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CIIE to promote communication between China and the world, says SCHOTT CEO
By:Wu Qiong,Jiang Meiqing  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-11-07 19:07

As a third-time participant of the annual CIIE (China International Import Expo), SCHOTT AG has an exhibition area of 216 square meters, around 50% larger than last year. The German company has also brought more exhibits this year, spanning across three themes: health and wellbeing, consumer electronics, and home & living. “Today, China is our No.1 growth market,” said Dr. Frank Heinricht, CEO of SCHOTT AG, “SCHOTT will definitely not miss this year’s event.”

(Dr. Frank Heinricht, CEO of SCHOTT AG)

“2020 has certainly been a challenging year for all of us. The coronavirus has changed the world as we know it, but it has not stopped us from cooperating. Especially now, cooperation and dialogue are more important than ever.” Due to the travel restriction caused by the pandemic, Dr. Heinricht could not come to Shanghai in person for the CIIE, but he still sent his best wishes for the event. He said he was very much impressed by this platform that the Chinese government built up, and “our greatest respect goes to the authorities and everyone who have taken effective measures and made this year’s CIIE possible”.

(The booth of SCHOTT at the 2020 CIIE)

Dr. Zhang Wenhong, a leading expert in China’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak, once mentioned the production of glass vials is more difficult than that of vaccines. As an inventor of specialty glass, SCHOTT has been supporting China’s COVID-19 vaccine R&D since the start of the outbreak. In June 2020, 25 experts were sent from Germany to support the construction of a new pharmaceutical glass tubing production facility in Jinyun, Zhejiang province, to meet the increase in demands from Chinese vaccine manufacturers. Furthermore, seven of the COVID-19 vaccine projects in China that have entered clinical stage also use SCHOTT Type I borosilicate glass, some of which are directly using vials produced by SCHOTT. “I am proud to say that we pull all levers to make our contribution in the fight against the pandemic,” added Dr. Heinricht.

Albert Chen, managing director at SCHOTT China, is at the company’s booth during the week-long CIIE. He showed us the SCHOTT vials and pharmaceutical packaging solutions on display. As he explained, borosilicate glass has always been the gold standard in the pharmaceutical packaging industry as it can effectively avoid the interaction between the vial and the vaccine. In fact, before the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s demand for high-quality pharmaceutical packaging has been on the rise, according to Chen, under the concept of “Healthy China 2030” and policies promoting the upgrading of industry standards in recent years. Internationally, the safety of borosilicate glass as a pharmaceutical packaging material has been long recognized.

(Exhibits of SCHOTT at the 2020 CIIE)

Apart from the specialty glass used in health and pharma, visitors can also see how the fascinating material of glass will shape every aspect of our lives. For example, SCHOTT’s flexible and ultra-thin glass, which is thinner than a human hair, can be bent freely like a piece of paper. Also on display are cooktops made of specialty glass-ceramic that are incredibly durable and can withstand high temperatures up to 700 degrees Celsius. During the fair, the company also reached contracted agreements with three partners in Shanghai, Wuhan and Shandong.

Speaking of the CIIE platform, Dr. Heinricht shared his views, “I think the CIIE will play a great role in promoting communication between China and foreign countries, thereby overcoming the impact of the epidemic. We can talk about new business ideas, establish further economic contacts, and provide new technologies and solutions for today and future challenges.”

“We have always been confident in the Chinese economy. The holding of the CIIE and other offline events will only further strengthen our confidence.” Regarding the recovery of the Chinese market under the global pandemic, Dr. Heinricht said, “I think we should never underestimate the creativity and resilience of the Chinese people, because we have already seen new growth drivers, such as 5G communications, consumer electronics, and the rapid growth of the medical and health industries.”

For SCHOTT, it is clearly seeing three major trends in the Chinese market: digitization, health and urbanization, which all have huge growth opportunities. According to Dr. Heinricht, the company is now expanding its local footprint across China, as cooperation with Chinese customers is all about fast communication and quick reaction of local needs.

Through the platform of CIIE, SCHOTT has established a number of partnerships with Chinese companies over the past two years, in such fields as 5G optical communication module, pharmaceutical packaging, and optical coating technology. “These partnerships will not be stopped by the epidemic and will have a profound impact on industrial development,” said Dr. Heinricht with much optimism.

(Photos/Jiang Meiqing;SCHOTT)