Packaging expert CPMC brings its ‘can-do’ ambition to Flanders

China’s leading packaging manufacturer CPMC sets its eye on Flanders for the location of its production facility in Europe. Its compatriot, the parent company of label producer Illochroma Haoneng, had settled in the city of Genk back in 2011. In 2018, the two firms decided to establish a joint venture with a regional name that will be kept under wraps until the facility officially opens. The goal of their collaboration, however, is crystal clear: to meet every need of the European beverage industry, with Flanders’ breweries in the spotlight. In view of the region’s strong reputation for specialty beers, it’s only natural that CPMC was nominated for the 2019 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy.

“Better packaging, better life”: that’s CPMC’s philosophy. Its 40 production sites in China are committed to providing high-quality, environmentally friendly packaging products to customers all over the world. In establishing its international facility in Genk (Flanders) next February, the company hopes to expand on this principle. “We want to bring 100%-recyclable packaging solutions to Flanders, along with state-of-the-art technology, high efficiency and large-scale production,” states Zhang Xin, Chairman and Executive Director of CPMC.

Hub in the making

CPMC is making a well-considered decision in establishing a factory in Flanders. Zhang Xin: “Both CPMC and Haoneng supply major beverage companies in China and Europe. Based on our long-term cooperation, it is mutually beneficial for us to set up a joint production base close to our strategic customers. There were multiple candidate regions for our investment at first, but the success and satisfaction Illochroma Haoneng experienced in Flanders, in combination with our own investigation, have fully convinced us to settle in the region.”

Due to Flanders’ strategic location and dense transport network, CPMC believes that the region has the potential to become a major can manufacturing base serving beverage companies in Belgium, neighboring countries and the rest of Europe.

“Flanders’ dense transport network, skilled human talent and strong governmental support persuaded CPMC to settle in the region.” – Zhang Xin, Chairman and Executive Director of CPMC.

The attitude of Flanders’ people further persuaded CPMC. Zhang Xin: “The people we work with in Flanders are friendly, open-minded, multicultural, competent and hard-working. The support of Flanders’ government – both in terms of administration and finance – also boosted our confidence in taking our first steps into Europe.”

Made and packed in Flanders

With CPMC’s investment, Flanders is welcoming the first can manufacturer capable of serving local beverage and brewing companies from nearby. The Chinese packaging group will not only increase the options and competitiveness of these firms, but will also help them reduce their ecological footprints. Guo Weiping, General Manager of CPMC’s emerging project in Europe, clarifies: “By producing aluminum cans locally in the region, we will significantly decrease the huge volume of packaging imported to Belgium and Flanders today, and, as such, cut CO2 emissions.”

“Our factory will be the first can manufacturing facility ever in Flanders and in Belgium as a whole, creating around 150 local jobs.” – Zhang Xin, Chairman and Executive Director of CPMC.

To make this project a success, CPMC will recruit local workers from diverse backgrounds: machine operators, forklift truck drivers, quality auditors, engineers, HR officers and more. In total, the investment will create around 150 jobs in Flanders. Zhang Xin: “Sustainability is one of our top priorities. By hiring a local workforce and by offering eco-friendly packaging solutions, we seek to create a sustainable and socially responsible local enterprise.”

Recognition that encourages

For this remarkable investment, CPMC was nominated for FIT’s 2019 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy. Zhang Xin concludes: “In recognizing our investment success in Flanders, this nomination encourages us to do even better. Why we should win? CPMC combines eye-catching design with high quality in 100%-recyclable cans made in Belgium and Flanders as a region. As such, we bring local breweries attractive, ecologically friendly containers for their world-leading beers!”