CHICAGO — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. will conduct full-scale trade missions to Mexico in 1998 and Indonesia/Malaysia in 1999, and will have several smaller projects in China, Brazil and South Africa, the trade group said June 18 at NPE in Chicago.
SPI's International Trade Advisory Committee will showcase companies at a catalog show at the South African Trade Exhibition Oct. 21-25, and plans similar activities during ChinaPlas, set for May 26-30 in Guangzhou, China, and BrazilPlas in March 1999.
The location of the trade missions is a marked shift from previous efforts, which focused heavily on China and India and were full-blown missions requiring companies to spend $10,000. The new effort also gives firms cheaper catalog shows, where government or SPI representatives present materials, and cheaper but less clout-driven missions.
``The trade missions have been very successful, but SPI's members have also expressed interest in activities that don't require the time commitment and expense of a full-blown trade mission,'' said Tim Stojka, chairman of SPI's ITAC committee and president of hot-runner maker Fast Heat Inc. in Elmhurst, Ill.
China and India were on SPI's short list for full-scale missions like earlier efforts, but the organization ``wanted to hit some new, big, emerging markets,'' said Lori Anderson, director of government affairs for economic and international trade issues for Washington-based SPI.
All the countries SPI will be going to are on the Commerce Department's list of emerging markets, except for Malaysia.India is a ``little harder to get into and is more of an unknown question,'' Anderson said.
China also had many more foreign visitors to NPE than India, and SPI did not want to organize a full-scale trade mission to China because it wants smaller companies to be able to afford one of the Chinese programs, she said.
All of the SPI efforts will be open to every segment of the industry, except for the South African trip, which will focus on machinery and mold making.