Man­u­fac­tur­ers strike up­beat note

Ex­porters gain as com­pa­nies up­grade prod­ucts, tech­nol­ogy

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By LI XIANG in Bei­jing and YU RAN in Shang­hai

Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers and ex­porters have turned bullish on the eco­nomic out­look and ex­ter­nal de­mand, ex­press­ing will­ing­ness to ex­pand out­put and in­vest­ment as of­fi­cial data on Wed­nes­day showed an im­prove­ment in the country’s for­eign trade.

Xin­shen Group Co Ltd, a man­u­fac­turer of fine linen prod­ucts based in Wu­jiang, Jiangsu prov­ince, is ex­pected to in­crease its to­tal out­put value by 5 to 10 per­cent this year from 500 mil­lion yuan ($77.3 mil­lion) last year, ac­cord­ing to Li Jian­feng, its gen­eral man­ager.

The com­pany also plans to in­vest about 5 mil­lion yuan in re­search and in­no­va­tion of prod­ucts and meth­ods to sat­isfy cus­tomers’ needs.

“The ex­port sit­u­a­tion is trend­ing up­ward due to the bet­ter at­mos­phere for tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing-based com­pa­nies to add in­no­va­tion to the prod­ucts,” Li said.

Zhang Bin, gen­eral man­ager of a Shang­hai-based man­u­fac­turer and ex­porter of steel prod­ucts, said that over­seas de­mand for his com­pany’s prod­ucts is set to in­crease in the com­ing months.

“Most of the ex­port man­u­fac­tur­ers like us have been busy deal­ing with reg­u­lar and new clients since mid-March. More or­ders are ex­pected to come in,” Zhang said.

Zhang’s op­ti­mism was echoed by Yang Shan, gen­eral man­ager of Shen­zhen Sky­men Clean­ing Equip­ment Co.

Yang said over­seas de­mand for the com­pany’s smart clean­ing equip­ment has steadily in­creased since late last year.

China’s ex­ports in yuan-de­nom­i­nated terms surged 18.7 per­cent year-on-year in March, while im­ports dipped 1.7 per­cent, ac­cord­ingto cus­toms­data.

While the re­bound in ex­ports has partly to do with the low base in the same pe­riod last year, econ­o­mists said the bet­ter-than-ex­pected data sug­gest that China’s eco­nomic growth mo­men­tum im­proved in March af­ter weak per­for­mance in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary.

“We con­tinue to ex­pect core ac­tiv­ity data in­clud­ing in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion, fixed-as­set in­vest­ment and re­tail sales growth, whichare­all­dueonFri­day, to pick up in March,” said Yang Zhao, chief China econ­o­mist atNo­mura Se­cu­ri­ties.

Of­fi­cial data also showed that China’s ex­ports to emerg­ing mar­kets and coun­tries in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive rose in the first quar­ter of the year while trade with ma­jor trad­ing part­ners such as the Euro­pean Union, the United States and ASEAN coun­tries has de­clined.

For ex­am­ple, ex­ports to Pak­istan in­creased by 26.4 per­cent year-on-year and ex­ports to In­di­aandRus­sia roseby6.1 per­cent and 6.2 per­cent, re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to cus­toms data, which was con­sis­tent with what com­pa­nies have ex­pe­ri­enced in the changes of their or­ders.

In­stead of only re­ceiv­ing a large amount of or­ders from Euro­pean coun­tries and the US, Li, the gen­eral man­ager of the linen com­pany in Jiangsu prov­ince, said he has started tak­ing or­ders from emerg­ing mar­kets such as South­east Asian coun­tries.

Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou con­trib­uted to the story

Con­tact the writ­ers at lix­i­ang@chi­ and yu­ran@chi­

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