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Chinese business leaders visit Forgemasters

25 April 2012

The leader of one of China’s most important economic centres visited Sheffield to see first-hand the city’s engineering expertise at Sheffield Forgemasters International (SFIL).

The Mayor of Chengdu, a large city in south-west China, and his group of delegates visited the steel city on Tuesday as part of a special trip to help forge stronger business links.

The Mayor, Ge Honglin, requested to visit Brightside Lane on his tour of Sheffield’s successes and attractions and was shown around the Heavy Forge and North Machine shop by chief executive, Graham Honeyman.

Mr Honeyman said: “We were pleased the Mayor of Chengdu chose to visit Brightside Lane and see the work of Forgemasters at first hand.

“This company’s activities in Chinese markets span several decades and now more than a third of our products are supplied to China.

“In excess of fifty million pounds worth of Forgemasters’ sales over the last five years alone has been made to China and this is a combination of direct sales and sales through our network of agents. In addition to these sales, a substantial amount of Forgemasters’ components - both to European and American customers, are then sold on, indirectly, to Chinese end customers.

“Forgemasters’ components to Chinese markets generally serve the rolling mill plant market, conventional power generation equipment, hydro power equipment and civil nuclear power equipment. We are now also involved in the sale of technology to China, through technology transfer agreements similar to those we have operated into India.

“Our policy of counter-trade, rather than simply selling into China, is a fundamental and strong point defining our business relationship with China. In the last few years, Forgemasters has purchased several tens of millions of pounds of goods from China in the form of materials and consumables and also new equipment such as machine tools and cranes.

“Overseas trade underpins the majority of our contracts and the emerging economies of not only China, but India, Brazil and Russia are expanding the global marketplace.”