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Frestech seeks foreign partnerships
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China's major refrigerator producer Frestech is talking with foreign firms to develop strategic partnerships, the company's chairman Zhang Donggui said yesterday at a summit in Changsha City, Hunan Province.


"The foreign companies are keen on our 12-percent market share in domestic market, and we will depend on them to upgrade Frestech's image," Zhang said, without naming the firms.


However, Zhang stressed that the company's focus will remain on the domestic refrigerator market, which is expanding 20 percent annually.


The company's sales of freezers in the first 11 months of this year reached 3.3 million units, growing 15 percent from a year earlier.


"The output of our refrigerators, freezers and air-conditioners will reach eight million next year after we raised the production capacity by two million sets," Zhang said.


The Henan-based company will target the high-end market next year, with 80 percent of its products covering the middle and high ranges, he said.


"A production line of high-end products will be put into use around the end of this year, which is expected to generate 100,000 products a year," said Zhang.


Frestech, partly owned by Singapore-based Hong Leong Asia Ltd, is a joint-venture company that has three manufacturing plants producing refrigerators, freezers and air-conditioners in Xinxiang City, Henan Province.


The company has also mapped out the country's first sterilization standard for freezers.


All refrigerators can be graded at three levels in terms of their sterilization effect, said Ma Lincong, secretary of China Association Standardization, a public society approved by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.


"This is not a compulsory standard, but we will cooperate with other domestic refrigerator producers to develop a regulated market," said Gao Jialin, vice chairman of Frestech.


More than 100 of the company's refrigerators have reached Level A, the best among the three levels, the company said.


Frestech will focus on sterilization, energy-saving, design, controlling technology and environmental protection in 2008.


(Shanghai Daily December 17, 2007)

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