The historically well-known textile and garment industry of Jiangsu Province has capitalised on the province’s numerous advantages to transform itself into a high-end modern industry and an integral sector of the economy
Jiangsu Province is located on the eastern coast of Mainland China with a total area of 107,200 square kilometres. It administers 13 prefecture-level cities including Nanjing, Wuxi, Xuzhou, Changzhou, Suzhou, Nantong, Lianyungang, Huaian, Yancheng, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Taizhou and Suqian. As of the end of 2019, Jiangsu registered a permanent population of 80.7 million, making it the most densely populated province in Mainland China. It recorded a GDP of RMB9,963.15bn, representing a per capita GDP of RMB123,607.
Profound heritage and culture
With the Yangtze River and Huai River running through it, Jiangsu’s inland navigation is well-developed and further facilitated by the Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal. Its proximity to the sea fosters a trade-oriented economy that has helped the region prosper. It is one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilisation and a multitude of cultures are well-respected. It’s no wonder numerous painters, writers, scientists and economists have hailed from Jiangsu.
Prosperous economy and abundant resources
Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang form the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster, which is one of the six largest world-class urban agglomerations. Jiangsu’s per capita GDP and Regional Development and Livelihood Index rank first among all provinces in Mainland China and are on par with those in middle- and upper-class developed countries. Jiangsu has been a place of prosperity since ancient times and is located at the heart of the Yangtze River Delta. It is the only province where all of its prefecture-level cities are among the top 100 cities in the country, with three achieving a GDP exceeding RMB1,000bn. Moreover, the top four of the country’s top 100 counties are all located in Jiangsu.
Jiangsu has a long history and a high concentration of gardens, scenic spots and historical sites. It boosts abundant tourist attractions including Nanjing, the country’s old capital; Suzhou, which is affectionately called “paradise”; and the mausoleums of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty and the founder of modern Mainland China, Sun Yat-sen. Moreover, the province’s ancient canals are as spectacular as the Great Wall. It is also known for having a dense water network, magnificent mountains and beautiful gardens.
Highways in Jiangsu register a total mileage of 158,000 kilometres. There are nine civil airports and nine first-category aviation ports. The two main railway lines of Beijing–Shanghai Railway and Lanzhou–Lianyungang Railway pass through the area. The Nanjing–Shanghai section of the Beijing–Shanghai Railway is one of the busiest railways in Mainland China, with trains passing through every five minutes during peak hours. While Jiangsu borders the Yellow Sea in the east, the Yangtze River and the Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal criss-cross Jiangsu. The Taihu Plain and Lixiahe Plain are densely covered with water networks, making water navigation an important means in the transportation system of the province and laying the foundation of the province’s economic success.
Jiangsu is also a major port province. Seven of the 53 major ports in Mainland China listed by the Ministry of Transport are in Jiangsu, while five of the 25 major coastal ports are located in the province. Nanjing Port, Nantong Port and Zhenjiang Port are all coastal ports with significant economic importance, whereas Taicang Port is one of Jiangsu’s key container ports.
A leading textile and garment industry
Jiangsu is a major textile and garment producer, with its production and sales volumes at the forefront of the country. The output and export values of the province’s textiles and garments account for a relatively high proportion of the province’s gross production and total export. The industry plays an important role in Jiangsu’s industrial development.
As a major industry in Jiangsu’s development, the textile and garment industry has established a sound foundation and enjoys unique advantages in geographical location, human resources, scientific research and education. Building on its long history, it has developed into a modern industry with comprehensive products, complete industrial chains, strong supporting capabilities and favourable clustered effects. It has everything from cotton (sericulture) to chemical fibre, spinning and weaving to printing and dyeing, clothing, home textiles, accessories, packaging and logistics. There are about 30 distinctive supporting sectors and a large number of towns in the province promoting “one township, one product”.
As one of the 13 advanced manufacturing clusters fostered by the provincial government, the high-end textile and garment cluster ranks first in the country in terms of scale. At present, Jiangsu’s textile and garment industry has more than 70 production chains, with their numbers, scale and degrees of specialisation being far ahead than the rest of the country. Representative industrial clusters have established a strong brand name effect. Brands such as Changshu garment, Jiangyin wool textile, Wujiang silk, Zhangjiagang woollen sweater, Changzhou Wujin weaving and Nantong Dieshiqiao home textile are famous at home and abroad. Jiangsu is heading towards high-end development and agglomeration to further promote its textile and garment industry.