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    Shanghai fashion sector 'must challenge foreign brands'

    A leading figure of the Shanghai fashion industry is calling for more local brands to challenge their foreign counterparts.
    "We lack our own top fashion brands and a few local brands can't compete with foreign counterparts for a major market share," said Ge Wenyao, president of the Shanghai International Fashion Federation.

    He made the remarks at a fashion forum sponsored by the federation on Friday.

    His views were echoed by Ping Yi, vice-president of the Sequoia Capital China Fund.

    Ping cited Estee Lauder, a major cosmetics brand in the United States, saying it has a market value of 167.6 billion yuan ($27.3 billion), while China's Jahwa has only 30 billion yuan in market value.

    "The comparison shows a gap between the two but also indicates a big market potential for the local fashion industry," Ping said.

    Ge retired as chairman of the Shanghai Jahwa United Co Ltd two months ago and joined the federation.

    "My purpose is to help federation members develop more high-end consumer brands and establish more fashion brands in the city," Ge said.

    The first thing he did as federation president was to bring in more enterprises as members, including fashion manufacturers, high-end service firms in the fashion industry, brand companies, head-hunting agents and model companies.

    "I plan to introduce funds and private equity capital to help domestic enterprises solve problems in management systems and funding shortages," Ge said.

    He said China has many enterprises hampered by an inflexible system and these enterprises need a sot in the arm.

    Five funds have invited him to join them in launching projects, he said.

    "I am considering getting involved in one fund to launch 10 projects," he said.

    From China Daily

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