Upgrading An Industry

China Textile Cluster

Textile World Asia Special Report

Upgrading An IndustryThe China Textile Industrial CLluster Innovation Conference was recently
held in Xiqiao.In December of 2004, a group of high-level officials and executives from the Chinese
textile industry gathered in Xiqiao, a town in China’s Guangdong province, to attend the China
Textile Industrial Cluster Innovation Conference. Hosted by the China National Textile and Apparel
Council (CNTAC), the conference promoted the construction and development of the Xiqiao textile
industrial cluster and discussed the various opportunities and challenges faced by the Chinese
textile industry after global textiles and garment quotas are eliminated.In addition, the
conference also designated a third group of textile industrial cluster pilot areas in China. This
group of five areas in Guangdong province were added to the existing 37 cities and 52 towns that
are already industrial cluster pilot areas, which contribute about 30 percent to China’s gross
national textile output.The one-day conference was attended by Du Yuzhou, president of CNTAC; Huang
Longyun, standing provincial committee member of Guangdong and secretary of the Foshan municipal
committee; and You Ningfeng, deputy governor of Guangdong. Fu Guangwei, director of the innovation
office at the China Textile Products Developing Center, introduced the Xiqiao platform.Textile
LegacyXiqiao was selected because it is a renowned textile area in Guangdong province. It is the
No. 2 textile manufacturing and distribution base in China and the No. 1 textile wholesale and
trading market in eastern China.Concentrated in the area are about 1,330 small- and medium sized
textile companies that serve the whole textile manufacturing chain, from material suppliers to
dyeing and printing firms. Together, these companies account for 8.151 billion yuan in capital
investment and employ more than 60,000 workers. The annual textile production capacity in the town
reaches 1 billion meters, and the annual production value is about 7.32 billion yuan.

The China Textile Industrial InnovationConference was well attended.Another key reason that
the town of Xiqiao was selected was because it is located in Guangdong province. One of the main
textile centers in China, Guangdong is a globally important textile and garment production base. In
2003, the province’s textile production value reached 168 billion yuan — the third highest in the
country. Since 1998, Guangdong also has been the top export province for six consecutive
years.Xiqiao PlatformCalled the “one platform, five pillars” model, the Xiqiao textile platform is
supported by five pillars — product testing, technology development, education and training,
information service, and trade and logistics. Moreover, as the first area selected by the Chinese
government for upgrades and development in the textile industry, the Xiqiao platform will be
studied as a model for other cluster areas.One of the highlights of the Xiqiao platform is the
product testing center. With an investment of 10 million Chinese yuan, it is the most advanced
fabric testing facility in China. It will provide fabric quality testing, technology training,
quality accreditation and technology consulting services to the textile industry in southern
China.Post-Quota Challenges AndLessons From XiqiaoAt the conference, CNTAC’s Du said after global
textile and garment quotas are eliminated, Chinese textile suppliers will face ever more fierce
competition from other textile makers in the world. He said it has become more urgent and important
for other textile industrial clusters in China, especially those that are in the early stages of
upgrades and development, to learn from the Xiqiao platform to improve their competitiveness.

The China Textile Industrial Cluster InnovationConference was attended by officials
andexecutives of the Chinese textile industry. You, Guangdong’s deputy governor, added that the
capacity to innovate is low among many of Guangdong’s textile companies, most of whom do not have
their own brands. He said the experience of the industry upgrading demonstration area is very
important to Guangdong if it were to improve its textile manufacturing capability.

January/February 2005