The China Fire Protection Association (CFPA) recently held their annual conference and exposition in Beijing. The conference was held between October 26-29 at the National Agricultural Exhibition Hall.
The Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPA) was represented by a group of 15 people representing various Australian industry bodies, associations and companies.
This year I also had the privilege of also attending the NFPA Conference in Orlando in May earlier this year.
The differences between the two conferences was as diverse as the two cultures.
With thanks to Rob Llewellyn of International Fire Protection Pty. Ltd. we were also invited to the conference dinner which hosted a few hundred people.
The menu was typically Chinese cuisine which provided the Australian delegation a host of new tastes including "Green Turtle Glue and Shark Fin soup". I am yet to figure out what "Turtle Glue" is...
The exhibition itself was the scene of a huge amount of activity with over 100 international exhibitors from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, United States and the United Kingdom.
The Chinese exhibitors (mostly manufacturers) numbered approximately 270 and represented the entire industry from Portable Fire Extinguishers, Special Hazards, Fire Detection, Alarm Panels, Fire Trucks, and much much more.
A few interesting things to note from an Australian perspective; The language barrier proved to be quite high, however most manufacturers publish english translations of their brochures.
Also there for each product category, there were 10 or 20 manufacturers plus additional companies who operate at the edge of the category. For example there might be 20 extinguisher manufacturers but an additional 10 companies manufacturing accessories for the extinguishers.
All in all the show was worth going to. My only regret was that I couldn't stay long enough for the security industry expo which followed immediately.
Next year the conference and exposition will rotate back to Shanghai, who knows, I may be back in P.R. China again for another taste of the China fire industry and culture...