As one of the world’s largest plastic markets, yet with so much potential, China is certainly a rising star of the East. This year sees the 28th edition of Chinaplas, Asia’s largest trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries. In the following article we take a look at the opportunities China offers to UK companies, large or small.
Chinaplas 2014 will be held from 23-26 April 2014 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, PR China. The organiser says that exhibition space is expected to exceed 220,000m2, with more than 2,900 exhibitors and 120,000 visitors coming from 130 countries and regions.
China is an important market for UK processors, with strong potential for selling, trading, investing or franchising. The British Plastics Federation, who will be representing the UK at Chinaplas, said the extraordinary development of plastics consumption in the country and a population of approximately 1.4 billion offers “staggering potential”.
China as a marketplace
It’s no secret that China is undergoing rapid industrialisation and urbanisation. The country’s five-year plan sets out a direction for the plastics and rubber industries, including lowering pollution and energy consumption, adding high-value and improving technology.
The good news is that the domestic market is showing increasing demand for cutting-edge plastic and rubber technologies, with a steady increase in demand for high-quality plastic and rubber solutions expected in the country.
Eastern China is one of the leading regions of economic and industrial development, but it’s also experiencing growth as a base for raw chemicals supply. In 2012, around 25 million tonnes of plastic products were manufactured in the region, accounting for 44 percent of the country's production capacity. With well-equipped infrastructure and a strong industrial cluster effect, Eastern China has become an appealing prospect for some of the world’s biggest multi-nationals.
The Chinese government is set to invest 400 billion yuen each year, in order to improve the country’s water infrastructure. This, coupled with rapid urbanisation, should bring with it growing demand for plastic piping and construction materials. Extrusion and injection moulding machinery sales are also set to rise as a consequence.
Like the rest of the world, China is also placing an emphasis on fuel efficiency in the automotive sector — a trend in which plastics will, of course, have a major part to play.
Moreover, showing continued environmental commitment, the five-year plan aims to explore renewable energy, while solar technology is also on the rise. China’s environmental policies have also accelerated the development of the rubber recycling industry.
Finally, the market is preparing itself for further developments in plastic for medical devices. The emphasis here is on basic equipment that is in the highest demand.
“As global economic focus shifts eastwards, more and more global buyers pay greater attention to China’s market,” said Ada Leung, Assistant General Manager of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd, the organiser of the show. “Chinaplas, with over 30 years of history, has become a high quality sourcing platform of both domestic and overseas technology for plastics and rubber industries as well as the downstream sectors, such as automotive, building and constructing, E&E and packaging.”
The organiser of Chinaplas says that this year’s event is moving with the times. Sophisticated, high-tech and diverse solutions and applications will be a key focus at the show. Specific technologies have been identified for highly relevant purposes, including safety, light-weighting, aesthetic appeal, multi-purpose functionality, heat retention, and water resistance to name a few.
Roughly speaking, the exhibitors break down as follows: over 1,000 will display machinery and raw materials specifically for the automotive industry; more than 600 will target the building and construction industries; over 700 will focus on electricals, IT and telecommunications; and finally, over 1,100 exhibitors will cater for the packaging industry.
Stanley Chu, Chairman of Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd, said: “Since the global financial crisis in 2008, the rapid development of the plastics raw materials and machineries in China have accelerated the upgrading of industries. Many companies understand that using low-end technology to operate cannot sustain their development. Technological and management breakthrough, quality upgrade and following Government policies like energy saving, high efficiency and environmental protection are the best solutions. Corporations are suggested to change their marketing strategies according to the market variation, to concentrate the resources on the high-growth industries and areas, for example, increasing needs on the automation equipment resulting from the recent problems of rising salaries and labour shortage,”
Themes for an easy visit
Some aspects of this year’s show have been divided up by process, making for a straightforward visit. These technical zones will include dedicated areas for extrusion and injection moulding machinery; chemicals and raw materials; auxiliary and testing equipment; mould and die; film technology; plastic packaging and blow moulding machinery; rubber machinery and equipment; Chinese export machinery and materials; bioplastics and semi-finished products.
A global event
Of the predicted 120,000 visitors to the show, the organisers suggest that 25 percent will come from overseas. Many will be looking to establish new trade partnerships, renew existing contracts or explore the technology on offer in China itself.
At the same time, the exhibitors themselves will come from all around the world. Many of the major European and American players are confirmed to exhibit. Providing a base for foreign trade will be the international pavilions, which will include Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA, PR China and Taiwan.
So who’s going? Chinaplas tends to attract some of the industry’s major names, with leading delegates from international companies attending to meet clients and prospective customers.
This year, the exhibitor profile represents a combination of western and eastern technology. So far, a few of the familiar processing equipment brands include Haitian, Chen Hsong, Husky, Engel, Demag, SHI, Jwell, Jinhu, Liansu, Fangli, Mold-Masters, Yudo, ACS and Conair.
In the field of chemicals and raw materials, expect to see brands like BASF, Exxonmobil, Teijin Kasei, DSM, Mitsubishi, Polyone, Du Pont, DOW, SABIC and Lanxess on site.
BP&R will be reporting live from the show in April. If you are exhibiting or visiting, do get in touch, we’d like to see you there.