Will Paperworld China reach Olympian heights?
With the success of the Beijing Olympics, China has had a great year and the industry gathers in Shanghai to check the progress of its OP market
2008 may have begun as the year of the Rat in the Chinese astrological calendar but most will look back at it as the year of the Beijing Olympics. Despite the controversy over pollution and human rights that dogged the build-up there is no denying that the Chinese public were immensely proud to host the Games and re-announced their arrival on the world scene.
It will be fascinating for regular international visitors to Paperworld China in Shanghai (to be held between 27-29 November), then to see if there is a surge in confidence in the already booming Chinese industry.
The last Paperworld China event in 2007 attracted over 20,700 visitors from 85 countries and regions – an increase of 18% on the previous year. Will the ‘Beijing 2008 effect’ jump these already massive figures higher or has the show peaked?
The booming growth of the Chinese OP market and production in 2007 papered over a few growing cracks in the image of the industry. In particular, the quality of manufacturing especially by third-party companies delivering faulty, and in the case of a range of toys by MegaBrands allegedly dangerous product, into international markets, focussed minds on the perils of outsourcing to companies who need to outsource themselves to meet critical orders.
China may no longer be the cure-all shop for manufacturers chasing lower costs that it once was, but it remains streets ahead of the competition. And while the world’s economy slumps and other neighbouring countries rise to compete for business, China remains an incredibly important destination for production and product.
Paperworld China has grown to be a truly international event with visitors not just coming over from mainland China but also large contingents from Korea, Japan, India, Taiwan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, France and Russia.
Western manufacturers will be looking for signs of uptrading in the Chinese market. Also-called middle class with spending power and a more sophisticated taste for functional and stylish product has been predicted for some time, and the event will be a good barometer of an increase in demand for premium lines.
This year sees the debut of a gift items area, where manufacturers and distributors can showcase their latest innovative products to domestic buyers sourcing quality items.
The organisers are expecting their Office Automation Symposium, where leading industry experts examine business trends in the mainland China markets, to be a popular addition.
OPI Chinese Office Products Awards
Firmly fixed on the calendar for the Chinese OP community, the third annual Chinese office products awards will be held at the InterContinental Pudong, Shanghai on 26 November 2008. Following the sell-out event of 2007, the amount of interest in this year’s event is again overwhelming. Winners in the 10 categories will be announced at a spectacular gala dinner, held the evening before Paperworld China.
Attended by leading figures from the global OP industry, this unique networking opportunity gives international buyers a chance to meet a wide variety of Chinese manufacturers and find out who is leading the way in the Chinese market. Platinum sponsor for this year’s award is World Wide Stationery.
"We are delighted to sponsor the event: Being the world’s largest supplier of metal bindery parts with a manufacturing base in China, World Wide Stationery Holdings, has a responsibility to support this important event in order to encourage more local players in the industry to grow better and stronger and also to let others recognise their achievements," said World Wide’s Head of Stationery, Anthony Sham.