Source: Xinhua

04-20-2009 16:58

Special Report:   Global Financial Crisis

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Most people are alarmed when their power bills rise. But Wang Wenxu has been happily watching electricity consumption increase at his company for the last two months.

Belt maker Chengda Belt, where Wang is a senior manager, is based in the city of Wenzhou in eastern China, home to almost 300,000 small and medium-sized private export firms that manufacture everything from shoes to sunglasses for consumers around the world.

Since the end of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Chengda has seen overseas orders rise, assembly lines running at almost full capacity and more than 650 staff working overtime. More importantly, it's in profit again.

"In the last two months, total orders are 1 to 2 percent more than the same period last year," Wang says.

With production up, Chengda uses more electricity. In the last two months, Chengda paid 70,000 yuan (10,248 U.S. dollars) for almost 70,000 kilowatt-hours of power to produce up to 1.35 million belts each month.

In contrast, late last year when China's export industries were hard hit by plunging global demand due to the financial crisis, Chengda consumed just 20,000 kilowatt-hours a month.

"At that time, our foreign orders dropped by more than 40 percent. We produced about 600,000 belts a month and for every belt, we lost 2 U.S. dollars," Wang said.

At peak times before the export slump, Chengda consumed more than 80,000 kilowatt-hours of power and produced about 1.5 million belts a month, 80 percent of which were shipped to American and European markets.