November 9, 2018

Five for Friday: China International Import Expo

Finnish expertise across a range of industries has been on display in Shanghai this week.
Finnish expertise across a range of industries has been on display in Shanghai this week.
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China is hosting its first International Import Expo (CIIE) this week in Shanghai. Finnish expertise has been on hand, making its presence known in the region.

Altogether, the CIIE has attracted more than 3 500 companies from over 170 countries, with many of the countries themselves presenting eye-catching country pavilions. Finland’s country pavilion evokes Aurora Borealis, clean air, clean lakes and Finnish wood – not forgetting Santa Claus, who this time made a virtual appearance through an AR app produced by Arilyn and Visit Finland.

The Finnish companies at the pavilion showcase some of the best in Finnish innovation and knowhow.

Planmeca

Focused on dentistry, this Finnish healthtech company has been in China since the 1980s. It has opened a new office in Shanghai, and is looking to expand and invest in the Chinese market.

At the expo, it has demonstrated its small, lightweight and fast Planmeca Emerald intraoral scanner and Planmeca Creo C5 chair-side 3D printer.

“We came to the CIIE to promote our digital future concept for all-in-one software which will connect the monitoring of our products through one platform,” says the company’s digital marketing advisor Bo Wang, who is developing Planmeca’s digital marketing strategies in China to build further contacts with potential distributors and customers through social media.

Aavi Technologies

This company is dedicated to ion emission air purification system R&D, design and manufacturing. Aavi has its R&D centre in Finland and its sales and operation centre in China. Aavi’s unique selling point in China is that its air purification products do not use a filter but rather ion technology to purify the air – whether at home, office or industrial site – of nano-scale particles such as bacteria, viruses, ultra-fine particles and industrial dust.

“Aavi’s household products are already popular in China, thanks to their efficiency, and the fact that they are self-cleaning, can be connected to fresh air systems and are easy to operate and maintain,” explains senior marketing manager Chen Wei. “This year, our focus has been on expanding our reach in industries. We currently have five installations in the steel industry and are looking to grow in this huge market.”

UPM

Attracting a lot of attention, not only from visitors to the expo, but also in the Chinese media, this forest-based bioindustry giant brought its Biofore concept car to the Finland pavilion. The concept car’s shell uses biocomposite made of cellulose fibre and plastics, and its interior is made from thermoformable wood materials. The car runs on low-emission biodiesel and was designed and produced in collaboration with Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Business Finland.

“We have been saying among our colleagues that at least half of the Chinese population must have now seen our Biofore car through the media,” enthuses senior environmental specialist Jue Wang.

The company is celebrating its 20th anniversary in China this year. Its operations in China include paper, packaging and label materials, accounting for 15 per cent of the company’s global sales.

“We wanted to come to the CIIE to showcase what our company is doing to mitigate climate change as well as show our long commitment to the Chinese market,” Wang continues.

Megasense

This company’s representatives from the University of Helsinki have been on site at the CIIE Finland pavilion to present their collaboration in intelligent air quality monitoring together with Nokia, Vaisala and China Mobile.

“We are using a multidisciplinary approach to build up 5G real-time air quality monitoring in megacities such as Beijing,” explains Pasi Rautiainen, business developer for the University of Helsinki’s business collaboration unit. “The goal is to use this technology to more accurately pinpoint the source of pollution. An end result could be an app allowing people to monitor the air quality of specific, smaller areas of the city, allowing people to make an informed decision for instance on where they would like to live.”

Tikkurila

Having been in the Chinese market for 10 years, Tikkurila is the leading paint brand in the premium segment with 600 stores in 200 cities.

Johan Hansson, who runs Tikkurila’s industrial business in China, explained at their client event at the Finland pavilion that Tikkurila is now looking to expand into industrial paints and coatings in China.

Tikkurila used the opportunity presented by the CIIE to launch new products for the Chinese market. These were namely a new isocyanate-free polysiloxane topcoat with specific use for agriculture, construction and earth-moving machinery and equipment, and both interior and exterior steel structures; and a high-solids epoxy primer used in the processing industry, exterior surfaces of storage tanks and reservoirs, and railway vehicles.

Text: Hetta Huittinen

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