More than 50 exhibitors from China came to the Plastimagen trade show in Mexico City this year.
Many, like Aaron Tang, vice president of Qingdao Hengke Precision Industrial Co. Ltd., were taking a first look at the Latin American market. The Qingdao, China-based injection molder also supplies tooling and specialty steel.
``It's my first time in Mexico. I'm here because it's a big market,'' Tang said at Plastimagen, held April 8-11. ``I'm trying to find new customers.''
Like many of the China-based exhibitors, Tang also was looking for a local agent to represent his firm. ``In the future, I will open an office in Mexico,'' he said. ``There's good potential here.''
Chen Guoyong, general manager of Rocee Machine Co. Ltd. in Ningbo, said he was at Plastimagen to establish a foothold in Latin America.
``There are a lot of companies here that produce goods for the American market, and they need high-end machines. That's why I am here,'' Guoyong said.
His small booth featured photos of the company's range of injection molding machinery - like most of the Chinese exhibitors, Rocee did not bring equipment to Plastimagen. He also had a sign in the booth seeking a local agent.
``The important thing is to find a good person here,'' he said. ``Maybe next time I will have my agent with me.''
Some of the China-based exhibitors had no one at Plastimagen who spoke Spanish, which made it difficult to communicate with many of the attendees.
One Chinese exhibitor that stood apart was Ningbo Haitian Group Ltd., which had several injection presses, plus a local agent (Plastic Stars SA de CV of Mexico City) and Spanish-speaking booth personnel.
Ningbo-based Haitian sold 120 presses in Mexico in 2007, said Jose Barroso Oliva, director general of Plastic Stars. He said the company has done well with its message of good technology and energy savings at a low cost.
``People here are buying machines not just to make products to export to the USA, but also for markets in Central America, South America, and the domestic market as well,'' Barroso said.
Plastic Stars also recently began representing a line of Chinese-made extruders, from Leshan Machinery Co. Ltd.
``Now we're looking at adding different Chinese brands, because price is important'' to processors in Mexico, as well as quality, Barroso said.