We all know that China is going to continue to play a big part in our lives well into the future. Ecquality took on the “China challenge” ten years ago when it set up its wholly-owned solid-wood flooring operation two hours west of Shanghai. At the time the company was mostly processing Australian Cypress for the Japanese market. On September 15, 2008 Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in New York precipitating the Global Financial Crisis. News of this event at the time was a surprise, but, fortunately perhaps, its consequences were not apparent to this fledgling Aussie venture. However, having survived the GFC and built a successful business over ten years, this was not a milestone that Managing Director, Terry Newman, and his wife and CFO, Sonoe Mishima, were going to let pass without a major celebration.

Production Manager, Kevin Segard, enjoys a well deserved break from the daily routine. The event was attended by 65 clients, friends and officials. 15 clients made the trip from Australia and Japan.

The celebrations were held on 20 September and the company also used the occasion to open its new 1200 square metre show room and offices. About 15 clients flew in from Australia and Japan, the Australian Deputy Consul General, Michael Clifton, who also serves as the head of Austrade in Greater China attended, as did the CEO of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, Jack Brady, and a number of local dignitaries.

Australian Deputy Consul General and head of Austrade in Great China, Michael Clifton addresses the gathering. Michael was well acquainted with the history of the company, having known Terry for 25 years. They worked together in Tokyo in the ’90s.

Terry Newman, CEO and founder, thanks customers, staff, local and Australian officials for their support. The company continues to build on its achievements and sees its future being linked to the regional economy, including Australia, Japan and China. The company is located in the centre of the Yangtze Delta which has a population of 150 million and generates 30% of China’s two way trade. The company has witnessed the doubling in size of economy of the the Delta in the time it has operated there. The bulk of its population is within two hours drive of the factory.