Industrial Member endeavours to penetrate China's rapidly expanding manufacturing market could be greatly simplified shortly by TWI's establishment of its own office in Beijing.
'China is becoming a world superpower in terms of manufacturing. We are being asked by our Members, who want to find suppliers or out source some of their manufacturing in China, 'What do you know about China?' head of Industrial Member services Fred Delany told Connect.
'They need us to support their local partners along the supply chain and hope to manufacture goods to an international standard. So TWI has got to be there, supporting the local industry.'
China is now producing more steel than the United States and Japan put together. Unlike its position ten years ago in the international manufacturing market, when its strength lay in textiles manufacture, it is now huge in shipbuilding, automotive manufacture, general fabrication, and electronics. Its aerospace industry is also expanding rapidly. Consequently China requires vast supplies of energy from, among others, the oil and gas sector.
China's power generation sector is building hydro electric power plants, nuclear power plants, and conventional coal fired power plants. With its Chinese base TWI is now able to advise and support Industrial Member companies in almost all the traditional TWI sectors, in R&Dmp;D, consultancy and training.
'Historically TWI's relationship with the Chinese is nearly a decade old.' reflects Fred Delany. 'BAMTRI is one of the leading aerospace research centres in China serving the aerospace industry. It became an Industrial Member of TWI about six years ago, but before that TWI hosted a very famous engineer and academic in China, Professor Guan Qiao. He was from BAMTRI and worked on Low Stress No Distortion welding during his secondment at TWI. This was the start of along and fruitful relationship of friendship and technical co-operation and we got to know each other well, so now BAMTRI is an established partner for TWI in China. The Chinese are very much providing an entry door, and pointing us in the right direction within China.'
The working differences are both cultural and commercial. BAMTRI understands TWI's business well explains Fred Delany. 'We understand them, we trust each other and now they are helping us establish ourselves in China because they can see the benefit of what we offer to Chinese industry.'
At its Granta Park headquarters TWI's Mandarin-speaking laser specialist Steve Shi fronts much of the interaction with the technology requirements of Chinese industry, and advises on the strategy required for TWI to establish a strong presence in China. 'Six months ago TWI identified two project leaders, Ms Jian Wu and Ms Zhenyun Shi as extremely competent prospective TWI staff'' he says. 'TWI employed them and organised their training in the UK and relocated them back in Beijing. BAMTRI offered to supply an office for us in Beijing and we accepted that offer' explains Fred Delany. These two fully qualified graduates are now back in Beijing working for TWI in our Chinese office. Their role is essentially to assist TWI experts in communicating with the Chinese market and to identify co-operation opportunities.
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