Overview of the 1st Global Textile Economic Forum

Source: CCPIT TEX | Date: 2006-02-08

The 1st Global Textile Economic Forum sponsored by China National Textile Industry Council was held from March 28 to 29 at the Grand Hyatt Beijing. With the theme "Striving for a Corporate-Win Tomorrow in Post-Quota Times", delegates around the world looked into strategic subjects such as the trend of global textile economy and textile trade in the new phase of trade liberalization and new possibilities of cooperation in the textile industry between countries and regions.

The forum was held at a time when four textile and apparel exhibitions, CHIC, Intertextile, Beijing, China Knitting and Yarn Expo, were taking place in Beijing, allowing the forum participants to meet with upstream and downstream suppliers both at home and abroad.

Speaking at the forum, Juan Casanovas, President of the International Wool Textile Organisation, warned of over-production in China and other countries. "My perception of the facts is that China and probably India and other countries have seen the post-quota times as a fabulous opportunity for their textile and clothing industrial development...This wrong belief misleads the different Chinese textile and clothing industries and regions towards a race of extreme investments...This explosion of investments has brought an extreme problem to the entire world: an excess of production capacity that the world textile chain cannot longer digest, even with the natural growth of the population."

While China and some countries are looking forward to a quota-free era, other countries are asking the WTO to extend the quota period. Miguel Rodriguez Mendoza, Counsel of Van Bael & Bellis (Former Deputy Director-General of World Trade Organization), expressed his disagreement with the latter. "It is wrong to extend the quota period, and the fact is that quota will be phased out starting January 1, 2005. This will inevitably bring changes to the global textile and apparel scenario, which includes both challenges and opportunities."

As the textile and apparel industries are the competitive edges of many developing countries, Long Yongtu, Secretary General of Boao Forum for Asia, said that the elimination of quota will allow the developing countries to have a stronger faith in the WTO.

The forum was rounded off with a fashion show presented by some of China's well-known textile and garment companies and top designers.

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