Friday, June 15, 2007

What does Paris Hilton have to do with the glass industry? Everything.

—By Katy Devlin, e-Newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

I sat in a café this morning sipping my Tropicana orange juice and thinking about globalization. What else in the world would I be thinking about on a sunny morning in Tampere, Finland?

Out the window, I saw a McDonalds, next to the New York Café, across from the Coyote Bar & Grill and down the street from Gamblers’ Bar that hosts Texas Hold ‘Em games each week. I glanced up at the TV, only to find a news story, in Finnish, about the well deserved tragic fate of Paris Hilton. (I’ll save my blog about the tragic state of the news media for another time).

It’s not just the influence of America that I’m noticing here in Finland. Last night, Glass Magazine Editor Matt Slovick and I dined at Sevilla, a lovely Spanish restaurant. And the Tampere Boys Choir performed several Beatles numbers during the GPD opening session today, including one in Finnish.

This topic was ever present today during GPD, including during speeches from executives from global float glass manufacturers Guardian, Asahi Glass Co., and Nippon Sheet Glass. Russ Ebeid, CEO of Guardian, predicted during his presentation that several leading float manufacturers will exit the business in the near future, and that a Chinese float company will emerge from the current region players as a strong international competitor. More on this in our news coverage at and in the next e-glass weekly.

NGA President Phil James was right on when he recommended everyone on our staff read Thomas Freidman’s, The World is Flat. We’re entering a globalized economy—and world—whether we’re ready for it or not. And Paris Hilton is on a television set near you, anywhere in the world—whether you can stomach it or not.

In the meantime, I’m going to sign off so I can find some authentic Finnish food for dinner, but only after I stop by H&M to do some shopping.

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