Addison-Clifton carves niche in China's growing industries
Ulice Payne has an uncanny ability to understand the market and foresee its demands. In the same year that he founded Addison-Clifton in Chicago, Illinois, the company president set up a Shanghai representative office to help companies in China comply with global trade regulations. That was over one decade ago. The mainland had just joined the WTO, and Payne foresaw that many companies would need its expertise in meeting trade regulations on products related to aerospace, defence, vehicles and power generation.
"We have designed our business to serve society," Payne says. "We blend our understanding of the global regulatory framework with the scientific and engineering know-how of products to meet market demands."
The company anticipates big opportunities in the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) space. Addison-Clifton would likely capture the market for aspiring China MRO companies that are working on airworthiness certificates for jet engines and avionics manufactured by existing Addison-Clifton clients. The company is also cooperating with the Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board to encourage foreign capital in the industrial zones with a special emphasis promoting aviation.
Furthermore, Addison-Clifton expects to play a significant role in the mainland's burgeoning electric vehicles industry. For example, the firm was the official business consultant for the Ningbo Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau in connection with securing the participation of foreign electric car manufacturers for its clean energy vehicle summit. The firm continues to implement its plans to facilitate further support in this area due to China's need for greener technologies.
Ultimately, Payne was right. He later expanded Addison-Clifton's presence in China by opening a wholly foreign-owned enterprise subsidiary in Ningbo, thereby supporting two major port cities on the mainland. With his associations in the East, including India, Payne further increased Addison-Clifton's capabilities in the region with its Asia Market Services practice. In addition to trade compliance services, Addison-Clifton provides multinational companies with quality assurance guidance along with supply chain support that includes actual product inspections and identifying and qualifying China suppliers.
"We have spent years in China building genuine relationships with customers and local governments," Payne says. "By understanding the market and the role of the government, we can serve as a bridge between the private and public sectors."