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China Clothing Industry in World Textile Value Chains

Author

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  • Jean Ruffier

    () (CNRS, Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou)

Abstract

This paper analyses the expansion of China’s clothing industry in world textile value chains. Using data from interviews and observations throughout factory visits in China and other countries we show how private Guangdong entrepreneurs started China’s clothing manufacturing. Lacking experience in consumer markets and designing, original equipment manufacturing was the route Chinese firms took to expand into garment manufacturing. Low wages and low margins of profits became their original source of competitiveness and rising shares in global market sales. These beginnings saw little direct support from both national and local government policies, though few barriers were erected to restrict the growth of these firms. However, although China has managed to secure a huge slice of the world market in garment sales, it continues to specialize in the low value-added segments of value chains. The paper concludes by considering options Chinese entrepreneurs have for exploring upgrades within garment value chains.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Ruffier, 2012. "China Clothing Industry in World Textile Value Chains," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 4(3), pages 21-40, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:umk:journl:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:21-40
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    File URL: http://ijie.um.edu.my/filebank/published_article/4115/Fulltext2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Xiaolan Fu, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment, Absorptive Capacity and Regional Innovation Capabilities: Evidence from China," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 89-110.
    2. Shunfeng Song & Chengsi Wang & Jianghuai Zheng, 2012. "Industrial Upgrade, Employment Shock, And Land Centralization In China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 523-532, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; clothing; Global Value Chains; labour conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L67 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other Consumer Nondurables: Clothing, Textiles, Shoes, and Leather Goods; Household Goods; Sports Equipment

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