on the 3rd ARAC Conference.
to right: Kazutami Wakabayashi, vice president of JAIA; Toshio Mabuchi, MITSUI
& CO. LTD (interpreter); Yasushi Yano, secretary general, JAIA; Larry
Sloan; Yoshinobu Tanaka, chairman, International Committee of JAIA; and Naoki
Kobayashi, president of JAIA.
The Grand Hotel.
This past October, I had the
honor of representing the Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC) while speaking at
the 3rd Asian Regional Adhesive Council (ARAC) Conference in Taipei, Taiwan,
at the beautiful Grand Hotel. ARAC is a federation of four Southeast Asian
adhesive associations: China National Adhesives Industry Association (CNAIA),
Japan Adhesive Industry Association (JAIA), Korea Surfactant & Adhesive
Industry Cooperative (KSAIC), and Taiwan Synthetic Resins & Adhesive
Industrial Association (TSRAIA). Future plans call for a regional meeting every
four years, with the next conference scheduled for fall 2010 in Seoul, South
Originally build in 1952, the Grand Hotel is a well-known tourist and business
hotel. After playing host to international dignitaries and leaders, the hotel
suffered a disastrous fire in 1995 but was rebuilt and reopened for business in
1998. The architecture features a traditional Chinese palace style design -
vermilion pillars, majestic archways and the world’s largest tiled roof. The
property sits atop a hill overlooking downtown Taipei,
and from a distance one can make out the distinctive and modern Taipei 101 building,
currently the world’s tallest skyscraper (and site of one of our networking
ARAC Executive Committee Meeting
Prior to the start of the
conference, I was invited to participate in the ARAC Executive Committee (EC)
meeting. The EC is comprised of the volunteer heads (presidents) of each of the
four associations, association heads (secretary generals) and others. It is my
understanding that the EC has not maintained a fixed meeting schedule, but has
met at least once a year since its formation in 2001.
During our meeting, the following issues were addressed.
- Appointment of new ARAC Chair/Secretariat. Mr. S.C. Chen, TSRAIA
President, will assume the position with a four-year term running Oct. 2006
- Adoption of official ARAC logo.
- Interest in exchanging information on regional government regulations
was expressed, as was interest in harmonizing industry statistics collected
across associations. New task forces will be formed to address each in the
- Concern about counterfeit adhesive material was also discussed. It
was decided that ARAC will confront reputed counterfeiters and bring them to
appropriate national government(s).
will host the 4th ARAC Conference in 2010.
I was given an opportunity to address the ASC’s needs, and discussed an
interest in strengthening the council’s relationship with ARAC and its
individual member associations. This includes a greater exchange of governmental/regulatory
information and standards for the benefit of all. In addition, I confirmed that
ARAC will serve as an official co-organizer of the upcoming 2008 World Adhesive
Conference and will support the event by providing speakers as part of an official
delegation. (I also had the opportunity to speak independently with Mr. Gong of
CNAIA and Mr. Yano of JAIA, and am pleased to report that each intends to send
a “significant” delegation to Miami.)
The ARAC Conference hosted
some 260 delegates from the four associations. Business and technical attendees
representative of the leading Asian adhesive manufacturers, raw material, and
equipment suppliers were in attendance. The meeting’s theme was “Glue the World
Together,” and it featured a mix of industry overview and technical
discussions. The program opened with a general plenary session featuring the
presentation “Future Technology Development: A Global View,” by Dr. Johnsee
Lee, president of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute, as well as
regional industry discussions from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and the United
States. (Copies of these discussions are available on the ASC’s International
Following the plenary session, 30 technical papers were presented over the
course of a day and a half. Presentations were given by representatives from
all four associations and included discussions on the following issues:
environmentally friendly raw materials; advances in pressure-sensitive
adhesives; hot-melt reactives; VOC emission test methods and standardization in
adhesives used in footwear, LCD, and electronics applications; and a
particularly interesting paper on a reversible adhesive technology recently developed
by Konishi. In addition, there were 23 suppliers who participated in a small
expo, which ran the duration of the meeting.
The conference was technically conducted in English, although most of the
speakers I heard spoke their native language. Headsets were available for those
speaking Chinese, Japanese and Korean, but translations were limited to the
material presented on PowerPoint presentations and not a literal translation of
the presenters’ remarks. Q&A sessions were sporadically translated into
English, depending on who was asking the question. Although it was a bit
challenging to communicate freely with most attendees due to language issues, I
did glean from several companies a sincere interest in partnering more with U.S. manufacturers, as well as learning more
regulations and how they compare with their own country’s.
Despite the linguistic challenges, I was warmly received by all and felt quite
welcomed. ARAC went out of its way to make me feel at home; I was included at
the head table at dinner functions and was offered ample opportunity to make
formal welcome remarks. I feel ASC’s presence has done much for fostering
closer relations with ARAC, and will be of particular benefit as the ASC plans
to host the 2008 World Adhesive Conference.