Marcus Breulmann opened the GTC, saying that it represented an important step in keeping ahead of Stahl’s competitors. Looking forward there will be ongoing Stahl investments in leather article creation, advanced customer service and the application challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s leather business.

Huub van Beijeren told the audience that he was delighted to be back in China once again, this time to open the next phase of Stahl’s long-term planned investment in plant and facilities supporting the Chinese leather market. The Guangzhou Technical Centre represents a major step forward in these plans, which are already proving an outstanding success in establishing close relationships with Stahl’s customers in China.

Kate Yang, president, Zibo Dahuanjiu Polygrace Tannery Group spoke to guests about the background of the Chinese leather industry and its glamorous future. She explained that the GTC is seen as an investment to support the growth of the Chinese leather industry and that such contributions are expected from the local leather manufacturers.

GTC’s laboratory has been designed and engineered to meet all the needs of the leather industry, focussing especially on the shoe, garment, leathergoods and upholstery segments. It will be managed by Fabrizio Ugolini who is based in Guangzhou.

Equipped with the latest full size leather production machinery, the laboratory will operate as a Technical Centre of Excellence for Leather Finish and as an internal and external training centre providing trainees with the latest finishing concepts and technologies. Stahl anticipates that it will soon become a Satra certified physical testing laboratory for the region.

An important function for the laboratory will be to act as an inspiration for fashion and creativity. This function will be led by Chua Soon Hoek who, as a member of Stahl’s international fashion team, will be interacting closely with the design studio in Milan.

Prior to its opening, GTC signed an agreement with the National Engineering Laboratory for Clean Technology of Leather Manufacture, which is based at the University of Sichuan, for the development of common studies and green technologies, a study in which it will also effectively support the Leather Working Group.