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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Asia: A Rising Power of World Manufacturing

Experts believe that it is the global industrial transfer that enables an increasing number of things labeled "made in Asia" to become world crazes today.


Experts attending the Annual Conference 2004 of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) agree that Asia, possessing an independent and integrated development, supply, production and sales mechanism, is becoming a rising power in the global economy.


Speaking Sunday at the "supply chain and made in Asia" forum, Carlos Magarinos, director general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said it was the result of integration and optimization of global production sectors that Asia turned to be world manufacturing center.


Magarinos said this would boost the all-around development of global economy and international community.


Investment coming from trans-national groups accelerated Asia's economic development, he said, and this would consequentially increase Asia's needs for commodities and services, which meant great business opportunities for the rest of the world.


It was a virtuous circle, Magarinos said.


World major manufacturers of computers, electronic products, telecom devices and petrochemistry have already transferred their manufacturing centers to Asia, including such trans-national giants as Microsoft, Motorola, General Motors, General Electrics, Dupont, P&G and Siemens.


At the same time manufacturing had undergone reshuffle within Asia, Magarinos said.


Traditional manufacturing enterprises in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China's Taiwan and Hong Kong were now transferring at an amazing speed to other places of Asia, in which the Chinese mainland benefited a lot.


Onkar Kanwar, president of India's Apollo Tyres, said taking over a considerable part of western manufacturing, Asia had won itself a favorable position in world competition within a short time by making full use of the vast international market and exerting its own advantages.


The integration of western capital and Asia's cheap labor force since the 1980s had created a number of world famous manufacturing bases in Asia. More and more goods in the world market were seen labeled "made in Asia", said Kanwar.


In the new round of reform in world industries, which started from the 1990s and was still going on today, the most intriguing thing, he said, was that manufacturing giants stepped onto China one by one, establishing their own development and research centers.


Trans-national groups choose to build purchasing centers in China for the high qualities and relatively low prices of goods made in China.


Organizations of this kind are scattered in Shanghai, south China's Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and the eastern Qingdao city.


In 2002, the purchasing centers spent over US$30 billion on China's commodities and experts predict that it will grow to more than US$50 billion by 2005.


Magarinos said the favorable investment environment as well as China's sustainable economy attracted more world giants to establish their workshops here.


The abundant human resources and China's increasing influence in the international market were also why foreign manufacturers preferred to come to China, he said.


As a matter of fact, many trans-national groups landed on China not only for its huge 1.3 billion population market but also for the important role China played in world manufacturing.


Magarinos said products labeled "made in China" was now driving the economic growth of Asia.


For instance, the rapidly developed electronic industry of China did not bring about the decline of the same industries in the surrounding countries and areas, but on the contrary, it created a big deficit for China in its trade to the rest part of Asia.


China's booming electronic industry had increased its needs for electronic elements which were produced in its Asian partner countries, and in this way new industrial chains were formed, said Magarinos.


He said the revitalization of China's manufacturing had earned a win-win situation for both China and the rest part of Asia.


The 2004 BFA annual meeting lasted for two days as scheduled.


Traditional issues, such as economic cooperation between Asian partners, and current international focuses, especially the lagging World Trade Organization's Doha Development Agenda (DDA), have been discussed in the two-day forum.


Leaders or former leaders of China and other countries, including Cambodia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, attended the meeting.


Delegates with international institutes, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), and over 100 multinationals also participated in the forum.


(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2004)


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