Aerodium builds on Expo exposure

  • 2010-12-01
  • From wire reports

RIGA - The company Aerodium, maker of the vertical wind tunnel, has acquired 20 new potential customers in China through its participation in the Shanghai World Expo 2010, reports Specific details still have to be agreed on within the next few months, says company Chairman Ivars Beitans.

According to the businessman, some of these potential clients wish to acquire wind tunnels for personal use; for example, one intends to use it to distract his children from spending too much time on the computer. There are also plans to set up wind tunnels at shopping centers, and contacts have also been made in the amusement park industry.
The Aerodium director notes that it would be expensive to transport wind tunnel parts to China, and so it is likely that the largest sections will be manufactured in China, with smaller parts being made in Latvia or elsewhere in Europe. The businessman notes that Aerodium produces a wide range of wind tunnels, with prices starting at 150,000 euros, going up to 6 million euros.

This is just one example of Latvia’s successful attendance at this year’s Expo, as Latvia seems now in fashion among the Chinese. Beitans and the company’s Communication Director Ansis Egle added that there are great opportunities at present for exports to the eastern economic giant.

According to Aerodium representatives, the country’s name was widely circulated in the media during the exhibition, and Latvia’s pavilion received far greater interest than those of its neighbors. Egle noted that the pavilion had been visited by media representatives on a daily basis, and TV reports were filmed there every week. A television show was also filmed there, and Aerodium representatives also took part in six more shows, the most popular of which was watched by seven million people.

“There was even a curious situation where representatives of the Lithuanian pavilion came to us, asking us to let the media know that the exhibition also had a pavilion from Lithuania,” said Egle. “We heard rumors that the Lithuanian pavilion had received many more visitors than Latvia’s; however, in effect many of the pavilions fulfilled a ‘corridor’ function, where people simply passed through without paying much attention to what was happening there. People spent much more time at the Latvian pavilion. By all accounts Latvia is now in fashion in Shanghai. When I was on a visit to the city’s highest building, someone noticed the small Latvia badge I was wearing and cried out: ‘Latvia. The ones who fly!’’ exclaimed Beitans.

The Aerodium representatives are convinced that Latvia has won serious international recognition, which should now be put to use. “People took a lot of photographs and video clips of our pavilion. An independent agency carried out a study, which found that the Latvian pavilion was the fourth most popular World Expo pavilion by Youtube viewer numbers, after Japan’s, Australia’s and the U.K.’s. It should also be kept in mind that Youtube is banned in China,” said Egle.

Beitans believes that Latvia had become a brand in China and that this should now be strengthened. The businessman feels that this market should be told about Latvia as a technologically-able country, and that efforts should now be made to export Latvian products to China. “Businessmen should not doze, but should think about how to offer their products to China, which has been unaffected by the crisis,” said the company director.

Aerodium’s wind tunnel was the main attraction in Latvia’s pavilion at World Expo 2010. The firm plans to open a new office in China sometime during the next month.