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"The printing industry should be more interactive with the Printing and Packaging Group (PPG), " said Ahmed bin Hassan Al Shaikh, chairman of the Printing and Publishing Group.  "Every so often we send out questionnaires and participation forms, which receive a lukewarm response."

Established in January 2003, the PPG aims to be a voice of the industry, representing the printing & publishing sector to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and present a platform to discuss and solve common issues facing the industry.

Increasing the scope of the awards to include the digital sector and 2 additional countries, PPG aims to expand further into countries from Asia and Europe.

Al Shaikh said, "Since last year we have been receiving calls from printers in India and even Europe to compete for the awards. "

The evaluation process in each category will be based on four criteria- printing quality, finishing quality, innovation and creativity.

An international jury of experts has been appointed to give away prizes in the gold, silver and bronze categories on the 27th January 2010. Submission deadline for entries is 13th January 2010 with an application fee of AED 200/-.

When asked whether the crisis faced by Dubai was affecting their sponsorships, Al Shaikh said, "I resent the word 'Dubai crisis', it is a global crisis which has also affected Dubai.

"People living in Dubai can see normal business activity going on every day.  There has been no effect on our sponsorships, in fact we have recently signed up 3-4 new sponsors, which has made us more determined to excel ourselves."