23 November 2021

China - The local leather industry’s response to China's 14th five-year plan

Following on from China Leather Industry Association (CLIA)’s release of its “guiding opinions” as to how the Chinese leather industry should respond to the government’s 14th five-year plan for the country, effective from 2021 through 2025, local leather industry journal Beijing Leather has published its key takeaways from the document. Report by Leatherbiz.

Guided by the country’s president, Xi Jinping’s approach to socialism “with Chinese characteristics”, the publication identified eight main development goals set by CLIA on behalf of the wider industry, to be achieved by 2025 (and, therefore, the start of the next five-year plan period).

The eight goals are as follows: increased production efficiency, improved technological innovation, advanced brand-building, optimised export stability, improved “green” manufacturing, accelerated construction of industrial clusters, ongoing improvement of digital capabilities and increased stability or retention of the workforce.

On brand-building, in particular, enhanced industry-wide standardisation and the increased adoption of international leatherworking standards from 92% to 95% were both called for. Moreover, the need to communicate the quality of Chinese leather both internally and beyond the nation’s borders was singled out as one path to cultivating “a number” of well-known brands inside China, plus “three to five” internationally influential leather brands.

Regarding “green” manufacturing and “cleaner” leather production, the journal cited CLIA as recommending a 10% increase in the rate of water reuse within tanneries. The intention to build between four and six demonstration projects for the disposal or effective utilisation of chromium-containing leather waste and scrap across the country was also revealed.

Leather footwear manufacturing was highlighted as another area for “greener” improvement, including a strategic increase in the use of water-based and hot-melt adhesives during production and a measurable reduction in the emission of volatile organic compounds during the shoe-making process.

Elsewhere in the document, challenges the industry expects to face throughout the five-year duration of the plan were listed.

These included an acknowledgement of the country’s shift from an era of rapid growth to a “new normal” of relatively slowed (yet “high-quality”) development, the perceived position of the Chinese leather industry as existing amid a “two-way squeeze” between developed and developing countries (such as its south-east Asian manufacturing rivals) and, additionally, the threat of so-called “alternative” materials to leather.

In regard to the latter, the urgent need to maintain and convey the “excellent” characteristics of genuine leather articles was underscored, especially in relation to winning favour among younger generations of consumers.

關於亞太區皮革展 ​

我們為皮革、物料及時裝業界創造面對面洽談的機會,爲客戶締造實質商機。我們雲集世界各地的商家,讓他們尋找新的合作伙伴,發掘潛在客戶或供應商,並掌握業界最新發展。   我們主辦多個專注時尚及生活潮流的商貿展覽會, 為這不斷變化的行業,提供最全面的買家及參展商服務,方便他們了解急速轉變的行業環境,並預測來季趨勢。

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