The business club reported on December 9th that “one billion pairs of socks and one aircraft” may be the metaphor for the most deeply rooted in the Chinese textile industry. Ten years after China's accession to the WTO, China’s textile industry has undoubtedly spent a "golden period" in terms of quantitative growth. However, if we look at the quality of growth, we may have to put a question mark on the amount of gold.

“After looking back, the cloud will be blocked, and then turned back, with thorns.” Looking back on the ten years after the accession to the WTO, after the baptism of the global economic crisis, the impact of trade friction, and the increase in costs, the Chinese textile industry began to upgrade from “fighting costs and fighting prices”. The road carries the dream of “a strong textile country”.

High-growth textile industry suffers from sluggishness The textile industry was generally favored when it entered the WTO. At that time, many people thought that the textile industry would be the "big winner."

In 2002, in the first year of China’s accession to the WTO, China’s textile industry’s total output value, profits, and exports were the three major economic indicators that hit record highs. As of the end of 2010, the total number of industrial enterprises in the textile industry above the designated size (current price) totaled 4,761.17 billion yuan, a cumulative increase of 4.4 times compared with 2000, an average annual increase of 18.3%, and a total profit of approximately 287.5 billion yuan, an increase over 2000. 8.7 times, with an average annual growth of 25.6%.

The reporter learned from the China Textile Importers and Exporters Association that, according to statistics from the World Trade Organization, China’s textile and apparel exports accounted for 15.6% of global exports in 2001, accounting for 31.7% of global exports in 2009, and 33% in 2010. The world’s largest exporter of textile and apparel.

However, behind these transcripts of “high-growth” and “first-largest country”, the textile industry is experiencing labor pains. Gao Yong, deputy chairman of the China Textile Industry Federation, said that since May of this year, the operating efficiency of the textile industry has declined. Starting in October (some products started in August), domestic demand has also begun to decline as a result of the international financial crisis and domestic inflation.

Raw material price fluctuations are the main reason for the pain. As an important raw material for the textile industry, the price of cotton has experienced a “roller coaster” market since last year. The price of cotton has climbed to a maximum of 30,000 yuan per ton, and now it has fallen to more than 19,000 yuan per ton. Textile companies are in trouble because this year is considered to be a more difficult year than the 2008 financial crisis.

According to analysis, from the perspective of the proportion of costs to revenue, the cost burden on the textile industry has not changed much in the past decade. At the beginning of China's accession to the WTO in 2001, the main business cost of the industry accounted for 88% of the main business income. By 2010, this proportion was 87.79%. However, the corporate cost risk control capability has not been improved as a whole, and has become an “old problem” facing the textile industry.

In addition, the global economic recovery is slow and full of variables, which aggravates the uncertainty of growth in the textile industry. Due to the lack of confidence in the industry's future development and export prospects, some companies have had to reduce their clothing trade volume or transfer to other industries.

In fact, as early as 2008, similar scenarios have been staged. At that time, the textile industry had seen its first negative growth for many years. The global financial crisis caused the export demand of textiles to shrink drastically. The operating rate of Jiangsu and Zhejiang textile enterprises was only at least 40% at the end of October of that year.

“The textile industry has experienced many market fluctuations in these years, and the ups and downs in the market economy are unavoidable. However, it is impossible to suspend production as soon as a risk arises.” The head of a large textile company in Shandong told reporters that companies should have Set hedges and other measures to cope with risks to reduce losses rather than starve.

In fact, in the face of market fluctuations, the characteristics of the “large but not strong” textile industry have emerged. According to the materials provided by the Ministry of Industry and Information to the "Economic Information Daily," the textile industry has accumulated a series of contradictions and problems while experiencing rapid growth over the past decade. In particular, due to the large scale of the textile industry and the low degree of concentration, SMEs are mostly numerous and the level of development between them is quite different. Some contradictions and problems are still outstanding.

Trade frictions continued to follow suit In 2004, in response to trade frictions between China and the United States, the Chinese government and industry sectors formed contacts with the United States. Gao Yong, who took part in the negotiations, clearly recalled that at the time from the top level of the U.S. government to industry associations and enterprises, they all said in unison that the employment of the U.S. textile industry was reduced by 4 to 6,000 people each week, and that employment was the largest U.S. politics.

