According to a new report published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for flexible packaging is set to grow by a compound annual rate of 5.1 percent between 2013 and 2018, reaching a total value of $99.6 billion by the end of the period, up on $73.8 billion last year.

Globally, the fastest growing segment of flexible packaging is pharmaceutical packaging, with an expected annual growth rate of 7.1 percent between 2013 and 2018. This category will be driven by a combination of factors, including higher awareness for public health, demand for convenience packaging and increased market share of generic drugs.

The report predicts that the second fastest growing sector will be food packaging, as consumption of packaged food is set to increase in 2013 and beyond.

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Last year the Asia-Pacific outstripped other geographical regions in terms of revenue and market share. The region is set to continue to grow faster than other areas, with a predicted annual growth rate of 7.1 percent over the period to 2018. By contrast, flexible packaging in Europe is expected to go up at a rate of 3.9 percent, mostly fueled by Eastern Europe. The report also identifies the "rest of world" as positioned for strong growth by 2018, with an estimated growth rate of 6 percent, driven by markets in China, India, Russia and Brazil in particular.