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Shandong clothing company thrives on orders from the Middle East

By Zhu Wenqian in Beijing and Zhao Ruixue in Jinan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-05-17 07:16

Workers make clothing for customers in the Middle East at a company in Juye county, Heze. ZANG DONGMING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Employees at a clothing company in Juye county, Heze, Shandong province, have been busy making Arabic pants, with the business receiving its fourth such order this year valued at more than 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) from customers in the Middle East.

In the first quarter, Heze Zijin Clothing Co exported more than 260,000 items of clothing, a year-on-year rise of 30 percent. Based on demand, its number of orders this year is expected to surpass expectations, the company said.

Chen Li, deputy general manager, said: "The steady growth in our orders is partly due to the combined impact of a series of export policies in China, such as optimized tax refunds. By making our deliveries on time, we have also won the trust of many overseas customers."

Originally established as a poverty alleviation workshop, the company has provided jobs for more than 3,000 workers in the region, with an average monthly salary of more than 4,500 yuan. Every day, these workers make some 35,000 woven pants, with all the products exported to the Middle East.

One of those to benefit from the company's success is Wang Zhenzhen, who used to be a farmer earning an income mainly from traditional crop planting. Since the clothing company was established near her home, she has become a sewing machine operator.

After two years of learning and training, Wang became a group leader, with a monthly income of more than 6,000 yuan.

"Many women in my village start working at the factory after a short period of training. The work provides opportunities for us to make more money, and the flexible hours enable us to take care of the elderly and children," Wang said.

The company, founded in 2018, and other 11 clothing companies in the county mainly produce abaya (full-length garments worn by some Muslim women), woven pants and underwear.

Their products are exported to more than 20 countries and regions, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan.

The companies' business has not been affected greatly by fluctuations in the international market, or the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has built a long-term stable strategic partnership with customers in the Middle East.

Their clothing exports account for 65 percent to 70 percent of the market share in the Middle East, where the company enjoys a stable leading market share in Saudi Arabia.

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