MEP industry could blackball Chinese made products

Contractors look for quality not quantity in tougher financial times

Suppliers importing Chinese products could face resistance from the MEP industry, expert warns.
Suppliers importing Chinese products could face resistance from the MEP industry, expert warns.

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Suppliers importing products from China may soon face resistance from contractors and consultants as they wise up to quality issues, a piping industry insider has warned.

In the wake of the global economic downturn, the import of Chinese products has seen an upswing due to their lower prices and easy availability, despite their inferior quality. However, Marc Attenhofer, manager, Regional Business Development at Geberit, says that companies are gradually starting to realise the risks attached to such a strategy.

“What I think is quite interesting is that we’re running into more and more projects where you have to basically give it in writing that none of your products are manufactured in China. I’m not saying that everything that comes out of China is bad, but I think people may have had bad experiences with bad products from China,” he said.

“There are also bad products coming from Europe, [but] least we see more and more that we have to give them a country of origin and even state it in a letter and sign it off, in order to be able to supply their product.”

Stefan Schmied, general manager of Geberit Middle East, added that the Saudi Arabian market was especially picky about this issue, and showed a strong aversion to Chinese made products.

“I remember when I came here, that wasn’t the case,” says Attenhofer, “[But], the question is, did the Chinese supply pick up and now people are becoming more aware of it? Or was it that they didn’t care because everything was booming and they didn’t really care what was going in,” he adds.

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