Made By Chinese (But Not In China)

Related entries: Business Issues, General, News, Strategy, Trading

There has been plenty in the news about cheap Chinese exports, and trade deficits , but the latest Chinese export – of hundreds of factory workers to Bacau in Romania – provides an interesting change of headline – from “Made in China” to “Made by Chinese”. The Telegraph reports:

    “…these 800 men and women, flown in from Fujian Province, are one employer’s desperate answer to a manpower problem that could cripple Europe.

    That man is Sorin Nicolescu, Romanian manager of a Swiss clothing manufacturer which turns out sportswear for labels including Prada. In his warehouse in Bacau, hundreds of sewing machines which had fallen silent are now whirring again, thanks to his newly imported labour.

    He doesn’t like having to hire abroad. It’s more expensive and the housing costs eat into his margins. But before he started recruiting in China, finding Romanians to work the machines had proved almost impossible.
    As his older workers retired, Mr Nicolescu couldn’t find anyone to replace them. Faced with stiff competition in the textile industry, his salaries, at about £175 a month, were hardly likely to lure a young Romanian with dreams of a western European wage several times that.

    A huge chunk of Romania’s workforce has already left. Of its 22 million people, an estimated two million have emigrated to save up a few lei, mostly in Italy and Spain.

    For employers such as Mr Nicolescu back in Romania, where the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since the Ceausescu dictatorship, there is simply no one left to hire.

    The Romanian government knows it. The Romanian prime minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who is in London today, is currently exhorting his fellow citizens to come home. “We are having a crisis of the labour force and we should make a common effort to try to attract Romanians who are working abroad to come back,” he said last month.

    A day earlier, his finance minister, Varujan Vosganian, had put a figure on the crisis, saying Romania lacked half a million workers.”

Romania’s imports will not stop with the 800 Chinese. More are expected from China, as well as India, Pakistan, Moldova and Turkey. And the imports are unlikely to stop with Romania. The article points to a McKinsey report that suggests Germany may need 6 million more workers by 2020. As Europe’s population declines, where will the new workers come from? Will countries like China be happy to send large numbers of workers overseas? And how far will these workers be welcomed and allowed to integrate into their surroundings?

Migration of workers within the expanded Europe has already been a big story (and it is now very easy to find Polish sausages and newspapers in London!). Perhaps migration from outside Europe will be the next story.

Another sign of a global economy at work.

See news source:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.