Wake Up, Western World
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
The hosting associations, with Minister Du Yuzhou at the head of the steering committee of the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), also organized a visit to China Textile City, in Keqiao, Shaoxing County. The city of Keqiao is a three-hour drive from Shanghai. Visiting China Textile City, one can see that the manufacturing balance is moving heavily toward China. And the facts are mind-blowing: China Textile City is the largest textile professional market in Asia, and the biggest trade center worldwide.
The trade center occupies an area of some 3.2 million square meters, has more than 20,000 business rooms and features 19,000 operators/companies. There are more than 3,500 overseas permanent buyers and more than 700 permanent overseas representative agencies. Goods are sold to 187 countries and regions; a quarter of the global man-made fabrics are traded. It also has business relations with nearly 50 percent of China's national textile enterprises. China Textile City has achieved an annual market turnover of more than 60 billion renminbi.
To a traveler between East and West, this trade center highlights the astonishing behavior of some Western people. In some European countries, the working week comprises 35 to 36 hours, and these employees go on strike if they are asked to be more competitive and increase their working hours. A short working week was hailed by some political parties and unions as a great social achievement. At first sight, it certainly is. On the other hand, competitiveness has declined and companies are struggling, most of all in the textile industry. Wake up, Western world - it's high noon.
主办机构中国纺织工业协会 (CNTAC)，以会长杜钰洲担任统筹活动的大旗手。大会更安排与会者参观离上海3小时车程、位于绍兴县柯桥市的中国轻纺城。这 项活动让业者深明纺织生产的重心已大幅倾向中国，而中国轻纺城的发展亦发人深省：中国轻纺城是亚洲最具规模的专业纺织品市场，亦是全球最大的纺织品贸易中心。
市场占地约 320万平方米，营业用房逾2万间，经营企业19,000家。长驻市场的海外买家超过3,500家，而长驻的企业代表则有逾700家。经市场集散的纺织品广及全球187个国家及地区，交 易的人造纤维面料量达全球四分之一。此外，中国轻纺城亦与近一半国营企业建有贸易联系，市场的年成交额达600亿人民币。
对惯于往来东、西两地的旅客来说，市场突出了一些西方人不可思议的表现。欧洲部分国家的工时，约为每星期35至36小时；如果厂方要求员工提高竞争力，增加工时，将可能引发罢工行动；有 些政党及公联会更大力支持减少工时的建议，认为是社会的重大成就。表面看来，这是的；但若从另一角度看，类似的表现削弱了自家的竞争力，把企业推向困境──情况大多出现于纺织业界。所以，西方国家，醒来吧，外 面已日上三竿了！