Facilitator witnesses China rush

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 12:00am

Hong Kong-based trade facilitator Global Sources has seen dramatic changes in the merchandise sourcing business over the past year, according to chief executive Merle Hinrichs.

The company had witnessed a slowdown as buyers cancelled or postponed orders in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, followed by a shift of manufacturing activity to China after the mainland joined the World Trade Organisation, Mr Hinrichs said.

China now accounted for 35 per cent of Global Sources' revenues, up from 29 per cent last year and less than 10 per cent five years ago, he said.

Nasdaq-listed Global Sources serves a customer base of more than 337,000 active buyers around the world through a variety of media including print and online.

The company, which has operated an online market place for six years, last week reported a 13-fold year-on-year increase in net income to US$970,000 for the second quarter to June 30. However, revenue declined 11.3 per cent to US$21.2 million.

Mr Hinrichs said he remained bullish about Asia's export economy and was particularly hopeful of China's prospects.

The mainland's manufacturing industry would continue to grow 'without question', he said.

Mr Hinrichs said barring unforeseen events, the global economy would be positive and Global Sources would be looking to grow internationally and in China as consumer spending in the US stabilised and manufacturers began to realise that they 'really have not much choice apart from to manufacture in China'.