The developed countries in Europe and the United States may not want to face squarely that the Chinese textile industry on the other side of the ocean is suffering huge losses because of trade protection measures. Zhu Rongji recalled in the "Records of Zhu Rongji's Speeches" that due to the discriminatory textile quota measures of the United States, China "destroyed 10 million spindles and left 1.2 million people unemployed, which caused great difficulties for us. Now, the most difficult issue for state-owned enterprises is textiles. enterprise."

After China's accession to the WTO in 2001, textile and clothing exports began to grow at a high rate. Products such as socks are all increased by more than 10 times a year. Developed countries in Europe and America regard this as a “socks battle” and began to adopt “**” on Chinese textiles. "Measures" (When encountering a surge in the import of certain products, the importing country or economy may take some urgent trade restrictions).

According to the provisions of the textile and apparel agreement, since 2005, the quota system for textiles and garments that has lasted for more than 40 years has been abolished, and textiles and garments exports have entered a “quota-free era”. In 2005, China’s textile exports soared, and the textile industry’s indicators hit new highs.

However, after the textile and apparel quotas were cancelled, Europe and the United States did not give up their restrictions on Chinese products. It was not until January 1, 2008 that the European Union fully liberalized the Chinese textile and clothing market. However, measures such as anti-dumping and technical barriers to the implementation of Chinese textile and clothing have not been interrupted.

In July 2006, the U.S. Department of Commerce launched an anti-dumping investigation on imports of China's polyester staple fiber. The case involved an export amount of approximately US$65 million and involved nearly 100 Chinese companies. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles at that time designated this case as "the first major anti-dumping case for textiles between China and the United States."

Ten years after its accession to the WTO, textiles and apparel were the first industries that were subject to trade protection restrictions, and they were always the hardest hit by trade friction. In recent years, the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles has organized a total of more than 80 anti-dumping cases against textiles and garments in China, and more than 20 cases of safeguard measures and ** cases. In addition to Europe and the United States, Turkey, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, South Africa, Mexico and many other developing countries also frequently use various trade remedy measures to limit China's textile and apparel exports.

According to the analysis of the Bureau of Industrial Injury Investigation of the Ministry of Commerce, after the quota system was abolished, textile trade did not really achieve market liberalization. Instead, it was replaced by a series of new forms of trade such as labor standards, special safeguard measures, green barriers, environmental barriers, and technical barriers. Restrictive measures.

Trade frictions between textile and garments are occurring year after year. The difference is that China’s response has been somewhat calm. Gao Yong believes that trade frictions do not limit the growth of China's textile and apparel exports. At the same time, the government, industry departments, and enterprises have enhanced their ability to cope in this process.

The relevant person in charge of the China Textile Import & Export Chamber of Commerce told the reporter of the “Economic Information Daily” that it has gradually formed a complete response process and response mechanism and achieved good results in many key cases. Among them, EU chemical fiber cloth anti-dumping cases won the unprecedented market economy status ruling of 26 companies; US polyester staple fiber anti-dumping cases received a rare zero tax rate; India satin anti-dumping case revoked a category product survey; Turkey and Brazil cases For the first time, some partial tax rates were awarded.

The transformation and upgrading are imminent After ten years of rapid growth, the “low-cost, high-growth” era of China's textile industry is dying. Some industry insiders even lamented that the golden period of the textile industry has ended.

Wang Tiankai, president of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, believes that during the “12th Five-Year Plan” period, the textile industry is facing increasing constraints on the labor force, resources, and the environment, and the road of “fighting costs and fighting prices” will not work.

“The Chinese economy, which has experienced rapid growth for 30 years, has begun to face the inflection point of Lewis. As the textile industry as a labor-intensive industry, the increase in labor costs has brought a heavy burden on textile companies.”

Gu Qingliang, a professor at Donghua University, believes that the growth model that used to rely on low labor costs and high work intensity to gain competitive advantage has been difficult to continue, and companies need to find new growth points.

