From The Editor: A Chinese Desk In Washington

From The Editor

A Chinese Desk In WashingtonThe other day, someone suggested that Textile World Asia should
seek out a certain “Chinese desk in Washington”as a source for China-related textile news.
Presumably, the person’s coded message referred to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which regularly
releases data on U.S. trade with China, and not really a made-in-China desk found in the nation’s
capital. Nonetheless, the phrase “Chinese desk in Washington”got this editor thinking: These days,
one is hard-pressed to find a consumer product that China does not produce, let alone a desk.
Moreover, China can produce it cheaper than everyone else! So, does this spell the end of
manufacturing for other nations, especially those in the same Asian region? Will market protection
offer any relief?The answers are no and no. In the case of textiles, the newly imposed restrictions
on Chinese imports by the U.S. and E.U. will push buyers to maintain a diversified sourcing
strategy. However, manufacturers in competing nations cannot simply expect market barriers to save
their industries either. Instead, these competitors should focus their resources on things that
improve their businesses — technology upgrades, human resources development, entrepreneurial
thinking, effective rule of law, financial transparency — in other words, tried and true factors
that make a business successful.Just take a look at the two countries highlighted in this issue:
Turkey is venturing into nonwovens and Hong Kong has long been supplying more than just
cut-and-sewn garments. More importantly, both see a positive future.Carmen

July/August 2005