Can you reach untapped Asian markets?

by The CC-Link Team on 1 April 2014

Gateway to Asia

Gateway to Asia conference in Hatfield

According to two major international reports last year, almost half of automation sales are now in the Asia and Pacific markets. An IHS research showed that in2012, 46 per cent of global expenditure – equivalent to 76.6bn – was spent in the region. Additionally, ARC last year published a report, which predicted that by 2016, Asia will become the largest market for PLCs. So what are the reasons behind Asia’s sudden automation rush?

By John Browett

The common perception is that manufacturing growth in Asia is all about the traditional markets of China, Taiwan and Japan. But that’s not the whole story. For example, Singapore’s manufacturing output rose by 12.8 per cent last year, according to the Economic Development Board report published this February.

The country’s biomedical manufacturing gained 19.3 per cent, boosted by pharmaceuticals, which grew by 20.2 per cent. Electronics production rose by 14.8 per cent, while the output of the transport engineering cluster increased by 11.1 per cent on-year.

This shows that Asian manufacturing is a vibrant and growing industry across the continent, which I expect will continue to boom as more and more people in Asian countries develop a higher standard of living and create higher demand for consumer goods.

So the real question is not whether your company should seek to tap into this key economic region, but how you should go about doing it. I regularly meet businesses who want to create more traction in Asia, but – while they may already be heavy exporters – find the cultural differences between the East and West to be too big a barrier.

CC-Link networking technologyIt’s for exactly this reason that at the SPS/IPC/Drives fair we launched the CLPA’s Gateway to Asia (G2A) programme. Building on our successful Gateway to China (G2C) initiative, which ran for two years and attracted the involvement of 22 leading European companies by the end, our new scheme will help European companies reach into Asian markets much more effectively than ever before.

We now have 26 partners involved with the G2A programme, the continuing increase being a sign that demand for this type of programme is growing. Gateway to Asia hugely expands our geographical remit to more accurately reflect the expertise and reach of the CLPA network.

While we were focussing on China, we were often asked by companies if we could help them reach Taiwan, Japan or India for instance. Hence we felt that 2014 would be the right time to create a broader initiative that will help boost our partners’ geographical reach and, as a result, revenues.

The CLPA has a network of offices that literally spans the whole of Asia, from Turkey to Japan. In key markets such as China, combining the CLPA and its partners offers coverage of over 20 locations. As a result, we are able to provide genuine, local cultural insight that helps our partners understand the correct way of doing business in each region. Sometimes there is no substitute for genuine native knowledge.

We also have partners whose role is to help other companies succeed in specific regions. For instance, Berners Consulting provides sophisticated help for businesses that want to reach into China. Since the end of last year, we have run two seminars, one in Hatfield, UK and another in Stuttgart, Germany, at which Lutz Berners, the consulting company’s president has delivered presentations that uncovered valuable insights into how to succeed in this critical export market.

Gateway to Asia

Gateway to Asia

Throughout Asia, CC-Link is acknowledged by leading market research companies such as IHS to be a de-facto standard. Hence, you will find that local manufacturers need no persuading about the merits of CC-Link, because it is already a leading networking technology in those regions.


This is partly the result of Mitsubishi’s geographical dominance in Asia, but also the consequence of our technical innovation. For instance, as the only technology that provides open gigabit industrial Ethernet, we are leaders in countries such as Japan and China, where this kind of technical prowess is respected.

Ultimately, what G2A is going to achieve is an improved geographical reach for our partners’ target markets across Asia. If you want to find out more about our offering, get in touch and I will be happy to help.

CC-Link enables devices from numerous manufacturers to communicate, resulting in a fast, deterministic control system. It is managed by the CLPA, which represents manufacturers and users, academics and other interested parties.

John Browett is the European general manager of the CLPA. If you want to discuss Gateway to Asia, you can contact him on + 44 7768 338 708 or by e-mail using

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: