Fenestration China Opens Opportunities for U.S. Companies in the Booming Chinese Market

December 1, 2007
Meetings & Events

U.S. companies and associations that attended Fenestration China 2007 in November say the event provided a stepping stone into the skyrocketing Chinese fenestration and glass industry.

“For the industry, China is the biggest market in the world—the fastest growing. This year, it will be bigger than the U.S. market,” says James Gao, director of sales and marketing, Asia, for Edgetech IG, Cambridge, Ohio. “There’s no doubt this is the market where we need to be.”

Attending the Chinese glass and window shows is very important for companies that want to develop a presence in the Chinese market, Gao says. This is the second time
Edgetech has attended Fenestration China. 

Bob Seiple, business unit manager,
Schnee-Morehead Inc.,  says Schnee-Morehead had an exhibit at the show for the first time this year to increase its presence in the country and gain a better understanding of the other industry players there.

“We’re currently building a plant in China,” Seiple says. “We’re just getting started here. Now, [after the show] we know who all the players are and are sorting it out from there. … The show was absolutely successful, because it allowed us to talk and meet with every major vinyl and aluminum extruder and vinyl and aluminum fabricator.”

All of Schnee-Morehead’s U.S. competitors also exhibited at the show, Seiple says.

China’s economy continues to grow about 9 percent a year, with the demand for fenestration products growing along with it, says Ted He, event coordinator for CIEC Exhibition Company Ltd. In the next five years, 2.5 billion square meters of windows and doors will be needed to meet demand. Other major investments in infrastructure, such as the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, present even more opportunities for glass façade companies, according to He.

The event, held November 14-17 at the Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center, hosted 286 exhibitors on an 82,000-square-foot show floor, and saw about 25,000 visitors. Next year, convention organizers expect about 350 exhibitors on a 100,000-square-foot floor with about 30,000 exhibitors, He says.

Exhibitors at the 2007 show came from 15 countries: Australia, Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, he says. 

Bill Lingnell, president and owner of Lingnell Consulting Services in Rockwall, Texas, made a presentation about insulating glass standards at a conference with the theme “Energy, Efficiency and Innovation,” held November 12-13. He is working with the Department of Energy “to help establish interest in Chinese insulating glass standards,” he says. “We’re making some major moves in China to have energy-efficient glass; to make sure it has to be IG and has to meet a certain standard.”

North American groups such as the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance have dedicated a lot of time and energy to develop models and standards. Lingnell says he is working with the DOE to facilitate a technology exchange with the Chinese fenestration delegations that benefits all parties. 

—Contributed by Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, e-glass weekly