population growth of 1.4 per cent per year until 2027.
  • The young, growing population generally ensures a high level of demand and is considered to be keen to buy. Private consumption is responsible for 70 per cent of GDP. The World Bank is forecasting economic growth of 5.8 per cent for 2024 alone.
  • The strong growth driver for the packaging industry is the increasing demand for alcoholic beverages (+10 per cent). In terms of packaging material, Rigid Plastics is showing the highest growth, particularly in the soft drinks as well as dairy & soy food categories.


Indonesia – 3rd place

The Southeast Asian country, which consists of thousands of volcanic islands, ranks third.

  • With a population of 227 million (2023), the country boasts annual growth of 3.9 per cent in the volume of packaging in demand and is proving to be an up-and-coming market.
  • According to a forecast by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Indonesia’s GDP is set to grow by 5.1 per cent in 2024. Private consumption is also forecast to increase by 5.2 per cent in 2025.
  • The expected growth in rigid plastic packaging (5.8 per cent) is particularly noteworthy, especially in the cup and bottle packaging systems. The strong driver here is also the increasing demand for soft drinks and dairy & soy food.


Thailand – 4th place

In fourth place is Thailand, the second largest economy among the ASEAN member states.

  • According to the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), Thailand is attractive for German companies with its modern infrastructure and developed industrial clusters in the automotive, chemical, and electrical engineering/electronics sectors, among others.
  • The country has a population of around 71.7 million (2022), making it one of the 20 most populous countries in the world. Real GDP is expected to grow by +3.2 in 2024 compared to the previous year.
  • The country is experiencing solid growth of 3.6% annually in demand for packaging. The top growth sector is soft drinks with a percentage growth of 5 per cent. Glass bottles in particular are on the rise in the soft drinks segment with growth of 5.7 per cent, followed by plastic bottles with growth of 4.7 per cent.


Brazil – 5th place

Latin America’s largest economy closes the top 5.

  • The country has a population of 214 million (2021). The population is growing by 0.7 per cent annually. GDP growth for 2024 compared to the previous year is 1.5 per cent.
  • According to forecasts, private consumer spending will increase in 2024. Consumer surveys show that consumers are more optimistic compared to Europe and other emerging markets. Unemployment is forecast to remain at a low level.
  • Brazil recorded growth in demand for packaging of 2.7 per cent. Demand is growing particularly strongly in the alcoholic beverages (+4.8 per cent) and soft drinks (+3.6 per cent) segments. The dominant packaging system with the highest growth rates in both segments is metal beverage cans.



Observing and analysing global markets is of crucial importance, especially for companies in the packaging industry. By implementing market intelligence strategies, companies can react to changes at an early stage and prepare for emerging markets.

The emerging regions presented not only offer impressive market growth, but also new prospects and opportunities for companies. The additional consideration of population growth in these markets in particular shows the long-term potential for the packaging industry.

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