Golden Week in China

Golden Week in China

There are two “Golden Weeks” in China. The first one, also called Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, is celebrated in either January or February depending on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The second Golden Week takes place in early October, where founding the People’s Republic of China is being commemorated. To be able to have a full week off, Chinese working people will be on duty on September 28th (Saturday) and October 12th (Saturday) to add some extra days to the 3 days legal holiday and make it one whole week of national holiday (October 1-7).

If you consider exploring China, try to avoid this week. Last year 726 million Chinese were travelling domestically (7 million abroad) to either visit their families or go on holiday during this week. Flights are expensive and train tickets, available 60 day prior to departure, are sold out in minutes.

RadTech Conference & Exhibition 2019

RadTech Conference & Exhibition 2019

Petrex started to supply photoinitiators to different end users last year. These products are used by UV ink and coating producers for the curing process. Since last year there is a lot of movement in the market. Prices changed enormously between times of shortages and market saturation. Another factor is the reclassification of some photoinitiators. One example is TPO, an initator used by many ink producers, was recently reclassified by EuPIA (European Printing Ink Association) as teratogenic and therefore not allowed in many ink applications in future.

Because of the big changes in the industry, producers as well as end users are working on alternatives. The Radtech conference, established in Basel in 1988, has always been an important event for the future trends in the radiation curing industry. Innovative companies and academic institutes are presenting the latest research and current developments. Petrex will attend Radtech Europe (Munich, 15-16 October) as well as Radtech Asia (Hangzhou, 17-20 October). We are looking forward to meet some of our business partners.

Expat Life in Shanghai

Expat Life in Shanghai

As the gateway to China’s economy, Shanghai is a very popular destination for expats from western countries. The city has been hosting overseas workers for over 150 years now. You can see and feel the foreign influence especially in the city center. Small cafés, bars and a variety of cuisines from all over the world, including more than 30 michelin restaurants makes Shanghai a very international place to live in.

China hosts about 600.000 expats in total and 25% of them live in Shanghai. Families often chose compounds in Hongqiao or Pudong district where most of the international schools are located. Singles prefer districts in the city center like the famous “French concession” (photo). Located at the very center, this area attracts foreigners with its old lane houses, balconies, small streets with many trees, cafes, bars and small restaurants. Although you are in the city with more than 25 million people, you can easily relax in that mix of colonial French era and the local Shanghainese vibe.

Introducing Guilin

Introducing Guilin

Guilin is a city in the Guangxi autonomous region in China. It used to be the provincial capital of Guangxi during the Ming and Qing dynasty. That is why the abbreviation of the Guangxi region is still called 桂 (Guì). By the way, those abbreviations are printed on the license plate of any registered vehicle in China. If you want to check where a car is from, that’s how to find out.

Nowadays, Guilin area is very popular for its history and beautiful landscape including the famous Longji rice terraces and the Li river, a scene which is printed on the back of ¥20 bank notes. Talking about money, now is the right time to travel to Guilin. As a result of the step-up in the US-China trade war, Beijing uses its currency to threat America. A weaker Yuan makes Chinese exports more competitive, or cheaper to buy with foreign currencies. As a result, foreigners now can travel China cheaper than in the recent years.

EU and US: Mutual recognition of inspections of API manufacturers

EU and US: Mutual recognition of inspections of API manufacturers

With the recognition by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Slovakia, the European Union and the United States have now fully implemented the mutual recognition agreement (MRA) for inspections of manufacturing sites for medicines in their respective territories. This is a milestone as it avoids duplicative work. In the past, EU national authorities had to carry out quality controls for products manufactured in and imported from the US although these controls have already been carried out by the FDA in the US. As both authorities work based on comparable procedures (GMP) it was already decided in year 1998 to sign the MRA. However, the agreement was never fully implemented until today.

China’s economic growth at lowest level since 3 decades

China’s economic growth at lowest level since 3 decades

In the second quarter this year China’s gross domestic product grew at 6.2%, which is the lowest growth since 1992 and down from 6.4% in the previous quarter according to figures released by the government earlier this week. The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics of China expects this downward pressure to continue due to the slowing global growth and trade war with the US. While China´s exports fell 1.3% during the first half of this year, imports dropped even harder with 7.3%.

The Economist Intelligence Unit of China reported that the uncertainty caused by the US-China trade war was an important factor and will be in near future. Businesses could remain skeptical that the two countries will reach a broader trade agreement and trade tensions may escalate again.

CPhI China 2019 – Shanghai

CPhI China 2019 – Shanghai

This year, CPhI China took place in Shanghai on 18.-20. June. As it is the main event in the pharmaceutical industry throughout Asia, our Shanghai and German team participated the event. The CPhI fair combines all key suppliers and customers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Petrex took the chance to strengthen existing relationships with producers and clients and to create new business opportunities.

In fact, this year’s fair was very successful for Petrex as our team laid the foundation for new projects in our API business. We wish our business partners all the best and hope to see you again soon.

New team members …

New team members …

In recent weeks we got nice and warm weather with lots of sunshine in our headquarter in Kempen. The new guys in our team integrated quickly and business is running good. But not only the team in our office is growing. We got some new pets in our garden that perfectly match with our veterinary division.

Best wishes and a much sunshine to all our business partners from TEAM PETREX!

How the US-China trade war affects Europe

How the US-China trade war affects Europe

On May 10th, the United States increased tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent. China, in return, announced to increase tariffs on USD 60 billion worth of US goods from June 1, and additionally threatened to take qualitative measures that would affect US businesses operating in China.

Since the trade war started in 2018, the exports of both countries dropped massively. Less availability and higher prices not only affect companies but also private households. And this damage is not limited to China and US. According to a study published by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China on May 20, one-third of European companies are hit hard by the US-China trade war. Contrary to expectations that EU-companies would benefit from the dispute, they are now suffering, as the global economic slowdown leads to declining exports of companies in Europe.

Intercultural Exchange

Intercultural Exchange

Petrex has its teams in Germany and China. But actually it is one international team rotating between Kempen and Shanghai. The ever changing regulations in international trade as well as the industries we operate in, require us to always rethink our processes. By sending our German and Dutch employees to China and inviting our Chinese colleagues to Germany we intend to exchange our knowledge, ideas and thoughts. We believe that this continuous exchange gives us a better understanding of the needs of our clients and suppliers as well as the general regulations in our business.