Textile firms make sales pitch

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

in the textile and ap­parel in­dus­try,” said Zhang Qiyue, Chi­nese con­sul gen­eral in New York. “I’m con­fi­dent the trade show will fa­cil­i­tate the co­op­er­a­tion.”

She said China’s textile and fab­ric in­dus­tries sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­ute to US-China bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. From 2000 to 2014, bi­lat­eral textile and ap­parel com­merce grew from $6.2 bil­lion to $46 bil­lion. The in­dus­try is an im­por­tant area of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in that it cre­ates jobs and strength­ens China-US re­la­tions.

“This year is a par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant one for China as well as the United States, as Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will pay a state visit to the US in the com­ing Septem­ber,” Zhang said. “I am con­fi­dent this visit will build sus­tain­able re­sults and put bi­lat­eral ties to an even higher level.”

Ac­cord­ing to the China Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics, ex­ports from China to the US in­creased slightly from Jan­uary to May. In April, the ex­port of textile and ap­parel to the US in­creased 7.8 per­cent.

How­ever, in­dus­try in­sid­ers said the busi­ness in the US is in a rough patch.

Zhao Miaoqi, man­ager of a Ningbo fab­ric pri­vate com­pany, said the com­pany’s US or­ders shrank by 30 per­cent in 2014. “I’m 75 years old, com­ing all the way to visit the mar­ket to study the rea­sons be­hind the slump.”

Zhao’s com­pany started do­ing busi­ness with Euro­pean brands like Zara and Adi­das in the 1980s. “I like do­ing busi­nesses with the US; the mar­ket is usu­ally steady” and peo­ple can be trusted, Zhao said.

“As the busi­ness is not as easy as be­fore, cus­tomers are be­com­ing savvy and even picky about prices and ser­vices,” said Deng Zhi­juan, an of­fi­cer from a Shang­hai com­pany. “We have to up­grade ser­vices and put for­ward re­fresh­ing prod­ucts more of­ten to re­tain our cus­tomers.”

She added that the de­mand for high-priced fab­rics such as silk has de­creased, while syn­thetic fab­rics like vis­cose and rayon polyester are more pop­u­lar in the US mar­ket.

Win­ter col­lec­tions also could be found at the show. Jiangsu Sainty For­tune, a state- owned com­pany, brought its win­ter col­lec­tion to New York.

“The US and Canada are now con­tribut­ing more than 50 per­cent of our busi­ness,” said Deng. “As Europe’s econ­omy is go­ing down, the per­cent­age will grow higher. And the US’ econ­omy is pick­ing up, and the mar­ket is more sig­nif­i­cant for us.”

HAN MENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Zhang Qiyue (third from right), China’s con­sul gen­eral in New York; Sun Ruizhe (fourth from right), vice-chair­man of the China Na­tional Textile and Ap­parel Coun­cil; and Detlef Braun (sec­ond from left), board mem­ber of Messe Frank­furt GmbH, cut rib­bon at the open­ing cer­e­mony for China Textile and Ap­parel Trade Show on Tues­day in New York.

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