Saturday, November 05, 2005

Smart Manufacturing Conference Attracts UK Giant

Professor Kulwant S Pawar, Director, Centre for Concurrent Enterprise and Professor of Operations Management at the University of Nottingham Business School ( will present at PEIE’s SMART Manufacturing Conference, scheduled to be held 23 – 24 January 2006 at the Muscat Inter-Continental Hotel.

Professor Pawar has over 10 years industrial experience within product design and development, manufacturing engineering and managerial environment in large multinational firms. His research interests include collaboration in physical and virtual product design teams, organisational readiness for new product development, knowledge transfer and share in the extended supply chain and comparative analysis of supply chains between Europe, China and India. Professor Pawar will present on the conference’s China, the Gulf and the Realities of Global Competition panel and will share this session with Dexter See, International Marketing Manager for Singapore-based Ascendas PTE LTD (

According to Sultan Al Habsi, Executive President, PEIE: “China’s emerging as a major economic power, and plays an important role in the global supply chains of many industries. For example, it serves as a key supply source, centre of technological innovation, increasing design and manufacturing base and an emerging consumer market.” Indeed, many experts expect China’s entry into the World Trade Organization ( will create even greater opportunities. Yet operating a supply chain with China being a key part of it, can be challenging. Besides the cultural and organizational differences, Omani companies interested in exploring and penetrating China will have to learn the local strengths and limitations of business relationships, consumer preferences, logistics infrastructures, channel structures, information systems and technological trends of the country. “This is exactly why we’ve invited Professor Pawar to speak at the Smart Manufacturing conference, PEIE-based manufacturers want to understand how to capitalize on China’s growing economic development,” reveals Al Habsi.

Mohammed Al Ghassani, Executive Vice President, PEIE expects that over the next five to 10 years, China's continuing and rapid economic growth and its programme to liberalise trade will offer very significant business opportunities for Omani manufacturers. These will include opportunities to export products to China and to manufacture and trade within the country, Al Ghassani today told PEIE Mirror.

As an example of China's market potential, Al Ghassani compared China's current per capita consumption of plastics - around 22 kilos per annum - with Japan's, which is approximately 87 kilos per annum. He also pointed out that China will dominate global demand growth for basic petrochemicals such as ethylene and styrene over the next 10 years. Much of this demand growth - despite significant increases in domestic manufacturing capacity - will be met though imports, which he expects to flow into China from plants in Asia-Pacific and to an increasing extent from new Middle East capacity. “Given the development of China’s economy and the opportunities that exist, I fully expect Professor Pawar’s session to be a sell out,” remarked Al Ghassani.