The untapped potential of the mainland's western areas may have been the reason behind Optiled Lighting International's decision to start up its own LED lighting manufacturing venture, and a research and development centre in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province. But the investment has been reinforced by a special opportunity for the company to make a real difference to the region's rebuilding efforts. Sichuan was struck by a devastating earthquake two years ago.
"We are proud of being a Chinese company and wanted to take the extra step forward in finding ways to help contribute towards the Sichuan disaster area and the local community," says Peter Chan, the company's managing director.
"Of course, China is a very strategic market, so there were ample factors, such as the environment, local infrastructure and nature of the geographical area, to consider. "Once all things were taken into account, we saw southwest China as being an up-and-coming region with high market potential."
The new facility will boost the overall rebuilding plan for the county, provide a healthier and greener lifestyle for local residents, and generate 800 to 1,000 new jobs for skilled workers.
Trial runs are scheduled by the end of this year, or early 2011. The company will also educate the local community on the benefits and characteristics of LED products to ensure there is strong market acceptance for the products.
As a company that believes in acquiring and training local talent, Optiled plans to eventually delegate the running of the 10,000-square-metre facility to the local community. "Our goal is to run a successful facility with the possibility of expanding in the future," Chan says.
Designed primarily to serve the local community, the facility is expected to produce 400,000 units of LED fixtures and lamps annually. "The plan is to distribute locally, though the possible production of some cross-certification products might give the facility more flexibility to export to Hong Kong at a later stage," Chan adds.
In addition to employment possibilities and raising the GDP of Dujiangyan, the project will also boost the knowledge level of LED lighting, a relatively new and advanced industry on the mainland.
"We hope to do our part as a corporate citizen by introducing high quality LED interior and outdoor lighting products to China's domestic western markets, so as to align with and contribute to the country's plans for saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and developing a low-carbon economy," Chan says.
It is the same commitment that drives the company's corporate social responsibility approach. The notion of doing good for the wider community is part of Optiled's DNA. It is an integral part of its core values.
The company is also running a "Smart Programme", from June to September, designed to educate households and property management companies about the importance of energy conservation.
Employment opportunities to boost GDP of Dujiangyan