China Textile City
China Textile City is a textile distribution center that's so large, it's almost impossible to imagine.
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
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 (m 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.
Various Business Zones
CTC is the first professional market in China to incorporate the name "China." It includes four sectors:
- 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.
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 corporations.
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 m 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 Industry
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 considerably.
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