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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.