The opening ceremony for “Advanced Seminar on Promotion of Development Capability in Textile and Garment Industry for Lancang-Mekong Countries 2019” was held in Donghua University on Oct. 9, accompanied by traditional music and dance performed by Laotian students. Sponsored by the Sub-Council of Textile Industry of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT TEX), the seminar is hosted by Donghua University, and supported respectively by The Industry Department and Social Responsibility Office of China National Textile And Apparel Council, China Textile and Apparel Education Society, Textile Human Resource Communication Center and Zhangjiagang Government.
As one of the programs aiming at encouraging the cooperation of textile industry in the six countries nearby Lancang-Mekong river, the seminar invited about 30 officials and leaders to share opinions and ideas, who are from various governments, research institutions and enterprises, including the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia; Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia; Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia; Cambodia Garment Training Institute; The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Laos; Association of the Lao Garment Industry; Ministry of Industry, Myanmar; Myanmar Garment Human Resources Development Center; Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association; Ministry of Industry, Thailand; Thailand Textile Institute; Kasetsart University; Pacific Knitting Factory Co., Ltd.; Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam; Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association; Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group; Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association; Rang Dong Infrastructure Development Investment Joint Stock Company; Bao Minh Industrial Park; Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University. Lecturers and representatives of international students also joined the opening ceremony.
Integrated collaboration for responsible and efficient development
In 2018, the Sub-Council of Textile Industry of CCPIT was granted the LMC Special Initiative to launch “Serial Programs for Encouraging Textile Industry Production Capacity Cooperation of Lancang-Mekong Six Countries”, including establishing Lancang-Mekong textile and garment industry communication mechanism and organizing special training for improving Lancang-Mekong textile and garment industry development.
The LMC Special Initiative was authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, consigned by the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Under the circumstances, the invitation of “Advanced Seminar on Promotion of Development Capability in the Textile and Garment Industry for Lancang-Mekong Countries 2019” (ASPDC) received great responses from industry in the Lancang-Mekong region. Countries in the region expressed willing to cooperate with China and working together in promoting the cooperation of textile and garment industry, establishing the communication mechanism of Lancang-Mekong textile and garment industry, elevating the status of LMC textile and garment industry in the global value chain of textile industry, and enhancing the ability of sustainable development in textile and garment industry.
In the opening ceremony, Li Yuan, Vice Director of the Asian Division of Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that the six countries in the Mekong region are in a community with a shared future and shared stake with great potential for development. She advised that countries in the Mekong region should build consensus, enhance cooperation, and strengthen connectivity partnerships in the Mekong sub-region to encourage coordinated development, while the students from countries in the Mekong region should master a better understanding of the history of Chinese textile and garment industry to bring experiences back to their motherland, and develop new space for wider international production capacity cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong region. According to Dr. Yu Jianyong, President of Donghua University, in recent years, Donghua University has been continually enhancing the level of education openness, attracting international students from all over the world for higher education, and cultivating numbers of students for global textile industry development and international cooperation.
The textile and garment industrial chain in the region is witnessing increasingly deep integration and development, and a regional textile industrial chain and supply chain system with division of labor, cooperation and high efficiency are gradually being formed. Lin Yunfeng, Vice President of the Sub-Council of Textile Industry of CCPIT, stressed that as the largest producer and player in the global textile and garment market, China possesses an integral modern textile production system and production service system. “In recent years we have been actively promoting the textile production capacity cooperation in LMC. Five LMC also hold high-level willingness of openness and cooperation, actively building commerce and investment cooperation with the Chinese textile industry. We have reached mutual benefit, common interests, and mutual developments.” It is wished that through studying in the “Serial Programs for Encouraging Textile Industry Production Capacity Cooperation of Lancang-Mekong Six Countries,” LMCs can deepen the understanding of the development of Chinese textile industry and the comprehension of “Lancang-Mekong Cooperation”, and reach deeper cooperation of textile and garment industry in the region. Tean Samnag, General Counsel of Royal Consulate General of Cambodia in Shanghai, said that Cambodia will firmly support China’s proposition of “The Belt and Road”, through the development ties of “Belt-Road” to build the Sino-Cambodian fate community, inject new impetus to Cambodia’s economic development and narrow the development gap between Southeast Asian Countries. Yan Yan, Director of The Industry Department and Social Responsibility Office of China National Textile And Apparel Council, said that as one of the six LMCs, China is willing to share the experiences and fruits with everyone, together with promoting the production capacity and coordinated development, together with build the continual development of the international supply chain. She hoped LMCs can have high-level communication in the seminar, together with improving public governance and industrial continual development, together with building continual development of the international supply chain.
In-depth cooperation for win-win development
According to Nguyen Van Tuan, Chairman of VCSA, the Mekong river sub-region has the geographical advantage with convenience in transportation and abundance in resources, which provides the necessary support for the implementation of the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism. The textile and garment industry cooperation among six LMCs will be a success. Nowadays, China‘s proposition of improving the cooperation of the textile industry in the Lancang-Mekong region is a very timely proposition, and worthwhile for our active respondings. He believed that the actions will benefit industries in the counties along the river, and he believed that the ideas solutions and plans came up in the seminar will finally help the implementation of the cooperation proposition.
After the opening ceremony, the seminar started. Xu Yingxin, Vice President of CNTAC and President of the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, Liang Pengcheng, Executive Vice President of the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT, and Gu Bohong, Changjiang Scholar and Dean of the college of textile, Donghua University, gave presentations to analyze the developing trends and characters of the industry from different perspectives.
