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Where does the time go? It is very hard for me to believe that I am already writing for the final issue of the year, looking back over 2011 and planning for 2012.
Where does the time go? It is very hard for me to believe that I am already writing for the final issue of the year, looking back over 2011 and planning for 2012. As the Japanese say "otsukaresama deshita", which has no direct English translation but roughly equates to "thank you for your hard work." I use it here because I lived in Tokyo for five years, where usage is ubiquitous and comforting, a sentiment I wish to share with you.
I thought it would be good practice to read what my predecessor wrote at the end of 2010 to close the year, and what met my eyes led to a distinct feeling of déjàu. Once again, the whole year has been dominated by economic uncertainty and financial upheaval, especially in Europe. As I write this, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are struggling to come to agreement over how best to stabilise the euro zone. There is no doubt that decisions made by world leaders over the coming weeks will affect all industries in some way, though perhaps to what extent is less predictable. Industry trends have also been echoed this year, with continued focus on tightening supply chain security and curbing counterfeits. Emerging markets continue to be a topic of huge interest, but will growth there be sufficient to protect industry from the economic woes of the West?
Despite a sense of foreboding, in the meetings and shows I've attended (CPhI in Frankfurt being the latest), the mood has been somewhat more positive. There seems to be a definite sense that things are improving, that business is on the up. Indeed, the results of our annual PharmTech.com employment survey in this issue tell a similar tale; though times are tough, respondents are overwhelmingly predicting improved business for 2012. Conversely, our outsourcing specialist, Jim Miller, in the same issue speaks of potential decline for the services market at the hands of a dearth of late-stage candidates in R&D. Confusing times.
Whatever the outcomes, Pharmaceutical Technology Europe will continue to provide you with the latest industry trends, innovations and solutions through your preferred media channel, whether on our website, via Twitter or LinkedIn, or simply in our trusted printed magazine.
I would like to thank you all for your past and continued support, and wish you all the very best for a positive 2012.
Rich Whitworth, Editor