The evolution and future of textile manufacturing in China with Wilkie Wong of Esquel Group


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This week on China Corner Office, Chris Marquis talks with Wilkie Wong, Managing Director of Production Planning and Logistics at Esquel Group, a US $1.3-billion vertically integrated apparel enterprise founded in 1978 and headquartered in Hong Kong. Esquel is one of the world’s largest producers of premium cotton shirts, with manufacturing operations in China, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Wilkie reflects on the evolution of the textile manufacturing sector in China and how Esquel’s strategy of investing in people and community has led to greater productivity which allows the company to maintain competitiveness even with raising labor rates. Also discussed is the role of automation in manufacturing, how an OEM can expand into to branded product lines, and Esquel’s efforts to overturn US sanctions on one of its Xinjiang cotton milling plants.