Blog: Leonie BarrieIs China losing its competitive edge?

Leonie Barrie | 22 April 2014

Further confirmation that China's garment manufacturing industry continues to lose its competitive edge came last week when it was revealed that a number of Hong Kong garment companies are looking to build plants in Burma/Myanmar.

While industry executives continue to stress that China still has a pivotal role to play as an apparel supplier, interest in alternative sources takes into account shifts in domestic demand, investment in Southeast Asia, and outside opportunities like Africa, according to discussions at the recent Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong.

And as if to emphasise the increasing challenges in China, around 40,000 workers last week downed tools at seven Yue Yuen factories - with some 3,000 taking part in a protest over social security payments. It is the second strike by the workers this month, and according to China Labor Watch, is "likely one of the largest Chinese worker strikes in recent history". 

Mexican lobby group Ciceg (Camara de la Industria del Calzado), meanwhile, is calling for anti-dumping measures to be implemented on footwear imports from China, which trade leaders say could force the shutdown of hundreds of factories.

For retailer Gap Inc, however, China's appeal as a consumer market is such that it hopes to grow sales there to US$1bn in three years. The plans, announced during a company investor day, come as part of wider efforts to gain share in the $1.4trn global apparel market. 

Retail behemoth Tesco has also revealed major expansion plans, and intends to return to the US with a chain of F&F clothing franchise stores. The announcement was, however, somewhat shadowed by the group's second year of falling profits.

Retailer SuperGroup is re-aligning its supply chain to support its international growth ambitions, COO Susanne Given has told just-style. Over the last 12 months, the company has has been working to expand its sourcing base in a bid to better manage risk and meet expansion plans. 

BLOG

Higher worker wages – who pays?

There continues to be a disconnect between buying departments and compliance teams when it comes to costing labour in price negotiations. So who should pay for a minimum wage increase?...

NEWS

Public comment sought on latest US tariff plans

The Office of the US Trade Representative is accepting public comments on the administration's proposal to implement an additional US$200bn of tariffs on Chinese imports announced last week....

BLOG

Trump tariff dispute rumbles on

The US has escalated its trade threats to China after President Donald Trump said he is considering tariffs on an additional $200bn of Chinese goods if China "refuses to change its practices."...

BLOG

Trump spares textile machinery in tariff spat

Hundreds of US imports from China will be hit with an additional 25% tariff from next month – but to the relief of the US textile, apparel and footwear industry, most of the equipment used in the dome...

NEWS

Enka completes first viscose filament yarn audit

German firm Enka has become the first viscose filament yarn producer to undergo a CanopyStyle audit, demonstrating it has taken action to remove potential risks of sourcing from ancient and endangered...

BLOG

Esquel's eco-friendly manufacturing complex

Hong Kong-based Esquel Group, the world's largest woven shirt maker, has been bedding-in operations at a ground-breaking new $313.3m eco-friendly manufacturing complex in southern China....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?