ZOU CHUANSHENG CSMIA

China Stone Material Association

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CSMIA is the nation-wide stone trade organization.  1000 companies ranging from producers to manufacturers and traders are its members. Membership is voluntary. In his interview to our News Letter he focuses on year 2013, when the sector expects a small V-type recovery.

Mr President, how do you estimate the business climate from the recent trade fair in XIAMEN. What were your expectations.
-The Xiamen Stone Fair in 2013 for the first time exceeding Marmomacc in exhibition area, and become the first leading exhibition in stone sector. The centre of global stone industry is moving eastward, the market trend is still good though.

In your opinion, what are the expectations of the companies in the natural stone sector as they look ahead to 2013.
-As far as we know, Chinese entrepreneurs have a positive forecast for 2013 on the whole, but with the cost increasing on resources, labour and environmental, enterprises will face greater challenges and it may cause also the differentiation of enterprises. The most optimistic view is that in 2013 China stone industry will still see a modest growth.

What is your opinion about our bilateral relationships Greek Chinese entrepreneurship.
-China has a good relationship with Greece in stone business. In 2012, China imported 214,000 tons of stone from Greece or amount over US$40millions. I believe that with the development of China's urbanization, the business relationship between two countries will be further enhanced.

It is said that China and other Asian countries focus on more quality products as well constructions. (green sustainable buildings, projects, materials) .Your estimations.
-Environmental protection has become the focus of China's economic development. Environmental protection, green building materials and construction are becoming orientated. The stone industry including all fields from mining, processing and application must adapt to this trend.

Recently it is written that marble industry is concerned about raise in synthetic stones and ceramic tiles. How marble companies must face this fact.
-Competition is the original feature of the market economy, in the face of competition from other products, marble enterprises should shift to the product innovation, technical innovation and the innovation of marketing, to keep succeeding.

A strong point of the natural stone sector is its exports and presence in foreign markets. What does the sector need in order to continue strengthening this area.
-One could expand their export market only on the basis of good understanding of the needs of the international market and providing good services in all aspects.

Facts

China Stone industry in 2012 has overcome the difficulties due to the weakness of the international stone market and the negative impacts in the domestic stone market due to the regulation of the real estate market. Though the growth rate of China stone industry declined compared to previous years, the production, sales revenue and profits of above-scale enterprises (enterprises of annual income from main business over 20 million in RMB) still saw a rise of over 20%. Industrial upgrade and layout adjustment also achieved good results. China has really become a big country in stone production and consumption, but this refers to the gross. The fact is that per capita consumption in China is still very low and country has still a lot to learn from the world peers in aspect of production and technology, environmental protection, and resource utilization etc.