Asia Insight: Changes & Production Regulations

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China intensified its environmental work after President Xi Jinping told the country’s provincial governors and ministers in July that pollution treatment is one of his top three priorities for the coming years, along with controlling financial risk and reducing poverty. China’s Producer Price Index inflation rose 6.3 per cent year on year in August, up from 5.5 per cent in July. Prices of coal, steel, non-ferrous metals, petroleum and chemical products rose strongly, partly because these industries are easy targets for the pollution crackdown.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MOEP) and the environmental bureau have adopted an intolerant stance against businesses flouting environmental laws over the last year, which is expected to cut air pollution levels in northern cities. Although predominantly targeting air pollution, the authorities are also stringently curbing other types of pollution, including water and soil pollution, in addition to scrutinizing waste management systems across the country.

China is undergoing an environmental paradigm shift, transitioning from the world’s top polluter to global leader in the fight against climate change. In recent months, China has dramatically strengthened the enforcement of its environmental regulations as it pursues its goal of promoting ‘ecological civilization’, and has inspected and fined countless businesses in the process.

Many areas in China suffer from severe levels of pollution, and the central government under

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the leadership of President initiated several crackdowns on heavily polluting industries that are non-compliant with current environmental regulations. These measures have affected business as usual in various sectors and have had rippling effects throughout the economy.

The myth of “Made in China” is popular around the world. A previous wide-spreaded opinion, that Chinese products are synonymous with low quality, has been proven wrong. This is definitely not the case any more. Had the Chinese been manufacturing furniture while compromising on its quality, its exports wouldn’t have increased magnanimously. This viewpoint has seen a change in the Western world since designers have started getting their furniture manufactured in China.

Before China, Italy was the largest exporter of furniture. However, in the year 2004, China became the country with the highest number of furniture exports. From that day on there has been no looking for this country and it is still providing the world with the most amount of furniture. Many of the leading furniture designers have their furniture produced in China, although usually, they avoid talking about it. The population of China is also playing a vital role in making this country the biggest exporter of many products, including furniture.

Innovation is considered the ultimate drive for business success. In the face of a fast-growing Chinese furniture industry, low-cost advantages have been widely acknowledged by industry observers as the main advantage for Chinese manufacturers in global competition. China is a big country and has its local furniture industry based in different locations. The Pearl River Delta boasts the highest production of furniture. It has a thriving furniture market because there is a great availability of natural resources. Other areas which are known for their wonderful skills in producing high-quality furniture are Shanghai, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang.

AB