Chinese companies embrace Olympic opportunity

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 11 (IANS) With less than a year to go to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Chinese companies have poured into Brazil to explore the overseas market.

The Rio Olympics are far from China geographically as it takes at least 25 hours to fly from China to Brazil. However, Chinese companies such as 361° and Honav add more Chinese elements to the Olympics, shortening the distance between Rio and China, Xinhua reported.

Last October, Chinese sportswear company 361° was announced as an official supporter of the Rio Olympics and will provide more than 106,500 uniforms for technical staff, volunteers, torch relay and the test events.

Before signing the agreement, Rio 2016 spent a year evaluating the production and sustainability standards of the 361° company. Production of the Rio Olympics uniforms commence in 2015 with the launch coming in the year of the Games.

“With the responsibility of supplying uniforms to the volunteers and staff, which are extremely important groups for us and for the staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are confident that 361° will do a great job in our challenge of delivering excellent and memorable games,” said Rio 2016 Organising Committee president Carlos Nuzman.

Beijing Huajiang Culture Development Co. Ltd. (known as Honav), the licensee of lapel pins for the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, also becomes the licensed manufacturer and vendor for both mascots, as well as the official pins for the Rio Olympics. Currently Olympic souvenirs made by Honav have already been unveiled at the official store in Brazil.

“Famous for the quality of its creative designs, I have every confidence that Honav will continue with their work in the run-up to Rio 2016,” said Nuzman.

Besides 361° and Honav, more Chinese companies accompany the Rio Olympics during the preparation process to the Games.

At the construction site of the Olympic main stadium area, a variety of heavy machinery from Chinese company Sany, XCMG and Zoomlion are used. According to Sany, which owns a factory base near Brazil’s largest city Sao Paulo, at the beginning of the Rio Olympic Park programme, a total of 23 heavy machinery were used, among which there were six diggers and seven road rollers from Sany. Till now, as the Rio Olympic Park programme completed 85 percent, Sany have been involved all the time.

The supply chain of Rio Olympics has to ensure that 30 million items are available, from ballpoint pens to sports equipment, furniture, horse food and even ships, a variety of articles unparalleled in scale. The operation includes more than 60,000 square metres of storage space and more than 1,000 outsourced professionals.

Rio 2016 procurement director Fernando Cotrim said that in 2013, Rio’s supply chain team made a special trip to China to discuss the procurement schedule of all materials and services needed. In addition, according to the Chinese Embassy in Brazil, some Chinese companies also came to Rio looking for deals during the preparation stage.

Cotrim said the Games would be a boon to Chinese companies exploring overseas markets and he welcomes cooperation from Chinese companies.

During last year’s Brazil World Cup, China’s Nuctech provided nine of the 12 stadiums with security inspection equipment. En route to the Olympics, Nuctech is preparing to bid for the security services again.

“Comparing with World Cup programme, our equipments have better quality and are capable of meeting the standards set by the organisers,” said Nuctech Brazil vice president Yu Ping.

Outside the Olympic stadium, more and more Chinese companies are coming to Brazil. As China’s top air conditioner producer, Gree, is among the first Chinese enterprises to set up factories in Brazil. After 15 years of development, Gree has moved into the top three air-conditioner producers in Brazil. Gree provided several supporting programmes during the Word Cup and has won the bid in numerous programmes in hotels and airport preparing for the Olympics.

In transportation, the 100 highspeed subway trains produced by Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. were all completed in Changchun, Jilin province, last month and will come into service for the Rio Olympics. It will mark the first time that a Chinese train maker has taken part in an Olympic transportation system outside of China.

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