08 August 2008: Different views on China

Business relations between Westphalia and the Far East

Borken/Kreis. A piece of know-how from Weseke is part of the Olympic Games. Pump manufacturer Börger has supplied the aggregates for the so-called musical fountain in the Olympic park. This gigantic water play is supposed to attract customers. “We supply the company Oase, Hörstel, Germany, which produced the entire installation” the managing director Alois Börger explains.

The global player Oase being specialized in water entertainment has produced a pontoon measuring 120 times 40 meters in the Chinese main capital. The installation is equipped with 68 freely movable and programmable nozzles. A flow rate of 20.000 liters generates a stream which shoots up to 15 meters into the sky, the central fountain realizes even 80 meters. Moreover, special nozzles can spray a 15 meters high and 50 meters wide water screen. A laser then projects moving pictures on the screen. Made in Germany, presented in China.

With “made in China”, however, the managing director of the Bierbaum company group Jan-Frederic Bierbaum is less satisfied. After about two years presence in the megacity Ningbo, Bierbaum decided to withdraw from the linen production market. According to Bierbaum, 50 percent of the printing and dying production is at best second quality.

Yet, the withdrawal from the Chinese market strengthens the European sites of Bierbaum, especially the main site in Borken, Germany. A new hall with a surface of 6.000 square meters just has been erected. The higher the costs for energy, the more competitive the production in Germany becomes. At a first glance, this might sound surprising. Transports from the Far East have become quite expensive. Additionally, producers have to overcome considerable distances between single manufacturing steps.

Bierbaum nevertheless underlines that China should not be considered as a generally negative market. He made a couple of good experiences as well. The purchase of Chinese articles in another division of the company functions perfectly, Bierbaum says.

Since 1995, the specialists for textile machinery accessories Klöcker Bros. with their main seat in Weseke produce in Indonesia. Klöcker consciously decided for this site since the ideas on “ethics are pretty much congruent”. Moreover, the Indonesian population and well educated employees plus factors.

Klöcker follows the development of the economic power China skeptically. The People’s Republic has become the “biggest copy shop in the world” the company states. As an Indonesian proverb says: “China is a big sea with many different fish – and many sharks.”

Source: Daily Newspaper “Borkener Zeitung”, August 8th, 2008