Dressed mainly in suits and ties, and armed with cell phones, this record-setting attendance closely parallels the rapid growth of the coatings industry in China. For the first two-and-a-half days of the event, it was difficult to navigate the show floor because the crowds packed every square meter of the aisles. Booth personnel were kept busy for the duration of the show with visitors picking up technical literature and networking with the 415 companies represented at ChinaCoat.
Even when visitors left the Chinese Export Commodities Fairground which hosted the fifth annual ChinaCoat (see top photo), they were greeted by vendors passing out literature for a variety of Chinese companies. According to Chen Chunyan from Kelon Holdings, “the Chinese are anxious to buy or produce specialized coatings for products they are manufacturing.”
Multi-National Companies RepresentedMany major U.S. and European chemical concerns like Dow Chemical, Air Products, Exxon Mobil, DuPont, Kerr-McGee, Degussa-Hüls, Lubrizol, BASF, Cabot Corp., Solutia, Troy, Micro Powders, Ciba, Rohm and Haas, and Reichhold, to name a few, exhibited with their booths staffed by their Asia/Pacific representatives. In addition, equipment manufacturers from around the world including Byk-Gardner, Netzsch, Draiswerke, Hockmeyer, Union Process, Italtinto, Inoue, Fluid Management, Q-Panel, DeFelsko, VMA-Getzmann and many others had their own staffs manning the booth (for a complete list, see www.sinostar-intl.com.hk).
U.S. representatives seemed most impressed by what they saw. Peter G. Pape, associate industry scientist for Silanes and Silicone Materials for Dow Corning, said, “I am most impressed by the high level of technology and product quality.” However, while there is still a wide variation in the quality of paint manufactured in China because of technical limitations, that is changing. U.S.-educated chemists are returning to China to represent global coatings manufacturers in China or to set up their own operations. They have the training in technology as well as the network of contacts to make a product that is competitive in a global market. In addition, U.S.-based coatings manufacturers came to China to explore licensing opportunities and the possibilities of setting up manufacturing plants in China. Even mid-sized U.S. manufacturers of paint and ink came to the show looking to rapidly expand their market.