One hundred and twenty delegates and international guests attended the Sixth Triennial EFDA Conference at the stylish Mainport Hotel on the banks of the River Maas. The event clearly demonstrated the membership growth, increasing relevance and expanding global reach of EFDA.
President, Dr Volker Lederer, welcomed delegates from EFDA’s constituent national associations and, especially, honoured guests representing fastener industry associations in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, the United States as well as Europe.
The first keynote speaker was Mr Wolfgang Mueller, from DG Trade, European Commission, who spoke in detail on EU-USA trade relationships, the WTO, and the modernisation of EU Trade Defence Instruments. Mr Ronald Roosdorp, from the Netherland Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also addressed trade issues and challenges - with a distinctively Dutch perspective. Dr Bart Kuipers, of the Erasmus University, concluded the session with a fascinating insight to the Port of Rotterdam, its history, extraordinary scale and throughput before outlining some of the challenges it faced for the future.
As is customary, the conference was addressed by the president of the EIFI, Mr Anders Karlsson - always a welcome and thought-provoking speaker.
The afternoon concluded with a new Discussion Forum, featuring all of the international associations and moderated by Fastener + Fixing Executive Editor, Phil Matten. It brought together a truly diverse range of global perspectives on the implications for the fastener industry of raw material trends, global economic conditions, protectionism, developments in vehicle powertrains and the challenges of recruiting talented young professionals.
An evening of relaxed, international networking, opened with a cocktail hour hosted by NEVIB, whose president, and a proud citizen of Rotterdam, welcomed delegates again. For the gala dinner, culinary delights were presented against the backdrop of the Rotterdam evening skyline, seen from the hotel’s sixteenth floor.
EFDA wishes to express its particularly appreciation to NEVIB for hosting the Conference and also the international guests who travelled to Rotterdam to contribute so generously.
Full exclusive coverage of the Conference will be published in the July issue of Fastener+Fixing Magazine.
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 15 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.