Foshan is the biggest and most important ceramic manufacturing center nationwide with over an annual output of 100 billion RMB. However, ceramic manufacturing is widely regarded as a low-tech, low-profit industry that is fiercely competitive.
At the upcoming “21st Century Maritime Silk Road Forum” in Zhuhai, Monalisa Group Company Limited, one of the key Foshan-based tile manufacturers, will showcase how it is looking to product innovation and global counterparts to break trade barriers in overseas markets.
The photo shows a ceramic product named“Setting Sail” that Monalisa Group is about to display during the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Forum. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Breaking trade barriers with new product categories
Zhang Qikang, Director of Monalisa Group said exporting ceramic products faced challenges of anti-dumping measures in many countries. “India has started imposing punitive tariffs of 15-55 percent on polished ceramics in 2017,” said Zhang, “ordinarily products can hardly survive, and so we have to be more innovative.”
Since it was founded in 1992, Monalisa has been investing big in R&D. Now the company owns four major scientific research and technology innovation platforms gathering academic talent from across the country. “We have over 300 staffs working in R&D, and we keep looking to cooperate with universities and research institutes,” said Zhang Qikang.
Zhang Qikang, Director of Monalisa Group, was introducing tiles produced by the company's Italian partner to journalists. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Due to this continued effort, Monalisa has taken the lead in China developing new product categories, such as lightweight ceramic panels and large format tiles. Zhang Qikang said making tiles thinner and larger can save consumption and is more suitable for large-scale construction. “These products have higher thresholds, thus, they are popular in many overseas markets, especially in India.”
Now Monalisa Group exports its products to roughly 100 countries and regions around the globe, and has witnessed a 14 percent increase in volume with those along the “Belt and Road Initiative”.