People's Republic of China │ 中华人民共和国

China is the world's largest exporter of textiles, with annual export revenues of US$150 billion at last count and an annual share of GDP at 7.1 per cent. More than 8 million people are employed in the textile industry. All stages of textile production are found in China. Most of the raw materials come from national markets. Besides the export of mostly higher quality products, a large part of the production is for the national market.

Since China's accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001, the expiration of the World Textile Agreement at the end of 2004, and the lifting of trade restrictions imposed by the U.S. and the EU a few years later, the Chinese textile and garment industry has experienced unprecedented growth. China rose to become the most important player in world trade for textiles and apparel and is not only an important trading partner of the USA and EU, but also of many countries in Asia and Africa.

Country Profile


1,439,324,000 (2020)

Gross Domestic Product

constant USD

8,254 (2019)

Human Development Index Ranking

HDI (out of 189 countries)

85 (2019)


Garment/Textile Workers

Number of workers in the garment/textile sector


Women Workers in the Garment/Textile Industry

Percentage of women workers employed in the garment/textile industry


Number of Garment/Textile Factories

Number of factories in the garment/textile industry


Garment/Textile Industry Exports

(USD$ billion)


Garment/Textile Industry Size

Percentage of total exports


Key Garment/Textile Export Markets

Top five countries ($USD value exported and subsequent percentage)

Country Percentage of Exports
United States 16.0%
Japan 6.6%
Vietnam 5.8%
Hong Kong 4.0%
United Kingdom 3.8%

Government Entities

Government agencies actively involved in the garment/textile industry

Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM)
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS)
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Worker Organizations

Trade unions, Union federations, and other worker organizations

All-China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU)

Employer/Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce

Employers and industry related associations, private sectors associations and chambers of commerce

China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC)
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT)

Development Agencies/ International Organizations

National and international development organizations working within the garment/textile industry

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH FABRIC
Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE/ILO)
Responsible Supply Chains in Asia
Global Deal for Decent Work and Inclusive Growth
Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)
Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development (CSD)
Emerging Market Sustainability Dialogues (EMSD)
Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia (SRECA)

Civil Society Organizations/ Non-governmental Organizations

Organizations working within the garment/textile industry

Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT)



Environmental law, policy, and initiatives

According to official from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environmental (MEE), the textile industry was the 3rd largest source of industrial wastewater in China in 2015. In 2015, the industry produced 1.84 billion tons of wastewater effluent, accounting for 10.1% of China’s total industrial wastewater discharge.


Sources of data provided

  1. Population:
  2. GDP Per Capita:
  3. HDI:
  4. Garment / Textile Workers: China National Bureau of Statistics – according to the 4th China Economic Census in 2018, there are 322,000 enterprises in the textile, garment and accessory industry.
  5. Women Workers in the Garment /Textile Industry: CARE 2017: Made by women. Dignified Work in Asia Impact Report 2017, verfügbar unter  (Stand 18.11.2019).
  6. Number of Garment / Textile Factories: China National Bureau of Statistics – according to the 4th China Economic Census in 2018, the industry employing 10,539,000 people.
  7. Garment / Textile Industry Export Market,15912&sCS_ChosenLang=en  2019 Merchandise trade matrix – exports of individual economies in thousands United States dollars, annual (SITC codes 26, 65, 84, 85): Total of Garment (Textiles and Apparel) and Footwear categories; Percentage of Garment and Footwear categories per country divided by total Garment and Footwear categories, Total countries.
  8. Garment / Textile Industry Size World Trade Organization 2019: World Trade Statistical Review 2019, available from (Stand 18.11.2019).
  9. Key Garment / Textile Export Markets 
  10. Environment MEE 2015: Annual report of environmental statistics in China 2015,
  11. Social & Labour 
  12. Gender ILO calculation based on labour force survey in Cambodia 2019 Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) – Annual. Employment ISIC codes 13-15.

News on China

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Migrant workers ditch stipends against holiday travel, leave early

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Resources on China

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Business Resilience Guides: Guides for garment factories to build resilience during and after COVID-19

The ILO provides a series of six action-oriented guides for garment factories in Asia to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to build business resilience. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the series.


Arron Goldman  | August 08, 2021

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GIZ FABRIC Asia  | July 16, 2021

Conference on Chemical Management in the Chinese Textile and Footwear Production - Speakers' bios and Agenda


GIZ FABRIC Asia  | June 23, 2021

Recording from the Conference on Chemical Management in the Chinese Textile and Footwear Production

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GIZ FABRIC Asia  | July 15, 2021

Recording from the Conference on Chemical Management in the Textile and Footwear Production - forums 2 & 4

27.05.2021, organised by GIZ FABRIC, Zalando and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles 中国纺织服装及制鞋生产行业的化学品管理会议, 27.05.2021 Session 3: Practical tools and solutions to address chemical management challenges (with topic related parallel sessions) 第三部分:面对化学品管理挑战的实用工具和解决方案 ...


GIZ FABRIC Asia  | July 15, 2021

Latest progress of chemical environmental management policies in China

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GIZ FABRIC Asia  | July 16, 2021

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Arron Goldman  | July 05, 2021

CHINA - Employment and Environmental Sustainability Fact Sheet 2019


Arron Goldman  | July 06, 2021