CHINAPLAS
World's second-biggest plastics fair opens its doors / More than 3,400 exhibitors in Guangzhou
“Chinaplas 2017” (www.chinaplasonline.com) – Asia’s biggest plastics trade fair and for now the undisputed number two globally – opened its doors on 16 May, this time in the “China Import & Export Fair” complex in Guangzhou, in the south of the country. Up until 19 May, the 3,465 exhibitors will be displaying their innovations centred around machinery, technologies, raw materials and services on an exhibition area of some 250,000 m². Around 140,000 visitors from 160 countries are expected to attend.

As Stanley Chu, chairman of trade fair organiser Adsale (Hong Kong / China; www.adsale.com.hk), explained at the opening press conference on the day before the fair, this year’s Chinaplas is emphasising the continuing trend towards the further professionalisation of the sector, which is moving away from being an extended workbench towards its “new normal” as a technology driver. The People’s Republic is also enjoying stable growth rates still, says Chu. Over the next five years, he is reckoning with an average GDP growth of 6 to 6.5% per year.

The potential for plastics is huge. Up until 2025 the forecasts are for per capita polymer consumption to rise to 50 kg per year, compared with 40 kg in 2012. Even these figures are comparatively low by global standards, however. The forecasts for 2025 put per capita consumption in the USA at 162 kg, in Germany at 151 and in Italy at 132.

In the first quarter of 2017, overall production by volume of plastics products in China totalled 17.6m t. Exports rose by 21.3% according to Adsale, while imports registered a 37.4% increase over this same period a year earlier. China’s plastics processors are benefiting especially from the booming demand still prevailing in Southeast Asia, particularly in the packaging sector. Thailand and Indonesia are strong buyers in the automotive sector.

As Chu went on to explain, China itself is experiencing growth in all the different application fields. Alongside the increased demand from the packaging industry, the Adsale chairman also stressed the special dynamics of the electronics sector, prompted by the strong demand for ever new smartphones in China. In the current five-year plan, economic development is focused not only on high-tech but also on environment/recycling and energy-saving technologies.

All this is reflected at this year’s Chinaplas. As Adsale’s general manager Ada Leung explained, “green”, bio-based, biologically degradable and other environmentally-friendly polymers are featured prominently at stands in the raw materials sector to a greater extent this time, along with high-performance materials and composites. A further mega topic, with a huge presence, is 3D materials. In the machinery sector, small-series plants are a major focus, together with system integration, reliable production, optimisation of sorting and recycling technologies and, of course, everything to do with Industry 4.0.

The extensive trade fair programme is rounded off by numerous conferences and special events. Alongside Smart Production and Industry 4.0, to which invitations are being issued on the first three days of the fair by Adsale and German plastics and rubber machinery association VDMA KuG (KuG, Frankfurt / Germany; http://kug.vdma.org) under the leadership of Thorsten Kühmann, the Medical Plastics Conference is now being held for the third time in cooperation with Plasteurope.com. Eminent companies such as Covestro, Arburg and KraussMaffei are amongst those presenting papers. Other special events are Design & Innovation and the Tech Talks.

Next year, it is Shanghai’s turn to host Chinaplas, which is being staged from 24 - 27 April 2018. It will then be possible to use the new “National Exhibition and Convention Center” with its huge amount of additional exhibition space. With the 320,000 m² available as of 2018, Chinaplas will become the world’s number one, forecasts Chu. Coupled with this comes the ambitious aim of having considerably more “first launches” at Chinaplas trade fairs in future. But first of all, it is a matter of ensuring that the busy days ahead in Guangzhou run successfully.
17.05.2017 Plasteurope.com [236909-0]
Published on 17.05.2017
German version...German version of this article...
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