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IGS Delegation Strengthens Ties In China

Officers from the IGS discovered more about the thriving market for geosynthetics in China during a recent trip.

A packed schedule saw IGS President Sam Allen and IGS Treasurer Jie Han meet individual and corporate members of IGS China, engage with industry bodies and manufacturers and share more about the work and aims of the IGS. The visit was part of the IGS’s strategy commitment to improve engagement with Chapters and related organizations.

Beginning in Beijing and hosted by Yang Yaolin, Director of International Affairs of the China Nonwoven and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA), Mr Allen and Dr. Han met Li Lingshen, Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and Li Guimei, President of CNTAC, which is a member group of CNITA and has a geosynthetics and construction materials branch.

Photo 1: Meeting at China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) in Beijing
Photo 2: Meeting with the industrial representative of the Chinese Nonwoven and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) at Dezhou

They learnt how CNTAC and CNITA were structured before hearing about the growth of the geosynthetics market in China. Mr Allen then gave an introduction to the IGS, which revealed crossovers in the groups’ approach to professional, educational and certification efforts.

Mr Allen said: “We were very impressed with CNTAC and CNITA’s intense efforts on business development and market growth. In turn, they were very interested in our education and training programs – they have an entire division related to training but lacked a curriculum specific to geosynthetics. We agreed to reconnect with them via an appropriate channel once the IGS plan for professional curriculum and certification was finalized.”

Mr Allen and Dr. Han then travelled to Dezhou, Shandong, to meet city leaders and several local manufacturers that were CNITA members. Here Mr Allen presented the IGS’s operational plan, encouraged more industry involvement with the Society and shared the benefits of IGS Corporate membership.

A tour of the Tiandingfeng Nonwoven Textile Company production facility followed, where the pair observed its continuous filament PET nonwoven textile production line. This product is used as a substrate for spray-on coating used in roof waterproofing applications.

Plant tour of Tiandingfeng Nonwoven Textile Company

Mr Allen and Dr. Han then travelled to Qingdao to attend the 8th Chinese National Symposium on Geosynthetics Reinforced Soil. Here they were joined by IGS Immediate Past President Dr. Chungsik Yoo, who gave a keynote address sharing the lessons learned from the geosynthetic reinforced soil retaining wall failure in South Korea. Also here Mr Allen presented the IGS Chapter Service Award to IGS China vice-chairman Yang Baohe and IGS Student Award to Wang Qiushen.

IGS China, known as CCIGS, operates as part of the Chinese Technical Association on Geosynthetics (CTAG). The Officers’ visit also included meeting CCIGS President Xu Chao and CTAG President Zhou Shiguang.

Mr Allen and Dr. Han were also given a tour of the manufacturing lines and quality control and research testing laboratory at BOSTD Geosynthetics, a company owned by Mr Yang.

Mr Allen said: “Our visit was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the needs and interests of IGS China members, better understand the operations and ambitions of our Corporate members, and spend time with industry groups whose drive for growth is inspiring.

“I hope integration and cooperation between IGS China and these groups grow, with immediate potential in the areas of professional development and certification programs. Additionally, we will be working together to deliver more IGS resources in Mandarin.”

He added: “Geosynthetics manufacturing in China is nothing less than prolific with wonderful support from a country and regulations supporting the robust use of geosynthetic materials. We expect a sizeable delegation from China to attend the 12th International Conference on Geosynthetics in Rome this September where IGS members will no doubt hear more about China’s successes with geosynthetics.”