Shenzhen, China, April 5, 2013 - QIMA, a leading provider of quality control services for businesses importing from Asia and Africa, today announces the QIMA 2013 Q1 Barometer, a quarterly synopsis of Asia-based manufacturing and the quality control services industry.
2013 started off strong for China. QIMA figures show Performed Inspections in China having grown by +12.5% over the past year. Smaller manufacturing neighbors also saw significant growth – Vietnam and Thailand were both up +33% and Bangladesh +15.6%.
To put China’s sustained growth into perspective, when it surpassed the United States in 2010 to become the world’s largest manufacturer, their output accounted for 23% of global manufacturing. Fast forward two years and China has gained an additional 10% of total manufacturing share, with $2.9 trillion of the total $8.8 trillion global manufacturing output, putting their total value at +20% more than the US.
Talks of a return to American manufacturing may be premature. This January Walmart committed to invest $50 billion in “Made in America” products over the next 10 years, but the reality is that this only amounts to 0.93% of their total sales for the period. QIMA figures confirm that manufacturing outsourcing is still on the rise from the West – there was a +15% increase in inspections requested from North American customers year over year.
Q1 Performed Inspection growth in China was strongest in food products at 212%, compared with Q1 2012, followed by industrial and mechanical items (+42%) and then body care products (+36%). This trend indicates China is branching out from traditional manufacturing: toys, textiles and electronics.
Since the Tazreen Fashions factory fire that killed 112 in November, Bangladesh officials to date have shut down over 300 “ready-made garment” factories in the capital of Dhaka. Described as death traps by local officials, these unofficial manufacturers are sub-contracted by larger factories without the knowledge of international buyers. These factories operate with a complete disregard for worker safety and put thousands of lives at risk. Continued reports of factory fires across Asia show that this trend is set to continue and on March 25th six more workers died at a furniture factory in India.
“The sheer volume of unauthorized manufacturers found in Bangladesh shows the probability that lives will continue to be needlessly lost,” said Sebastien Breteau, CEO of QIMA. “The only safeguard for workers and brands is to ensure business is conducted with factories that meet or exceed safety standards.”
India started 2013 by announcing its target to grow from the world’s ninth-largest manufacturer to fifth largest by 2022. To achieve this, India must increase its manufacturing GDP from 15% of the total to 25%.
India’s long-term growth projection is reflected by QIMA figures, showing +43% year-over-year Performed Inspection growth from Q1 2012, with +52% growth in Q1 2013 alone. Also experiencing gains in Q1 was Pakistan, up +21% from one year ago and Malaysia up +7%.
While “the horsemeat scandal” raged in the West, costing high-profile retailers like Tesco millions in lost sales, China has been plagued with the “pig dumping scandal”. To date over 16,000 dead and diseased pigs were found floating in the main source of ShanghQIMA's drinking water. The discovery exposed an unknown practice apparently common in China: Underground traders buy up pigs that have died from disease and sell the pork illegally to food processing firms contracting with small importers and large retailers.
QIMA figures suggest food is increasingly becoming industrialized, with China leading the charge. Inspections of food products surged +212% from Q1 2012.
QIMA is a leading quality control services provider for importers from Asia, providing web-based account management, fast scheduling and highly competitive prices for companies seeking Product Inspection, Factory Audit and Laboratory Testing services in Asia. QIMA serves clients from over 100 countries worldwide.
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