China’s furniture industry
China is home to the world’s biggest woodworking and furniture manufacturing industry, much of which is concentrated in the country’s south, particularly in the provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian. Guangdong is China’s main center of furniture manufacturing.
Figures published by the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association show that exports of woodworking machinery to China have increased markedly as Chinese manufacturers invest in new equipment to keep pace with the booming local real estate market. As well as growing in terms of sheer volume, this market is becoming increasingly sensitive to quality and environmental considerations – factors that play into the hands of European machinery manufacturers in particular. Germany, for instance, grew its exports to China from 165.3 to 288.3 million euros over the period from 2016 to 2017. Italy, Austria and Switzerland likewise increased their exports to China over this period.
While much of China’s furniture industry output is sold domestically, a good deal of it is exported. In fact, China is the world’s biggest exporter of furniture, a position it has held since 2004. According to a report published by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) in April 2017, China ranks second only to Poland as Germany’s biggest supplier of furniture. The report anticipates that China’s furniture exports will decline and that domestic demand will grow on the back of an increasingly affluent middle class.
China is busy laying the groundwork for a digital future. Its plans include colossal investment in communications infrastructure, sweeping legislative changes, and financial support programs for automation and robotics.
The country is virtually without parallel in its pursuit of a concerted campaign spanning government, research, business and venture capital and aimed at pushing ahead with the digitization of its industrial base, economy and society as a whole. It is engaged in a lightning-paced restructuring process that is arguably the cornerstone of its plan to modernize its industrial base and thereby become the world’s No. 1 industrial power. The aim of the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” industrial modernization program is to move China up among the global frontrunners by 2025 and take the outright lead by 2049 (in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic).