The security printing market in central and eastern Europe is predicted to accelerate over the next few years, according to a market report by Pira International.
The company predicts the market will see a CAGR of 15.2% to 2016, particularly thanks to growth in the banknote sector as a result of the accession to the EU of some countries in Eastern Europe, and the fact that Russia is expanding its rouble production.
Pira said that on 1 January 2011 the euro became legal tender in Estonia, and Estonia will become the 17th country to join the euro area. There are also seven other Eastern European countries which may join the Eurozone within the next five years, although no official date has been set for several of these.
The ID document sector is also among those with the highest growth potential in this region. One driver could be the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.
Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, Pira says, but besides the admission of Greece in 2010, no new countries have been permitted entrance since 2008.
This lack of momentum is largely the result of the current biometric air exit mandate, which prevents the DHS from adding new countries into the program until the U.S. is biometrically tracking (through fingerprinting) the departure of foreign visitors from U.S. airports, Pira notes.
US Congress and DHS see deployment of biometric exit as a necessary step toward understanding the number of visa overstays inside the U.S. When this is in place it is likely that other countries in Western Europe who have reached the level of compliance with respect to e-passports will be admitted to the VWP.
More of Pira’s report will be presented at the regional Security Printing 2011 conference taking place in 3 weeks on 26-27 January in Croatia. To find out more about the conference, visit http://www.security-printing.com.