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Composites Australia: Trade Mission to JEC Asia 2019

23 December 2019

Seoul, Republic of Korea. 13-15th November, 2019

The Australian Pavilion hosted by Composites Australia at the three-day JEC Asia 2019 event was a busy meeting hub that showcased Australian companies, a leading educational institution and award-winning products and fabrication technology, as well as engineering and R&D services.

Henry Stonham, International Sales Manager JEC Asia; Eric Pierrejean, CEO JEC Group; Kerryn Caulfield, CEO Composites Australia; Leona Reif, President Composites Australia, Nelly Baron, Marketing & Communication Director JEC Group.

The Australian presence amongst 200+ exhibiting companies from 49 countries included delegates from ACS Australia, Envirospheres, FDP Composites, GMS Composites, Quin Global, Regina Glass Fibre, and finally the ARC Training Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC) at UNSW Sydney.

The event also featured a parallel conference program where industry experts provided their insights on the latest developments in highperformance composite technologies and applications. Electric mobility and self-driving vehicles were key themes of the conference which explored resolving urban transportation problems with intelligent lightweight design concepts and using composite technology to develop solutions for next generation mobility. The existing integrated supply chain spread across South East Asia’s automotive-producing countries is seen to be the main industry enabler.

But the real action was on the floor of the exhibition, particularly the Australian Pavilion where the atmosphere was lively, with constant visitors, meetings in the dedicated meeting space, and the occasional sound of an Aussie ‘g’day’.

Conversations rich with manufacturing and technology observations flowed for three days. Language proved to be no barrier, as demonstrated by Manny Samano, Business Development Manager for Envirospheres as he expertly navigated a three-language business meeting with translations across four people.

The B2B meeting platform proved to be an efficient online system through which over 550 meetings were scheduled during the event.

Australian participation was amplified by a JEC Innovation Award as well as the Startup Booster Bronze Award, both of which are covered on page 17.

Members of the Composites Australia Trade Mission to JEC Asia 2019.

For Sam Weller, Managing Director of GMS Composites; “There is a growing market across the whole of Asia for the high performance custom composite prepregs in specialty fibres and nanotechnology – the area in which we specialise. The Free Trade Agreements across the region have freed up what were once closed markets – and the reduced tariffs, while not huge, provide the opportunity to discuss price.”

Mark Pontil, General Manager for Regina Glass Fibre, said; “We’re grateful for the opportunity to exhibit amongst fellow Australians. Export development is a long game and this JEC was a chance to better understand the South East Asian market and to energise our penetration. We came away with a heartening list of interested end users.”

Andre Duarte, Business Development Manager for Advanced Composites Structures Australia, said of the event: “Specialising in design, manufacture and delivery of advanced composite structures and assemblies, conducted under ISO 9001 certification, ACS-A has all the credentials to service the East Asian market and beyond.”

Danu Chotikapanich, CEO COBRA; Kerryn Caulfield, CEO Composites Australia

The event was a timely opportunity for Composites Australia (CA) to catch up with Eric Pierrejean, JEC Group CEO, and Jeong-hee Bai, Project Management Director for the Victorian Government Trade & Investment, to discuss and evaluate regional strategies. As CA Executive Director Kerryn Caulfield said: “The mission has provided a chance to refresh old relationships and establish new ones that we can continue to build on in future for the mutual benefit of the Australian and East Asian composite sectors.”

Leona Reif, CA President said: “We are grateful for the support of the Australia Trade Commission which enabled our participation through the Free Trade Agreement Market Entry Grant Program. It was a particular honour to welcome Sung-o Cho, Senior Business Development Manager for the Austrade Korean office to our pavilion”

The JEC Group has positioned itself as the top composites network in the world, with 250,000 engaged industry professionals through its Paris headquarters, exhibition and conference. The foundational JEC Asia events were held in Singapore, though Korea’s commitment to advanced manufacturing has motivated the relocation to Seoul for the foreseeable future.

The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.

This article first appeared in:

Connection Magazine

Issue 51: December, 2019

Author: Kerryn Caulfield

For this and more stories, please download the latest copy of our Connection magazine.

Issue 51, December 2019