Trina Solar CBO Colin Yang attends fifth China-Japan Dialogue for Entrepreneurs and Former Senior Officials

On 10-11 July 2019, the fifth round of the China-Japan Dialogue for Entrepreneurs and Former Senior Officials was held in Tokyo. Trina Solar has taken part in the dialogue in each of its five years. Colin Yang, chief branding officer of Trina Solar, and Weng Yin, deputy director and sales director of Trina Solar Japan, were invited to represent the company at this round, and talked of their experience and insights on driving growth through innovation, balancing environmental and social development, and Sino-Japanese collaboration in third markets.

Colin Yang said that since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, more and more countries had acknowledged the need for joint efforts to deal with climate change and improve environmental governance. Chairman Gao Jifan founded Trina Solar against the backdrop of the Kyoto Protocol and the US Million Solar Roofs Initiative, and in the intervening two decades he has led the company to become a leading global provider of complete PV smart energy solutions.

Innovation is the gene that drives Trina Solar’s continued growth. During its product innovation phase 1.0, backed by its State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology, the company set 19 successive world records for PV cell conversion efficiency and PV module power output. In phase 2.0, concentrating on innovation in smart energy systems, Trina Solar was named as a State-level Enterprise Technology Centre by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission. During phase 3.0, with the focus on energy IoT innovation, the company established its New Energy IoT Industrial Innovation Centre. Trina Solar has consistently sought to drive growth through innovation, striving to use innovation to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of PV, to push for grid parity, and to promote the widespread adoption of clean energy resources.

Globalisation is a key strategic plank of Trina Solar’s growth. As far as the Japanese market is concerned, Trina has established three subsidiaries in Tokyo: Trina Solar Japan, Trina Solar Energy (Japan) and Trina Solar Energy Storage (Japan). Their business includes publicity, sales and aftersales services for Trina Solar brands and products in the Japanese market; market development for PV-application products; power plant asset development, construction management and asset sales; and distributed generation (DG) products, solutions and aftersales services.

Colin Yang said Trina Solar had enjoyed the great support and collaboration of local partners to enable it to develop in Japan, and had joined forces with local companies to open up third markets. Trina’s joint development of, and investment in, the single-cell PV plant project in Mexico with Mitsui & Co ranks among 14 outstanding case studies of Sino-Japanese third-market collaboration and was lauded by leaders of both countries at the inaugural China-Japan Third Market Collaboration Forum in October 2018. The project, located in Zacatecas, Mexico, the project has installed capacity of 104 GW.

It is still being built and is expected to enter operation next year. Colin Yang said Chinese and Japanese companies have excellent complementary strengths that can be drawn upon to jointly develop and build PV plants in countries and regions along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative. In particular, this includes encouraging developing countries to make a direct leap to clean-energy generation, cutting out traditional resources, thus contributing to global efforts to tackle climate change and strengthen environmental governance.

The China-Japan Dialogue for Entrepreneurs and Former Senior Officials was organised jointly by the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). It aims to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and views between the two countries in industrial and commercial sectors to promote economic collaboration and improve bilateral relations. Five consecutive editions have been held to date.

Former vice-premier of the Chinese State Council and serving CCIEE chairman Zeng Peiyan and former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda spoke at the conference, which was attended by leading Chinese enterprises including the Export-Import Bank of China, China CITIC Group and Sinopec Group, as well as Japanese enterprises including Nomura Holdings, Mitsubishi Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.