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The High Security Printing Asia conference took place in December 2016 and brought together over 280 security printing professionals to discuss the latest changes and challenges in the production of banknotes, passports and ID cards - with a distinctly regional focus, and a celebratory atmosphere given that this was the 15th such event since the conference was first held in Bangkok in 2002.

The conference was preceded by two seminars which offered delegates a chance to dive into a topic in detail. For those in the banknote industry, Secura Monde International gave a fascinating seminar entitled ‘Durable Banknotes: Make a Counterfeiter’s Day!’. This session was followed by Alex van Duuren, an independent consultant and expert in border solutions, who immersed participants in the world of the front-line travel document checker with his hands-on seminar.

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The main conference opened with an overview of the regional secure document landscape, which also included a presentation from the International Currency Association on the importance of cash for a country – focusing on the vital pillars of choice and inclusion for all. The Reserve Bank of Australia also covered the development process of the new $5 note recently introduced, the first in the world with an edge-to-edge window.

Following on from the successful introduction in 2015 of a twin track programme, in subsequent sessions, delegates were once again offered a choice depending on their specialisation – either currency or ID and travel documents.

Highlights from the programme included an introduction to the new commemorative Vietnamese 100 Dong from the State Bank of Vietnam and a case study on the Macau identity card programme. Delegates were also treated to a live demonstration of a new system developed by Spanish company, das-Nano, called Pathlock. With a live link to their Spanish colleagues, they demonstrated their automatic internal location and locking system, which has applications both during the production and lifecycle of banknotes in cash handling centres.

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With such a diverse range of speakers throughout the conference, delegates were able to gain greater insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the secure printing industry across the region.

The conference also included a gala dinner, offering participants a more informal networking opportunity alongside a selection of traditional Singaporean entertainment and the presentation of the Best Regional Banknote and ID awards. These were won by the new $5 Australian banknote for its innovative design and the new Philippines ePassport for its outstanding design. Special achievement awards were also won by the China Aerospace Commemorative 100 Yuan and the State Bank of Vietnam’s Commemorative 100 Dong, reflecting the technological achievements in both notes.

Finally, announced at the conference was the forthcoming changes to the High Security Printing conference series. The next HSP Asia conference will cover the Asia Pacific region, including Oceania and will take place for the first time in Melbourne, Australia in 2017. The change to the regional area is reflected in the newly named sister event HSP EMEA, which will now encompass not only Europe, but also the Middle East and African regions.

To see who attended HSP Asia in Singapore, view photos of the event and see the full programme of speakers, visit the 2016 review page.