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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
www.metals.rala.com.au Asian Foundry OVERVIEW 2006 Welcome to the 2006 Asian Foundry Overview Each year we have great pleasure in bringing you an up to the moment look at what is happening in each Asian country. This year we have a big focus on China which really doesn't have to be rationalised. It is the biggest market! We feel confident you will appreciate the perspectives of the authors of two overviews about China we have published in this edition: One written by Gopal Padki who is the CEO of Foseco China and has now been based in China for more than 10 years. His company is one of the major suppliers to the China foundry industry and he reports from a supplier's perspective. The second overview is written by Elius Levin who is an Australian living in China and as a professional Editor has researched and described the overall China market, bringing in all the elements to provide a complete overview. China is clearly suffering growing pains and you will read about the country's extraordinary growth but also about its challenges of skill shortages and the need for environmental compliance. And as you read the overviews for the other countries you will find these two issues are now universal in the foundry industry. It is an enormous economic threat that foundry skills are not being developed in the industry to provide a sustainable infrastructure for the growth of the industry. This is a major opportunity for an entrepreneurial learning Institute. A learning Institute can not only create product but be smart enough to also create a marketing strategy to change the perception of the foundry as being an unattractive career option. Surely there is a way to make it exciting - the romance of metal, its huge importance as an enabler in the operations of our cities, motor cars, aviation and many more industries - the industry is to our life like yeast is to bread. Without the yeast, the bread will not rise. And more of a threat - the bread may collapse. The challenge is to create status and therefore importance for the industry. Today's world is all about the access to and flow of information. For example, our wars are now dependant on broadcasting information about their progress. The best reporting and biggest access to the media shapes our understanding of what is happening and what we believe. The recent Israeli and Lebanon war was battled out on the fields of Lebanon but also in all media formats - print, electronic, telephone, video and blogs. The foundry industry is a vitally important role for anyone working in the industry. Therefore, there is a need for very influential and strategic communication strategies to reposition this vital industry to illustrate its value and create visions of positive futures. It has to be a social change in attitude. It is now necessary to begin with an "Asian Skills Task Force". Barbara Cail Publisher 14