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First lab for certifying European automotive products for Chinese market opens in Catalonia

The first lab in Europe for certifying car industry products to be sold in China has been unveiled in L'Hospitalet del Llobregat, near Barcelona's seaport and El Prat Airport. The Chinese publicly-owned company CCIC Holding Group opened on Monday a lab in Greater Barcelona, which will also certify products from other industries, such as the textile industry, and the construction and chemical industries. As well as products from Europe, it will also certify products from Northern Africa and the Americas. The new plant will also facilitate companies from the Asian giant that wish to contact Western suppliers, becoming a bridge for fostering foreign investment. Therefore, it will turn Barcelona into one of the main gateways for exporting Western products to China. The project has been attracted by the Catalan Government's programme 'Invest in Catalonia', as well as by a trip to China made by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias.

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23 March 2015 09:36 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The first lab in Europe for certifying car industry products to be sold in China has been unveiled in L'Hospitalet del Llobregat, near Barcelona's seaport and El Prat Airport. The Chinese publicly-owned company CCIC Holding Group opened on Monday a lab in Greater Barcelona, which will also certify products from other industries, such as the textile industry, and the construction and chemical industries. As well as products from Europe, it will also certify products from Northern Africa and the Americas. In addition, the new plant will facilitate companies from the Asian giant that wish to contact Western suppliers. It will also become a bridge for fostering foreign investment between China and Europe. Therefore, it will turn Barcelona into one of the main gateways for exporting Western products to China. CCIC Europe-Testing initially invested €2 million in the first phase of the project and will invest an additional €2 million in the second one. The project has been attracted by the Catalan Government's programme 'Invest in Catalonia', as well as by a trip to China made in 2012 by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. During the new lab's opening ceremony, the Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig, stated that "this laboratory is extraordinarily important for Catalonia, for Barcelona and particularly for our industry and economy".


The new facility managed by the China Certification and Inspection (CCIC) is a one-stop service provider for international companies wanting to sell their products and services in this Asian market. In 2012, the Mayor of Barcelona already announced that Greater Barcelona could host the first plant built in Europe for certifying Western products to be sold in China. Three years after that announcement, CCIC has opened its first lab in Europe at the Zona Franca, which is a business, industrial and logistics area located in the Barcelona and L'Hospitalet del Llobregat municipalities, near the seaport and El Prat Airport.

Certifying products from other industries and from Europe, Africa and the Americas

The CCIC lab will begin its activities certifying automotive products, but will soon expand its inspection, testing and certification services to other industries such as "the textile sector, the construction-material area and the chemical sector", said Puig on Monday. Besides this, the new plant will not only certify products from Catalonia and the rest of Europe, but also from Northern Africa and the Americas. For these reasons, the Catalan Minister highlighted that it is "a long-run project".

CCIC's Europe Testing Centre will speed up the processes of exporting products to China by verifying and certifying that they meet Chinese regulations. "The knowledge of the procedures to follow and facilitating the processing [of products] become a competitive advantage" for companies, highlighted Puig. He added that exporting to China is a priority for Catalan companies, despite "their main destination" continuing to be European Union countries. However, the export share to Europe is decreasing in favour of emerging economies, he underlined.

A tool to foster commercial relations between China and Europe

The new facility will also has the task of supporting Chinese companies looking for Western suppliers. Therefore, it will increase foreign investment from China to Europe. The Vice President of China's Certification and Accreditation Administration, Bo Yuming, stated that the new lab "is a window" for commercial relations between China and Western markets.

According to the Secretary General of the Zona Franca Consortium, Anton Ferré, it is also "a gateway" to Europe for Chinese investments. The Vice President of the CCIC Group, Wang Kejiao, highlighted that the new facilities are "the tool to overcome the historical barriers" between China and European countries in commercial relations. In fact, Kejiao and Puig signed an agreement to position Catalonia as a platform for direct exports to China.

The new lab is the first one that CCIC has in Europe and the first one build with 100% Chinese capital set up outside their home country. Since 1994, the state-owned firm has had an office in Barcelona. In addition, CCIC also has offices in Bremen, Marseille, Budapest, London and Rotterdam.

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  • The Mayor of Barcelona (left), the CCIC Group's Vice President (centre) and the Catalan Business Minister (right) opening the new lab on Monday (by L. Fíguls)

  • The Mayor of Barcelona (left), the CCIC Group's Vice President (centre) and the Catalan Business Minister (right) opening the new lab on Monday (by L. Fíguls)
First lab for certifying European automotive products for Chinese market opens in Catalonia