Shoe Industry：Globally, China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand in Asia, Italy, Spain and Portugal in Europe and Brazil in South America are the world’s major shoe makers. There are 30,000-40,000 shoe makers across the world, with about ten million people engaged in shoe industry and other related industries. Shoe industry is a labor-intensive industry, and its development and transfer are subject to factors such as land resource, labor cost, supply of raw materials, environmental protection and sales market. Global major consumer markets, shoe makers, wholesalers and retailers are pursuing profit maximization, so they are sure to consider these important factors. The fact has made the center of global shoe industry transfer constantly. Previously, the centers of global shoe industry were located in Italy, Spain and Portugal in Europe. Since 1960s and 1970s, then centers have shifted to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong with lower labor costs. At the end of 1980s and the beginning of 1990s, the centers have shifted to the coastal regions in China with further lower labor costs and rich industrial resources and better investment environment. China became the world’s largest shoe maker and exporter in 1996. China’s shoe industry has outshone others and gone through ceaseless development in the later ten years, growing by 10-20% annually and becoming the No.1 shoe maker in the world. During this period, Vietnam and India have provided international shoemaker giants with other options with rich but cheap labor resources. The shoe industries in the two countries have therefore undergone rapid development. Up till now, Asian countries including China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Thailand have supplied over 85% shoe products to the global market, becoming the center of global shoe industry.
Bicycle Industry：Major bicycle producers are mostly located in Asia, Europe and America. About 65 countries and regions produce bicycles with an annual output of 130 million units. The total trade volume stands at nearly 75 million units, while the inventory is over one billion units. The global production areas are generally divided into three major regions, namely, Asia, Europe and America. The major bicycle producers in Asia include China, Japan, India, South Korea, three countries in southeastern Asia and Taiwan of China. The major bicycle producers in Europe include Germany, France, British, Italy and Holland. The US is the major bicycle producer in America. The Commonwealth of Independent States is also a major bicycle producer. Asia has always acted as a major base for bicycle production and export, and its annual output accounts for 70% of the world’s total. Bicycle output of Europe (15 EU countries) accounts for 10% of the world’s total, America about 8%. Australia and Africa account for the remaining shares.
Lighting Industry: The major producers include the US, Japan, China, British, Germany, Holland, Russia, Italy, and Belgium. The major consumers of electric light source include Japan, Germany, the US, and Russia. In terms of regional distribution, markets of light source and lamps are centralized in North America, West Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region. The three regions accounts for over 85% of the global demands for lighting equipment. North America boasts the largest demand, accounting for one third of the world’s total.
Eyeglass Industry：The major producers of spectacle lens include the US, France, British, and Japan. The major producers of glass lens are British and Germany. The major producers of spectacle frame include France, Italy, Japan, Austria and South Korea. France and Italy produce spectacle frames of the highest grade, while Japan supplies spectacle frames of medium grade and South Korea supplies spectacle frames of low grade.
Battery Industry: China boasts the largest battery output in the world, surpassing the US and Japan in terms of output of one-off batteries and ranking first globally. According to the documents provided by the Chinese Association of Electric Source Industry, China’s annual output of one-off monocells are 19 billion units, while the annual outputs of lithium batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries, and nickel-hydrogen batteries are respectively over 400 million, one billion and about 500 million units. In addition, in terms of output of rechargeable battery, China ranks third in the world. Following Japan and South Korea, accounting for 12.5% market shares in the global market.
Position of China’s Light Industry in the World
Since China adopted the reform and opening-up policy 30 years ago, light industry has always served as a major force for China’s economic development. The accumulated export of light-industry products is close to US $2,000 billion. During the 12 years from 1996 to 2007, China’s light industry had realized a trade surplus of US $1,011.3 billion, 66% of China’s total foreign exchange reserve. The enterprises above the designated size in the light industry is expected to realize a gross industrial output of 9,000 billion yuan and the total value of exported commodities is expected to reach US $300 billion, accounting for 22% of China’s gross foreign export value. China’s light industry is among the industries boasting the highest level of marketization. Through fierce competition in the market, light-industry enterprises have gained continuous increases in size and benefits. China has already become a huge power in terms of light industry, and now is on the way to be an industrial powerhouse, seeing strong competitiveness and development prospects.
A number of China’s light industries have embarked on the way to be their counterparts in developed countries in terms of total value and production technologies, striving to take the lead to fulfill the goal of making China an industrial powerhouse. The household appliance, leather, furniture, bicycle, battery, feather and down, oral care product industries are close to their counterparts in developed countries in terms of total value and production technologies. These industries are building an energetic system of independent innovation, with the goals of mastering core technologies and key technologies, fostering the capability of original innovation, integrated innovation, and re-innovation through introduction, digestion and absorption, promoting innovation in technology, technique, equipment and product through adopting high- and new- technologies, owning a number of products with independent intellectual property rights, increasing products’ technology contents and added value, making positive efforts to develop new products, new product varieties and new brands, exploring new markets in foreign countries, gaining more market shares, keeping pace with demands from the global market, as well as leading new trends in the international market.
A number of light industries, which have embarked on the way to be their counterparts in developed countries in terms of total value and production technologies, are striving to pave the way to fulfill the goal of becoming an industrial powerhouse during the 11th Five-Year-Plan period. The industries of papermaking, food, plastic, hardware, sewing machine, lighting equipment, spectacle, ceramics for daily use, glass for daily use, musical instrument, interior decoration, toy, sports and stationary products, pen-making, salt and commodities for daily use are close to their counterparts in developed countries in terms of total value and production technologies. These industries are accelerating their paces in adjusting enterprise structure and product structure. They are investing more into R&D and technological upgrading through independent innovation and cultivation of independent brands, seizing opportunities to strengthen themselves.
China’s light industry owns a number of sectors with the foundation and potential of certain degrees. They are adopting advanced technological achievements from home and abroad, striving to narrow the gap with industrial powerhouses. The industries of light industrial machinery, weighing apparatus, chemicals for daily use, detergent and cosmetics are exploring and improving their capability of independent innovation, in order to form the new pattern featuring independent development, independent research and independent innovation. With high- and new technology, high precision, high quality and high grade as the main targets, they have gradually achieved more market shares in the global market and are close to their counterparts in those industrial powerhouses in terms of quantity of renowned brands, independent intellectual property rights and core technologies.
With investment increases driven by demands of foreign and domestic markets, the light industry boasts huge potential in competition. China’s economy is currently witnessing sound development, with steady increases in incomes of residents of rural and urban areas and quickening upgrade of consumption. As for overseas market demand, the global market will generate further increases in demands for the light-industry products from China under the backdrop of global economic integration. As for domestic demand, the light-industry products will see a further expanding market and more light-industry products will be consumed as the country is accelerating its pace of building a New Socialist Countryside. The light industry will continue to see a booming market in 2007.
Due to the thriving demands of foreign and domestic markets, the light industry has seen rapid increases in investment, providing power for the industry’s development. Investments in the industries of furniture and leather grew by over 40% in 2006, the beverage industry 58%. Boosted by investment, the light industry’s production growth is expected to maintain over 20%.