Xu Yingxin made a report entitled “Outward Investment of China’s Textile & Apparel Industry and Outlook of Production Capacity Cooperation in Lancang-Mekong Region”, introducing the general information about Chinese textile industry development, the current situation of investment in foreign countries and the investment situation for the textile and garment industry in LMCs.
He said, “The Belt and Road” provides great opportunities for international cooperation for the Chinese textile industry. As one of the pillar industries of China’s economy, Chinese textile industry has become the forerunner in the B&R industries with great achievement. From 2013 to 2018, China’s textile industry has accumulated a total direct investment of US$ 6.496 billion in countries along the route, accounting for 84.4% of the total global investment in the same period. As China’s textile industry entered a stage of international layout, the awareness of key textile enterprises to take the initiative to carry out international layout has been continuously enhanced.
As a common pillar industry in LMCs, textile and garment industry has become an important pointcut and growth point for the six countries to promote trade exchanges, investment interactions and establish a capacity cooperation system. At present, China has become one of the most important importers of textile fabrics in LMCs who have also become the main source of imports of yarns, garments and other products for China’s textile and garment industry. The investment in LMCs from the Chinese textile industry has increased from $245 million in 2013 to $504 million in 2018. Meanwhile, a bunch of transnational enterprises has been working on the overall arrangement in the Lancang-Mekong region, including building factories.
Xu said that China and LMCs are neighbors by rivers and mountains, and there are congenital advantages, firm foundations, strong willingness and enormous potential for six countries to cooperate. By the Lancang-Mekong cooperation, countries within can resist the pressure outside and promote the developments of themselves, and it could also contribute to encouraging regions and sub-regions textile industry to explore new methods of developing. Currently, the instability and uncertainty of the world economy increased. The trade friction between China and U.S. is still unsolved. China will continue on the opening-market policy, especially open the enormous domestic market, focusing on consultation, contribution and shared benefits, achieving win-win continual development. Meanwhile, China will also deepen the cooperation of the textile industry, accelerate cross-region cooperations for industry chain, supply chain, and value chain, and build bright future of Lancang-Mekong cooperation in textile industry with LMCs.
Liang Pengcheng delivered a speech “Introduction on Professional Exhibition System of CCPIT TEX & Suggestions on Exhibition Cooperation in Lancang-Mekong Area”, pointing out that textile professional exhibitions, as important multilateral trading platforms, are expected to achieve rapid development in the Lancang-Mekong area. By 2025, the garment exports of Lancang-Mekong area will reach the level of US$60 - 80 billion (Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia will lead in garment exports), and the region’s demand on fabrics and accessories will continue to grow; In the next 5 to 10 years, the textile and garment supply chains and industrial chains of China and the five Mekong countries will be further integrated and developed. The process of improving the transnational supply chain will also bring a huge demand for capacity connection and information aggregation. The growth of huge business flows and the formation of transnational supply chain will bring historical opportunities for the rapid development of textile and garment (including textile machinery) professional exhibitions in the Lancang-Mekong area. Chinese textile industry is willing to build high-quality cooperation relationships with LMCs and welcoming governments, associations, and enterprises in LMCs to cooperate with the professional exhibitions.
The “Sanya Declaration of the 1st Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Leaders' Meeting — For a Community of Shared Future of Peace and Prosperity among Lancang-Mekong Countries” was published in March 2016. Since then, the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism officially launched.
In the past three years, the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism has been one of the most vigorous and promising mechanisms at the great Mekong sub-region. In the past three years, the mechanism has leaped towards fast development from the starting stage, presenting “Mekong Speed“ and “Mekong Efficiency”. The fruit of the cooperation has exceeded prediction — the success of two leaders’ meetings and four foreign ministers meetings, and great development of six countries’ cooperation in the five prior areas, have contributed to the sustainable economic development in the local area, and set a paradigm of a new international relationship focusing on win-win cooperation.
As one of the prior areas of Mekong-Lancang Countries’ Production Capacity Cooperation, the Chinese textile industry actively responds to the requirement of the cooperation mechanism, firstly organized the international production capacity in the textile industry in the Lancang region.
During the opening ceremony, guests and leaders certified students from LMCs the student certifications, wishing students through the study in the seminar, deeply understanding Chinese textile industry’s experience in policymaking, innovation development, global business layout, intelligent manufacturing, industrial clusters and social responsibility, contributing to the mutual development of textile industry in LMCs, industrialization and economic prosperity in the countries along the river, and helping with building higher and deeper cooperation relationships in the textile and garment industry.
Students from Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association shared their thoughts about the future of LMCs cooperation in industry and personal wishes for the seminar.
The “Advanced Seminar on Promotion of Development Capability in the Textile and Garment Industry for Lancang-Mekong Countries 2019” will last for 11 days. Except for the lectures on Oct. 9th, students could also learn the existing circumstances, developing trends and structures of the Chinese textile industry; analyze the impacts to industrial development caused by industrial plans and policy; analyze the production and export situations of the textile industry and learn typical cases. The seminar will also introduce Chinese domestical garment market and the development of brands; There will also be special lectures focusing on social responsibilities and help companies to enhance their responsibility, improving their social responsibilities performance. Besides, the seminar will also have events including round-table discussions, a forum for sharing experience and research in Zhangjiagang Enterprises Cluster and 2019 Chinese textile industry ”The Belt and Road” forum and Lancang-Mekong textile cooperation summit.