Posted on 30/05/2011 in category BIR

Recent BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition in Singapore


General Assembly: “Mission accomplished” for Dominique Maguin

Dominique Maguin’s presidency of the BIR ended on a decidedly high note as he welcomed well over 1500 participants to the world recycling body’s 2011 Spring Convention, held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore from 23 to 25 May. “Yet another jewel in the crown of BIR’s successful events,” he enthused.

In Singapore, Mr Maguin was succeeded by Björn Grufman of Sweden-based MV Metallvärden AB as the recycling organisation’s latest World President; Mr Grufman’s role as Treasurer of BIR has been handed to Paper Division President Ranjit Baxi on an interim basis. Mr Grufman said he was “deeply honoured” to be elevated to the top role in an organisation representing “the future leading raw material suppliers”.

In summing up his four years as President, Mr Maguin was able to say “mission accomplished” with regard to the key objectives he had set in 2007, namely: to set up a Statistical Observatory “to quantify our achievements to the economic and political worlds”; to measure our industry’s carbon footprint through a study ultimately undertaken by the world-renowned Imperial College of London; and to create an International Trade Council “to help safeguard the free movement of our materials around the world and to enable BIR to have a rapid response to any attempts by governments or consuming industries to introduce protectionist measures”. Also during his period in office, BIR completed a revamp of its statutes and by-laws.

“Over the past four years, and despite several notable collapses in the financial and banking sectors, BIR has succeeded in consolidating and growing its assets and financial positions, allowing the organisation to look fearlessly to the future,” said Mr Maguin. The world body already embraces 40 national recycling federations and around 800 member companies, and it will continue to attract new recruits, he added, by constantly improving the quality of its services, by remaining attuned to the changing needs of its members, by monitoring and analysing potential new legislation, and by remaining alert to economic developments and to international relations.

In her keynote address to the latest BIR General Assembly, Haiyan Wang suggested the next 10 years will bring an even more marked structural change in the world as emerging economies continue to “gather bulk”. Adjunct Professor of Strategy at international graduate business school/research institution INSEAD and Managing Partner of the China India Institute, the guest speaker predicted that China’s GDP could be equal to that of the USA by the year 2025 - and twice its size by the year 2050.

The speaker went on to contend that India’s current position equates to that of China some 13 or 14 years ago. While China has been committing 8-9% of its GDP to infrastructure development, India is now “catching up”, she said. “That’s a lot of construction - and that’s good news for your industry.” However, she also underlined that, for outside parties, success in China and India would require a customer-focused approach.

Also at the BIR General Assembly in Singapore, the Paper Division’s Papyrus Prize for services to paper recycling was conferred on container shipping specialist APL.