Chinaplas thunders back to Guangzhou
Adsale, the show organisers, said the show has now outgrown the K fair in exhibitor count- claiming 3282 exhibitors from 40 countries, compared to 3215 at the last K in 2013. Some 400 of these are first time exhibitors, mainly from China and across Asia. Overall, Chinese firms account for around 60% of exhibitors. At the close of day one, we could not find any stats on the visitor count, which is expected to exceed last year’s show in Shanghai, with over 75% coming from China.
But whatever the stats, it’s as buoyant and blustery an event as ever – much grown since my first Chinaplas in 2004.
This year’s theme – ‘Greenovation, Solution to Sustainabilty’ echoes nicely in Guangzhou’s lush vegetation-rich surroundings and not surprisingly features strongly across most of the international exhibits. For the EMG team, media activities kicked off the day before the actual show with a press conference at Clariant’s Masterbatch facility just outside the city. The presenters emphasised their commitment to innovation with a clear focus on sustainability as a core pillar of Clariant’s long term strategy and a primary focus of their exhibition. Almost 40 media made the trek to hear Clariant speak and then were bussed back to the city, their appetites nicely whetted for the coming days at the show and more EMG news events with clients.
The road to Guangzhou, and a kind Samaritan
On my way to Hongqiao airport to catch a flight to Guangzhou, a bit of a first happened. After 11 years travelling in China, 1,000s of kilometres and countless taxi drivers, my driver rammed into the car in front of him.
Now, this wouldn’t have bothered me so much except I was 4 kms from the airport and stuck on a 4 lane highway. No one was hurt, and the damage was negligible. But the other driver was not laying down. Despite my protestations and vigorous watch-pointing, I was faced with a wait for the police before we could move onto the airport, with my flight leaving in just over an hour.
So what do you do? You stick out your thumb and try to wave another taxi or car down. Admittedly, with little real hope anyone would stop. But after only a few minutes and a few hundred gawkers passing me by, a taxi stopped and waved me in. The passenger, a Chinese gentleman who spoke pretty fluent English, refused to accept any money or notion I would pay for the fare.
I caught my flight, but even nicer to find a small bit of universal kindness and generosity.
And day one at the show did not disappoint, with a joint press conference hosted by DSM and Ascend announcing their strategic partnership for the supply of PA66 compounds at which over 30 media attended. Under the agreement, Ascend becomes the strategic supplier to DSM for PA66 base-polymer used as raw material for Akulon® PA66 compounds for engineering plastics applications. In addition, DSM will distribute Ascend's portfolio of PA66 compounds sold under the brand name Vydyne®.
Industry 4.0 and Smart Production – a current hot focus in China - also featured prominently throughout the show with a dedicated Industrial Automation Zone displaying a range of cutting edge robotic technology. The show daily reports that China is the number one market for robotics and automated equipment. Some 37,000 robots were sold in 2013, up 60% on the previous year, and accounting for 20% of total global sales.
It’s easy to like Guangzhou. Dating back to Persian silk road roots and the later arrival of the Europeans starting with the Portuguese and followed by the Dutch, French and British. This diverse mix of culture and commerce is cemented into the city's footpaths, its people, its restaurants and of course exhibitions.