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China "must create a brand" Boat Tech China delagates told

By IBI Magazine

Quality must be paramount if Chinese marine companies are to compete on the global stage, announced Caroline Carnahan, chairman of Shanghai Carnahan Group, in her address to a Chinese contingent of more than 50 at the Boat Tech China Conference today.

"Price is not enough," she told the audience in her speech, 'How Domestic Boatbuilders Develop for an International Market'. "To be cheaper is not to offer better value. China has to create a brand - that is some way off. But it will happen."

They were sentiments echoed by Marnix Hoekstra, sales director of Dutch Naval architects Vripack, who spoke on day two of the conference, offering an insight into Vripack's dealings with Chinese boatbuilder Kingship Marine, in the development of a series 89 footer.

"More and more components will be made in China," he said, "and the products will be good quality. 'Made in China' will not carry the same negative connotations that 'Made in Taiwan' carried 20 years ago."

Hoekstra added that he saw China's real potential in series boatbuilding of larger motoryachts, rather than custom one-offs.

PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions' China Operations director Mike Bellamy went one stage further in his talk on day two on how best to source products in China: "Chinese quality control was no longer an oxymoron," he said.

(4 April 2006)

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