Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 2

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12 tobaccoasia / Issue 2, 2016 May / June) From the Publisher EDITORIAL MASTHEAD Publisher Glenn Anthony John Associate Editor Andrey Medvedev Features Writers Thomas Schmid Nattira Medvedeva Correspondents Chris Bickers (US Leaf) Allen Liao (China) Eric Piras (Cigars) Art Director Somjet Thitasomboon Editorial Assistant Chai Thomson Translations Liao Tian Liang Subscriptions/Administration Malisa Kongkatitum Editorial/Circulation Offices Tobacco Asia c/o October Inter Co. Ltd. Interchange 21 Bldg., Room 3225, 32nd Fl. 399 Sukhumvit Road Bangkok, 10110, Thailand Tel +66 2 660 3789 Fax +66 2 660 3881 © 2016 October Multimedia Co Ltd., TOBACCO ASIA is published quinterly (five times a year) by October Multimedia Co Ltd in March, May, July, September, and November. Printing and distribu- tion of TOBACCO ASIA is overseen by October Inter Co. Ltd., Interchange 21 Bldg., Room 3225, 32nd Fl., 399 Sukhumvit Road, North Klong Toey, Wattana, Bangkok, 10110 THAILAND. Tel +66 2 660 3789. Fax +66 2 660 3881. E-mail: web: COVER: Pictured, a US tobacco farmer. US Tobacco Coop (USTC)., the former Flue-Cured Tobacco Coop. is no longer just the "buyer of last resort" for unsold US leaf. USTC now has the best growers and the best flue-cured tobacco. Just returned from the World Tobacco Asia Expo, or as it is now called "WT Process and Machinery", which went off with- out a hitch...and that's big news as far as tobacco expos go these days. With four to five "tobacco" exhibitions cancelled in Asia in the last few years (three of those in Indonesia itself), it was legitimate to question whether the show would go on. World Tobacco itself either cancelled or relocated three exhibitions (Bali, 2013; Jakarta, 2014; Singapore, 2014). The group that owns this magazine in cooperation with Messe Westfalenhallen were forced into the very regrettable position of having to cancel the InterTabac Asia Expo in Bali in 2014 due to the last-second withdrawal of permits that were secured months earlier. The sheepish Bali governor with his police caved in to the whining anti-tobacco activists who were success- ful in getting their rants published in local media on various slow news days. In contrast, the Jakarta Governor Basuki in the days before the WT exhibition came down sternly on the side of the exhibition saying the show would go on. When pressed by a reporter from a foreign news service agitating with anti-tobacco themed questions, he rebuked them saying "you foreigners shouldn't threaten our sovereignty with your silly thoughts" apparently speaking to the foreign based anti-tobacco groups who agitated for cancelling the exhibition. (An online petition to cancel the show garnered only 12,000 signa- tures globally.) Besuki went on to point out to the questioners saying that "smoking and pro- ducing cigarettes themselves are not illegal" and that "even without the exhibition cigarette factories buy machinery and people still buy cigarettes". We couldn't have said it better ourselves. For the Jakarta expo, World Tobacco was re-booted into WT Process & Machinery and the word "tobacco" was expunged from all its published marketing materials. Our magazine was listed on the WT website as "T.A October Multimedia" instead of TOBACCO ASIA to avoid attracting unwanted attention from the anti-tobacco activists. And "Process & Machinery" really was the true nature of the participating exhibitors; there wasn't a tobacco products exhibitor in sight. All companies exhibiting were suppliers to the industry of leaf, equipment, machinery, supplies, and services – a true industry show for manufacturers. The show was small – we counted only around 50 exhibitors – and this was to be expected given the industry's understandably uncertain view of Indonesia as an exhibition site. At least two exhibitors said they had withheld any payments to WT until onsite fearing a cancellation. Traffic was decent, not remarkable but many exhibitors reported making new contacts and in general the mood was upbeat, especially at the well-attended BMJ sponsored, over- the-top exhibition dinner featuring many performances and a massive fireworks display. With the first WT Process & Machinery show under its belt, the organizers have already said they are coming back to Jakarta in March 2017 with dates to be announced later. We commend the World Tobacco group on their perseverance in making this show happen. We know very well how nerve-wracking the entire process was up to the opening day.

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