Global summit where the entire textile industry value chain meets organized by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), this year took place in Beijing from October 16-18. China joined ITMF in 2008, and continues to be an increasingly important textile market.
The majority of attendees came from China as it is leading the way to the top of the global economy, and its arrival at the top can be only a matter of time. According to Wang Tiankai, president, China National Textiles and Apparel Council (CNTAC), China are in a strong transformation, shifting from a mass production country to a place where they put much more emphasize on quality which is getting better step by step. If a country is transforming itself to another level, there are many bridges to cross and problems to be solved, both technically and mentally.
Chinaâ€™s textile growth dropped from 10.8 percent in 2012 to 8.3 percent in 2013. In 2014, the growth rate is expected to drop 7.4 percent. However, one must know that in 2013 China was responsible for 37.1 percent of all textiles produced worldwide, and 80 percent of all man-made fibers also are delivered from China.
Everybody is aware that labor costs in China are rising, but by how much? Wang reported the cost of labor in China increased over the past few years by 10 percent annually. They are today more expensive than their neighbors around. Even if many people in the Western world donâ€™t believe that China is striving to achieve a much better environmental balance, Wang made a strong commitment: On the one hand, China is behind the Western countries regarding the efficiency to use the natural resources and the energy efficiency. China is still behind the expectations of the government regarding these issues and this puts a lot of pressure on them.
Wang also made several strong demands to further integrate and gain cooperation of the global textile industry to share and take more responsibility for all pending issues regarding resources and the environment. However, Want has a clear vision for the future of the textile and apparel market.
According to Wang, a more diversified structure within the textile industry would help shape more balanced trading within the country. Fiber processing between apparel, technical textiles and home textiles must be optimized. For example, the share of technical textiles in China is steadily growing moving from 20 percent in 2010 up to 23 percent in 2013. Wang is convinced that in the near future China will be responsible for half of global fiber consumption. On the other hand, rising fiber consumption will fuel emerging markets to more growth.
Free trade among the partners must be optimized with a much better communication quality, Wang claimed. He virtually insisted that all countries, and particular the important textile countries of the world, including the machinery manufacturers, should be linked in better way.
Wang also clearly defined the priorities of the Chinese textile industry, to improve basic research and development projects; to bolster technical innovations; to improve environmental conditions for a better climate; and to establish consistent recycling of textile waste.
Wang presented a few charts that show the positive future and future growth in Chinese industrial performance. If a country of the size of China is transforming itself towards a new business culture, there are lots of sociological and other problems to overcome, But with their own strength, a different attitude and the help of their global business partners, China are sure to achieve the targets.
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