Backed by a new joint venture with a Chinese supplier, one West Michigan belting manufacturer hopes to shore up its supply chain and expand its footprint in the North American market. Earlier this year, Yongli and Mol Belting entered a 60-40 joint venture to form Yongli America LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of raw rolled belting in Portage, Ind.
Mol Belting’s joint venture with Yongli is but one recent example of Chinese manufacturers entering the North American market, said John Kerschen, managing partner at Charter Capital Partners LLC in Grand Rapids. “Chinese companies are interested in establishing manufacturing in North America,” Kerschen said. “The wage gap is narrowing and some of the firms we’ve dealt with have realized the benefit of serving the North American market from North America.” more