By Tim Wright | December 15, 2006

From Nov. 7-9 Guangzhou hosted CHINACOAT 2006, Asia’s largest exhibition for coatings, which reflected China’s strong growing coatings market.

The growth of China's economy in recent years has been astonishing. With a present gross domestic product of $1.565 trillion, China is the seventh-largest economy in the world, and its expansion is the key driver for businesses worldwide.

The Chinese coatings industry is fully enjoying its own growth. Industry experts place the Chinese coatings market at 3.35 million tons in 2005, compared to 1.84 million tons in 2000. That comes out to an incredible 82 percent growth, and there is no reason to expect that trend to slow down.

With that in mind, it is obvious why CHINACOAT continues to enjoy excellent growth. CHINACOAT 2005, which was held in Shanghai, was attended by 21,273 visitors from 68 countries, of whom 18,933 attendees are members of China's coatings industry.

"The annual CHINACOAT show held alternately between Guangzhou and Shanghai has become an industry forum," said Raymond Ho, director of Sinostar International. "Exhibitors and visitors will explore technologies and markets, pinpoint progress, as well as problems to identify diverse new approaches for the future. The role of CHINACOAT is to promote two-way communication between China and the rest of the world.

The show floor at CHINACOAT 2006 was crowded.
The growth of CHINACOAT, and the Chinese and Asia-Pacific coatings industry in general, can best be seen by comparing the show to 2004, when it was last held in Guangzhou. In 2004, there were a total of 450 direct exhibitors. This year, there are 503 companies, a growth of more than 11%.

In terms of companies from China, there were 263 companies represented in 2004; at this year's show, there are 297 Chinese companies exhibiting, a gain of nearly 13%. The number of international companies that are directly exhibiting is up to 150, compared to 138 in 2004. That is a gain of 8.7%.

The number of companies represented at the show tells a similar story. In 2004, 648 companies were represented, 346 of which were from China. In 2006, 716 companies are represented, a 10.5% increase, and the number of companies from China increased to 379, a growth of 9.5%.

For those exhibiting at CHINACOAT, the show's increase in size over the years reflects the impressive growth of the China's coatings market.

"CHINACOAT is the premier coatings event in Asia if not the world," said Joon Choo, vice president Shamrock. "It continues to gain momentum among suppliers and customers, and draws both commercial and technical formulators. The growth of CHINACOAT reflects the overall growth of China's coatings market, which is being fueled by tremendous economic growth in the region."

For Kyowa Hakko, in order to be a truly global player in today's coatings market, it is necessary to have a presence in China and CHINACOAT represents a very exciting Chinese coatings market. "We see a big improvement at this year's CHINACOAT," said Jiro Suezawa, general manager, intermediates and specialty chemicals, Kyowa Hakko. "Not only are there more attendees, but there is a higher quality of attendees in terms of their level of knowledge."

"CHINACOAT is a place where we can meet new people and begin to address new consumers," said Chuck Hoover, chief operating officer, Hoover Color Corporation. "As the influx of customers in the region continues to increase, CHINACOAT allows us the opportunity to get in direct contact with them. We see CHINACOAT continuing to grow in the years ahead. If you look at sales figures in Asia compared to North America and Europe, they are still fairly small in comparison. As a result, trade shows like CHINACOAT are important and will continue to grow until there is an extensive distribution system in place."

"Over the years CHINACOAT has increased in size and under the guidance of a good organization continues to improve each year," said Eric Perraud, business manager, Orgasol, engineering polymers division, Arkema. "CHINACOAT is a good opportunity to meet regular customers and establish relationships with potential customers who are not easy to meet normally."

"One of the things we've noticed over the years is that the show used to draw only big global companies, but is now attracting more local companies," said Mark Stoll, director of sales, Asia-Pacific, Millennium Chemicals. "CHINACOAT has served as a catapult for these small local producers to the coatings industry and this gives us the opportunity to broaden our customer base."

Cytec's booth was extremely busy.
"The most important reason to be at CHINACOAT is to get a feel for customers, competition and the market," said Siva Iyer, business director, Asia-Pacific, radcure for Cytec. "My first impression is that the industry continues to mature from where it was four to five years ago. Issues such as environmental friendliness continue to grow in importance. In addition, attendees are becoming more sophisticated. Along with a higher quality of people attending the show, the quality of products and new technologies being offered continues to improve as well."

"In China, the market is still undergoing a steep learning curve," said Jean Schaefle, president, Munzing Shanghai Co. "We've noticed that as the level of knowledge continues to increase among attendees at CHINACOAT, so too does their desire to want to make better systems. As a result, it is important for us to offer guidance during the product development cycle."

For equipment suppliers Myers Engineering, CHINACOAT is the most dynamic industrial trade show in the world. "We have over 30 years of accumulated experience selling equipment in the Chinese market," said Steve Guntner, sales manager, Myers Engineering. "It's important to maintain relations with existing customers and cultivate new ones, and CHINACOAT givers us that opportunity."

CHINACOAT's technical conference continued to be successful.
CHINACOAT's technical conference continued to be highly successful. "Powder Coatings: The Way Forward," CHINACOAT Conference's specialized technical program, focused on trends in this field and the new technologies shaping its future, was well attended, drawing visitors from around the world to learn about this strong growing market.

The conference included 11 technical papers from China, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S. According to figures from CHINACOAT organizer, Sinostar, the Chinese powder coatings industry has accomplished a threefold increase in output during the last five years and is now the largest producer of powders in the world, representing over 20 percent of the estimated global market of 1,200,000 tons.

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