China still tops for manufactured goods, despite slower growth

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The Journal of Commerce’s notes from the Trans-Pacific Maritime Asia Conference seem to point to a consensus that China is still the “supplier of choice” compared to other markets. Read the whole thing, but here’s a key excerpt:

Headlines about relatively weaker export growth don’t put the statistics in historical context, said Jonathan Beard, managing director of GHK Hong Kong Ltd. He noted that exports through South China ports rose 13 percent in the first half of this year after growing at an average annual rate of 25.3 percent from 2001 through 2007.
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As China’s costs have risen, some manufacturers have looked to additional low-cost manufacturing sites, such as Vietnam, in a “China plus one” strategy for sourcing. But Beard said Vietnam, a nation of about 90 million people, “is not going to replace China. It’s likely that nothing will.”

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