Clothing industry in China – additional information
Being a major part of the textile industry, clothing manufacturing with its labor-intensive production processes traditionally plays an important role in national employment. Over the past decades, production presence of the apparel industry has diminished in developed countries as companies have adopted a practice of outsourcing their manufacturing needs to low wage economies. Currently, clothing is one of the most globalized sectors worldwide, serving as a large source of employment in developing countries.
China’s recent growth momentum is tightly linked to massive local engagement of the international clothing industry. Due to comparably low labor costs, reduced commercial barriers and better information flows, China still presents one of the most attractive destinations for clothing manufacturing. In 2012, approximately 88 billion units of apparel had been produced in China. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, domestic textile production saw a year-on-year growth of four percent in 2013.
International trade figures further emphasize China’s current position as the world’s largest textile-exporting country. In 2013, China accounted for more than one third of the world textile exports , followed by the European Union and India. Despite a stable growth of China’s clothing industry, several challenges for the sector have emerged on the horizon. Rising labor costs and increasingly strict environmental policies are among the most prominent issues for Chinese clothing companies. In order to cope with the changes, an increasing number of Chinese textile enterprises have turned their focus to upgrading their industrial infrastructure and modernizing their production processes.