During the recent ACLE, the China Leather Industry Association co-organised a seminar with the Brazil leather, shoes and leather product and component association (ASSINTECAL) on the topic of environmental protection.
CLIA's honorary president/chairman Xu Yong had this to say:
I am very glad to see that there are so many entrepreneurs who are concerned with the environment friendly leather chemicals and the communication and collaboration between the leather industries in Brazil and China. Here on behalf of the CLIA, I would like to thank you all for your attendance.
With regard to the development of the leather and tanning industry in China, I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce the following points to you.
- The leather industry in China is a big industry with a complete industry chain
The leather industry in China is made of main industries such as tanning, footwear, leather products, fur and fur goods and supporting industries such as leather chemicals and machinery. In 2006, China's leather industrial gross output value of those companies whose annual sales revenue was RMB385.2 billion (US$51.5 billion) increased by 20% over the previous year. The total pretax profit was RMB25.8 billion, up 20%.
The value of exports in 2006 which amounted to US$34.8 billion, increased by 7% over the previous year, while the value of imports was US$4.9 billion, up 19%.
- The tanning industry in China is developing at high speed and China has been ranked among the top countries for tanning in the world
With more than 2,900 enterprises for leather processing, China's leather industry mainly produces light leather. The production output of light leather in 2006 was about 0.72 billion sq m (including about 0.1 billion sq m of synthetic leathers). As estimated, cow leather accounted for about 50% of the total, pig for approximately 25%, sheep for about 20% and other leathers for around 5%.
- The tanning industry in China has a high regard for environmental protection and follows a road of sustainable development
With the rapid development of the economy in China and the continuously improving awareness of environmental protection, the Chinese government have increased environmental protection standards and strengthened their execution. Significant achievements have been made in saving energy and reducing discharges as well as wastewater treatment in the tanning industry in China. It has become the common understanding to implement clean production and follow the road of sustainable development for the development of the tanning industry in China.
In the eleventh five-year plan for national economic and social development, the target for reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP is set at about 20% and the target for cutting the total discharge of major pollutants is set at 10%. The same requirements are also specified in the eleventh five-year plan for the leather industry in China.
Currently the State Department of China is carrying out the first national investigation on the sources of pollution and the Standards for Limits of Harmful substances in Leather and Fur will be implemented from December 1 this year. The new standards for discharge of wastewater in the tanning industry will also be implemented soon.
The relevant national authorities are also going to issue the standards for establishment of new tanneries. In conclusion, practically solving the problem of environment protection has become the prerequisite for the survival and the development of the tanning industry in China.
At present, with the rapid development of the economy and the improvement of the labour cost in the southeast coastal areas in China, a trend of gradually shifting enterprises in the tanning industry to the central, western and northeast areas has occurred.
In the next few years, establishing tanning clusters will be an important measure to ensure the steady development of the industry in China. It will not only reduce the cost but also facilitate supervision, enhancing the long term healthy development of the tanning industry in China.