uring the last two decades, China has become the powerhouse of the world, at least within
the textile industry. With enormous perseverance, a lot of work and a strong will to learn, an
infrastructure was built that is probably second to none in the world today. And the expression of
this determination became a reality with the impressive China Textile City (CTC), located in
Keqiao, Shaoxing County.
A visit to CTC, Asia’s largest textile distribution center, is breathtaking. Located some
three- to four-hours’ drive northeast of Shanghai, the place is huge – almost impossible to
imagine. CTC was planned in the open countryside and became a reality some 20 years ago. Markets
here gather together all kinds of fibers, yarns and fabrics – including home textiles and, of
course, apparel, but also more and more industrial textiles. In spite of all its advantages, CTC is
still mostly unknown in the Western world.
Shaoxing County is the center of the Chinese textile industry. According to CTC management,
the fabric market on Dongsheng Road is CTC’s most prosperous market and takes up the its core area.
It is located about half an hour east of Hangzhou International Airport, and one hour west of
Ningbo Beilun Port.
In China, Shaoxing County is a well-known historic place. It is reputed to be the pearl of
South China, the birthplace of silk-making and a cultural center. For five consecutive years,
Shaoxing has ranked among the top 10 regions in China. In 2006, the county’s gross production value
totaled US$5.8 billion, and its gross domestic product per capita totaled US$8,000.
World’s Largest Trade Center
CTC is a textile distribution center of the very largest scale and offers the greatest
variety of textile products in China. In addition, it is the largest textile professional market in
Asia, and the biggest trade center worldwide. A massive group of big buildings, creating a true
city for the domestic textile industry, covers a built area of more than 3.2 million square meters
2). Currently, CTC includes more than 20,000 business rooms and 19,000 operating
companies. According to its management, CTC trades tens of thousands of fabrics, and more than
100,000 customers pass through daily. There are more than 3,500 permanent overseas purchasers and
more than 700 permanent overseas representative agencies.
Textile products are sold to virtually all Chinese regions and the whole world. It is
estimated some 83 percent of all global made-made fiber already is produced in Asia. CTC management
claims that one-quarter of all global man-made-fiber fabrics are traded here, representing an
annual market turnover of more than 60 billion renminbi.
China Keqiao International Textile Expo is one of the most important domestic fairs, and
has become the largest, highest-level, most international textile exhibition venue in
Various Business Zones
CTC is the first professional market in China to incorporate the name “China.” It includes
- a fabric market in the south;
- an apparel and accessories market in the north;
- a company-oriented international trade zone in the center; and
- a textile raw material market in the west.
The International Trade Zone is a well-organized and structured international marketplace,
integrating exhibitions, commerce and trade, offices and more.
Within the Common Zone of the Fabric Market, there are foreign textile companies and
businesses; domestic large and medium-sized textile and printing businesses, including Shaoxing
County’s top 500 textile and printing businesses; domestic brand businesses and companies;
companies or dealers trading in other textile markets for more than three years; and finance
The so-called “Superior Goods Zone” within the fabric market includes overseas textile
companies having annual sales of more than US$30 million, international chain enterprises and
merchandising offices of well-known charitable and welfare institutions; as well as China’s top 100
textile companies and national-level branded textile companies and the top 10 large operators in
China’s top five professional textile markets. The fabric market has a built area totaling 220,000
2. There are a large fabric exhibition and transaction area, and a company-oriented
management trading area; as well as comprehensive logistics equipment and property management, and
services such as banks and catering.
More than 12,000 operators — including 370 foreign representative associations and foreign
investment trade businesses, and more than 2,500 overseas buyers — occupy quarters at CTC. Each
booth in the superior goods zone measures 50 to 60 m2 overall and offers 25 to 30 m
2 of usable floor space. Parties interested in taking space in that zone may apply for
two to three booths. In 2006, the total trade value was 50 billion renminbi including export trade
valued at US$4 billion.
CTC’s fabric market at Dongsheng Road, which has been updated based on the old market with
fabric exhibitions, covers 231,000 m2 and has 1,600 sales rooms. The fabric market is owned and
supported by the Shaoxing government, which is said to ensure a prosperous development of the
market. According to CTC’s management, the rent charge is only one-fifth that of other markets at
the same level.
Environmental consciousness is growing in China: The size of the wastewater plant for CTC
is so large that it is not possible to see from one end to the other.
The whole area is professionally organized, which is a must at this scale. The different
service areas – or service institutions, as they are called at CTC – are: Construction &
Management Committee for China Textile City; Shaoxing County Foreign Service Center; Shaoxing
County Local Taxation Bureau; Shaoxing County State Taxation Bureau; Administration of Industry and
Commerce of Shaoxing County; Shaoxing County Economic and Trade Bureau; and Shaoxing County
Administrative Service Center.
A special country or regional pavilion can be established if more than 20 enterprises from
the same country or region want to participate. Setup would be handled using “most preferential
policies,” and could lower the entrance standard.
Chinese Growing Domestic Market, New Technologies Bolster Chinese Textile
Textile World Asia
recently interviewed a two textile machinery manufacturers that conduct a significant
amount of business in China to get their view on what’s going on in the Chinese textile industry.
Edda Walraf — head of marketing, Rieter Group, Switzerland — and Fabio Mario Mazzucchetti —
sales and marketing director, ITEMA Weaving, part of Italy-based ITEMA Group — both noted that
China’s domestic demand is booming. According to Mazzucchetti, areas such as home textiles,
shirting, and denim have been doing very well, with denim exports in particular increasing
In addition, China’s textile industry more and more is developing machines that are locally
made and/or assembled, and the country’s bank system is willing to support those types of
investments. Mazzucchetti noted that ITEMA Weaving is benefiting from this development as more
machines are built and delivered from its own plant in Songjiang, south of Shanghai.
China’s textile industry has realized the need for “green” technology and
is beginning to place more emphasis on being sustainable. “More than before, the textile industry
in China is taking care of subjects such as power consumption and quality, and they are starting to
raise issues such as “go green,” Mazzucchetti said. “Apparently, the central government is pushing
on these issues. Several investments, which were not seen before, show that the government is
putting much more attention on this topic. The textile industry in China is changing rapidly and
I’m sure we will see even more in the future.”
“The Chinese textile market is taking the global challenge and developing
toward new, high-quality, sustainable technologies, and added-value products — which is the global
trend for success,” said Walraf, who noted that only new technologies support China’s success.
Walraf also reported that China’s yarn production from short-staple fibers has benefited from the
implementation of new technologies.
– By Sarah C. Thomasson, Associate Editor