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Textile firms bank on BRI for growth

2020-01-10 10:07:48 China Daily

China's textile industry, a sector that provides jobs to over 27.15 million people in both production and sales, will tap more growth seams in economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative and improve garment makers' innovation capabilities to stay competitive this year, said a senior industry official.

As participating countries are expected to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership this year, China's textile industry must accelerate the adjustment of products, capacity and trade structure to better integrate regional development in the next stage, said Sun Ruizhe, president of the China National Textile and Apparel Council.

"The simplification and unification of rules will boost resource flows within the region, and cut transaction costs and risks," he said, adding the RCEP will further enrich regional cooperative content in areas such as digital economy and intellectual property protection, paving the way for future cooperation among industries across the mega trade bloc.

The rise of emerging markets such as Vietnam, India and Bangladesh has also changed the division pattern of labor and trade in the global textile business, he said.

Affected by weak demand from developed markets and the rise of protectionism, China's textile and apparel exports dropped 2.2 percent year-on-year to $232.31 billion between January and October last year, data from Beijing-based CNTAC show.

In the meantime, China's textile and apparel shipments to the US, the European Union and Japan declined 4.5 percent, 5 percent and 5.5 percent year-on-year respectively, while its total exports to countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative grew by 1.3 percent, and exports to Africa jumped 6.6 percent from the same period a year earlier.

To improve the product value and tackle climate change, Sun said green textile products have already become the new trend in the textile industry.

"Textile makers in China have already begun to adopt renewable energy sources, environmentally friendly textile materials including biomass fiber and recycled substances to make the whole production process pollution free, as well as cut dependence on crude oil when producing common synthetic materials such as nylon or polyester," he said.

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