Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forecasting China's Fortunes: Introduction to "China Opportunity" Series

Jim Gould I have just returned from a whirlwind, nine-day, 11 factory tour of China, traveling from Shanghai (east) to the Tibetan Plateau (west), from Weihai (north) to Hong Kong (south) and points in between, seeing more people and buildings than most Americans can imagine. I’ll be posting here and publishing articles over the coming months about the opportunities I see for floor covering and China’s market economy. So stay tuned.

Even though I have been traveling to China for nearly 20 years, this trip was eye opening. While the world is mired in the worst recession in 75 years, China continues to grow. Building cranes abound, not one or two but hundreds in every city I visited. Massive high rise housing projects are rushing to meet the demand of the largest rural to urban migration in the history of the world. Their skylines stand testament to western forecasts that by 2015 roughly half the world’s construction will take place in China, and by 2020 their construction boom will exceed 200 billion square meters. Of course, the fact that every new floor is an opportunity to sell floor covering was not lost on me.

Picture: Shanghai Tower, slated for completion in 2014, will rise 2,000 feet
about Pudong’s Lujiazui district and will be the second tallest building in the world.
Shanghai Tower
Equally fascinating is the size and configuration of China’s floor covering industry, product categories, market share, channels to the consumer, manufacturing methods, product innovation, imports vs. domestic production, and so on. They are both the world’s largest exporter and the largest importer of many different products. Their burgeoning market economy (a topic in and of itself for a later post) cannot be ignored and demands the attention of every forward thinking businessman.

Buyers and sellers take note - this region presents incredible opportunities for imports, partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. If not you, someone else will meet that call. Stay tuned as I share more specifics about this trip and the Chinese markets and opportunities.
Meanwhile, send me any questions or topics of interest you might have about China via email at jgould@floorcoveringinstitute.com.

Jim


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