China and Europe resume talks
Music industry representatives met under the auspices of the Confederation of European Music Industries (CAFIM) and the China Musical Instrument Association (CMIA) during the Frankfurt Music Fair, March 12th, 2014
CAFIM delegates anticipate significant relief to be brought about in trade relations with China as an outcome of the reductions recently announced in custom duties and taxes as well as the free trade zone established in Shanghai. The President of CAFIM Antoine Beaussant paid tribute to his colleague, CMIA President An Zhi, for his strong commitment and the resulting progress achieved. Nevertheless, in the course of the debate, CAFIM delegates pointed out that the issue now needed to be addressed was the inclusion of other musical instruments and accessories to which customs tariff reductions did not yet apply. While the An Zhi anticipated no additional changes to take place for the time being, consensus was reached to pursue the issue further.
At the suggestion of Ivana Stolarova from the Slovenian member association of CAFIM, „Zdruzenje za industrijo glasbil Slovenije (ZIGS,giz)”, the delegates also addressed the problems surrounding the use of protected wood species in the musical-instrument making branch calling for greater compliance with global regulations, in particular in the face of scarce resources. According to the views expressed by those present at the meeting, unambiguous identification was needed to be ensured concerning the actual origin of musical instruments.
As regards the ‘Music China’ event, a proposal was put forward for a solution to the impact of surrounding noise at the expo, the level of which interfered with the transaction of business. This could be combated by setting up sound proof cabins and arranging the exhibitor segments so as to separate noisy exhibits from those creating less noise.
Another issue focused on by CMIA and CAFIM delegates was the rapid development witnessed in the trade with electronic products within the music industry. Pronounced expansion in this field was to be observed both in Europe and China, exerting high pressure on the trade through a weakening of conditions. Like the European market, China is extremely restless and highly alarmed at the situation which is affecting the traditional retail trade in particular. There was broad agreement that retailers would need to place greater emphasis on service, technical repair facilities and other benefits, this being the only way of remaining competitive and doing business at fair prices.
Finally, at the instigation of Laszlo Kovacs from the Hungarian member association within CAFIM, „Hangszeresek Országos Szövetsége (HANOSZ)”, ideas and opinions were exchanged with regard to the EU Programme on “European Research & Innovation Agency for Cultural Clusters (EURICCA)” centred on promoting cooperation amongst various countries within and outside the EU. Laszlo Kovacs also provided information on the Soundquest Music Fair due to be staged in Budapest from 3-5 October.
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