China’s labor cost advantage has continued to weaken, textile and apparel orders have intensified to shift to Southeast Asia and other regions. According to data from the US Department of Commerce, from January to August 2011, the volume of cotton products imported from the United States from Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia increased by 3.35%, 0.97%, and 2.45% year-on-year, respectively, while the number of cotton products imported from China was reduced year-on-year. 16.61%.

With the intensification of domestic resource and environmental constraints, the country’s requirements for energy conservation and emission reduction will continue to increase, and the textile industry must place “low-carbon, energy-saving, and green environmental protection” in a more important position. Gu Qingliang believes that textile companies are facing greater "green" pressure. Enterprises must participate in the global textile market competition, we must adapt to the higher international environmental protection and carbon label threshold, while the domestic environmental standards for textile companies set up more and more. Therefore, achieving sustainable development is another difficult problem faced by textile companies.

At the same time, European countries and the United States have seized market share through technological innovation. The Chinese textile industry is facing the "two-headed attack" of emerging economies and advanced economies. According to an analysis by the Bureau of Industrial Injury Investigation of the Ministry of Commerce, developed countries can gradually transform the textile industry into a technology-intensive industry and regain the market share in the textile market by leveraging its technological advantage. Under the support of advanced patented technologies and well-known trademarks, the external output of developed countries' textile industry has evolved from product output, capital output, and brand output to a new stage, and it controls the brand to control the mid-to-high end market of the international textile and clothing industry.

Compared with European and American countries, there is a clear gap between China's textile industry in terms of technology and brand building. According to the materials provided by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the independent originality of the core technologies of the domestic textile industry is still relatively weak, and the independent research and development of some key technologies such as high-performance fibers, high-performance industrial textiles and high-end textile machinery are relatively slow. Some core technologies are still monopolized by developed countries. . The construction of self-owned brands is still a weak link in the textile industry and lacks a truly famous brand with international influence. The proportion of self-owned brand exports is still not high, and the international marketing network is still in the hands of import buyers. The control of China's textile export enterprises on the international market is still low.

Business Society Textile Branch agency Jiang Weizheng said in an interview with a reporter from the Economic Information Daily that with the advent of the high-cost era and the increasingly normalization of the high-cost era, the profit space is being continuously squeezed. Development cannot rely on low-cost processing elements to obtain meager profits. In technological innovation, more alternatives are used to enrich textile raw materials and ease the pressure on Khmer prices. From the development of new products and brand building, the real increase in the added value of products is the foundation for the rapid development of the company's transformation and upgrading.

Ten years after its accession to the WTO, the textile industry has been pursuing the dream of "a strong nation." In the next decade, the "strong textile country" is still the biggest vision for the development of the industry. It is understood that the orientation of the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" of the textile industry is to insist on transformation and upgrading, strengthen independent innovation, brand building, personnel training and energy conservation and emission reduction, and lay a foundation for becoming a textile power.

According to relevant officials from the Consumer Products Industries Division of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the development of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” for the textile industry will adhere to the principle of “accelerating the transformation of development methods”, which is mainly reflected in five aspects. First, the expansion of injection weight will be transformed into quality improvement, and the second is the emphasis on industry. The transformation of the chain to the upgrade of the value chain is complete. The third is to focus on the transformation of the east and the west to guide the coordinated development of the east and the west. The fourth is to focus on the development of the international market and the expansion of domestic demand. The fifth is to pay attention to the transformation of the traditional industries to the traditional industries and the new economic growth point.

In the ten years after its accession to the WTO, although the textile industry has been overshadowed by the unfavorable factors such as sluggish external demand, rising costs, and shifting orders, the “transition and upgrading” that has been swayed by it has given many people in the industry confidence in the prospects.

The relevant person in charge of the China Textile Import & Export Chamber of Commerce stated that the textile and clothing industry has an important position in the development of China's national economy. In the coming decade and beyond, the textile and apparel exports will still have bright prospects. Although the scale of exports may have been reduced, it is difficult to shake the position of the world's first exporter. Moreover, more export products will shift from OEM (processing and production) to ODM (design and production). The product structure and quality will be improved. The industry will increase product design, surface and auxiliary materials research and development, production process improvement, supporting logistics, brand development and overseas marketing. The expansion of channels to promote China's textile and garment exports from big countries to strong countries.

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