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NPES VIPs Visit Wuhan University and Beijing Graphic Communication Institute

Press release from the issuing company

(NPES International E-commerce Website, November 16th, 2005) On October 24th, NPES President Regis Delmontagne, his wife Elena, and NPES Greater China Project Director Ya-Ping Zhou arrived at Wuhan University and started their week-long tour of two of the most famous Chinese graphic arts institutions. They received a warm welcome from the faculty and students of the Department of Printing and Packaging. It was autumn in Wuhan, with dark green-leafed trees turning golden at the foot of the Luojia Mountain, along the banks of the green water of East Lake – the site of the hundred-year-old Wuhan University campus. While there, Regis received an official certificate from the Printing and Packing Department and became 32nd visiting professor of the university. The ceremony was held in the morning of October 25th in the school's conference room. Vice President Dr. Wu Jun Pei presented the certificate to Mr. Delmontagne and tied a university faculty pin onto Mr. Delmontagne's lapel. On behalf of the university, Dr. Wu welcomed Mr. Delmontagne and praised his contributions to the world printing industry and education. University administration officials from the international exchange office and the human resources office were present at the ceremony, along with 30 faculty members and graduate students. After the ceremony, Regis, Elena, Ya-Ping, the faculty members, and students had a roundtable discussion followed by a tour of the school's laboratory and facilities. They were accompanied by the dean of the department, Professor Wan Xiao Xia. Later, NPES guests toured the Wuhan University campus. In the evening, Regis made a speech entitled "The Future of the Printing Industry" at Wuhan University a conference hall. Ya-Ping and Regis then discussed the issues of most concern to the attendees. During the discussion, Regis pointed out that in today's business climate it is simply not going to be possible for a company to be successful unless it is technologically current and agile. He described these two themes of technological agility and economic pressure to describe how he views our industry today and where he believes it is going in the future. In economic terms, he noted that things have been improving recently for our industry. Regis told more than 300 teachers and students that the US printing industry has been through a deep and lengthy business downturn that began in the winter of 1998-1999. In March 2000, the entire U.S. economy was struck by what many people called the "dot-com bust," a period in which many new firms that had been founded to pursue e-commerce and Internet-based business ran out of money, disappointed their investors, and went out of business. This crash affected the U.S. economy very broadly, and printing perhaps more deeply than many other businesses. Then, September 11 - in all, the US had three very hard years. Regis pointed out that it seems things are getting better. Printing industry revenues are on the rebound, and should probably rise by 3 or 3.5 percent this year and next. He said: "It isn't as clear-cut as it sounds. But in general terms, business is improving. Fewer printers, though, are sharing in it. The major trend of the last decade or so in the U.S. printing industry has been consolidation. Some companies have gone out of business. Some have been acquired by larger firms. Some have merged their operations with others of roughly equal size. Whatever the nature of the change, the result has been a loss of about 5,900 print companies since 1998, and some observers expect that the industry will lose another 5,100 by 2010. To some degree, if an individual printer's revenues are growing, it may be because some competitors are no longer there. Moreover, printers today report that as much as seven, eight or even 10 percent of their revenues these days are coming from sources other than printing. Printers are diversifying into mailing services, database management, web design, and a wide range of other offerings. On the morning of October 26th, Regis spoke again to about 30 Graduate students and teachers at the school on "Package Printing Trends in the US Market." After visiting Wuhan University, Regis, Elena and Ya-Ping traveled to Beijing on October 30th. In Beijing, they toured the China Printing Museum and visited the Department of Media Design at Beijing Graphic Communications Institute. They were warmly received by the officials of the Institute. They also met with Dr. Pu Jia Ling, vice president of BGCI for an open discussion on cooperation between NPES and BGCI. On the afternoon of Oct. 31st, BGCI held a ceremony attended by 270 teachers and student at which Dr. Pu presented a certificate to Regis in the school's multi-media lecture hall and honored him with a Visiting Professorship. After the ceremony, Regis and Ya-Ping gave a lecture entitled "2006 Printing Development Forecast." Ya-Ping also introduced NPES Greater China programs and services, including the NPES China training center, the duo language E-Commerce website. Both of these aroused enormous interest from the teachers and students. A two-hour-long lecture followed, filled with extremely active questions about technologies and markets, as well as printing education. The teachers and students responded to both Regis's and Ya-Ping's speeches with great enthusiasm. Regis's and Ya-Ping's answers received long-lasting applause from the attendees. After the lecture session, BGCI's top official Mr. Cui Wen Zhi met with Regis, Elena, and Ya-Ping at institute's guest room for over an hour. Mr. Cui thanked Regis and NPES for his contribution to the world printing industry and graphic arts education. He also called for strengthening the cooperation between China and the US on improving graphic arts industries communication. Interviewed by both schools' media during his visit, the NPES Greater China Director Ya-Ping Zhou indicated that the NPES Greater China programs will continue to: provide its member companies with effective high quality market services; promote bilateral trade to help the US companies marketing their products and technologies in China; provide links between the Chinese customers and the US suppliers; and provide world class customized training curricula. Wuhan University was founded in 1893 during the late Qing Dynasty. It was named National Wuhan University in July 1928. Wuhan University currently has 34 schools and 48,000 full-time students and 3,400 faculty members. The Beijing Graphic Communication Institute was founded in 1987. It has 6 schools with 11,000 students and faculty.