By David Eldridge, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
Shanghai, China Rapra Ltd, the UK polymer consultancy, has opened a representative office in Shanghai to support its membership drive in China.
Over the last year, Rapra has participated in the Launchpad program run by the China Britain Business Council (CBBC), which has provided a full-time project manager, Ivy Lue, based in Shanghai. She has now moved from the CBBC to work directly for Rapra and manage the new office.
Rapra said its existing members will also get benefits from the office, including: development of local business contacts; market research and sales support; and links with Chinese industry and trade bodies, and government authorities.
The opening of the Shanghai office follows on from two trade missions to China that Rapra organised with the BPF in 2008 and earlier this year.
In April 2010, Rapra will again be working with the BPF to take a trade mission from the UK to China, to coincide with the Chinaplas 2010 exhibition in Shanghai.
Later in 2010, a return trade mission is also planned, being set up between the Rapra China office and the Chinese Plastics Processing Industries Association.
Another development for Rapra that has resulted from its activities in China is an agreement with Topease Information Consulting, based in Shanghai, to promote the company's web-based Global Trade database in Europe.
Rapra said Topease has established a global trade intelligence system that contains detailed import and export data for not just China, but also more than 200 countries worldwide. The data is set out by product (according to the international Harmonised System code) and in many cases data is detailed down to individual company level.
Richard Walton, membership director at Rapra, told PRW that Rapra's membership currently stands at 155, a good increase from a level of about 90 in 2006. The drive for new members outside its UK base is also happening in North America. The appointment of a marketing manager, Laura Woods, in the US in March has already led to new North American members for Rapra, he said.