China: Glass expo highlights industry

Domestic demand for glass and glass products will continue to increase in the coming years because of China“s robust economic growth. The demand for flat glass will grow by 5 to 8% annually while dem…

Domestic demand for glass and glass products will continue to increase in the coming years because of China“s robust economic growth. The demand for flat glass will grow by 5 to 8% annually while demand for super-thin glass used for the electronic industry will surge by 20% until 2005, officials with the Chinese Ceramic Society said at the end of March in Beijing. Flat glass is mainly used for the construction of industrial and residential buildings. The country“s annually completed construction space of residential buildings in urban areas has reached 335 million sq. m., which consumes about 117.25 million sq. m. of flat glass a year, according to figures released by the society. Thanks to the country“s speedy and steady economic growth over the past decades, China has become the world“s largest producer of glass. Production of float-technology glass in the Chinese mainland topped 204 million weight boxes or 10.18 million tons in 2001, an increase of nearly 14.5% over the previous year. Officials of the society believe that the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and China“s entry into the World Trade Organization will create more business opportunities for the glass industry. But domestic consumers will become more critical about glass products, requiring higher quality and richer variety to satisfy their needs as their living standards rise. To promote trade, economic co-operation and technological exchange between Chinese and foreign glass firms, the society, together with the China National Association for Glass Industry, held the 9th China International Glass Industrial and Technological Exhibition (China Glass 2002) in Beijing from 9 to 12 April. The exhibition has already grown into the largest glass show in Asia and one of the largest in the world. More than 400 companies from 22 countries and regions applied to participate in the exhibition which occupied a floor area of more than 20,000 sq. m., the organizer said. China Glass 2002 was designated to showcase the latest technology, manufacturing equipment and products of the glass industry and enhance trade and cooperation between domestic and overseas counterparts in the glass industry.