Four-Year Report of ISU (2015.10.23 - 2019.12.4)
Mr. Li Jilin Chairman of International Silk Union
Distinguished leaders and guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Today is the fourth time we get together by the beautiful West Lake for holding the 2019 International Silk Union Members Assembly, which aims to report the work since the convening of founding members assembly, change the organization of the union, discuss the future work direction and the key topic about the healthy and steady development of the international silk industry. First of all, I would like to extend a warm welcome and sincere gratitude to all the attendees on behalf of International Silk Union (ISU).
ISU is an international and specialized non-profit social organization in which enterprises and related organizations from the silk producing and consuming countries participate voluntarily. It aims to promote mutual exchange and cooperation of the silk industry around the world, promote the progress and development in international silk culture, education, scientific research, design, production, standards and testing, trade as well as consumption, and build a good exchange and cooperation platform for the international silk industry.
Since April 2015, Cathaya Group and Hangzhou Oriental Silk Culture and Brand Research Center have taken the lead and discussed with relevant silk enterprises and organizations all around the world. Through half-year full preparation, the Preparatory Meeting and Assembly of International Silk Union was convened in Hangzhou on October 23, 2015. The foundation and development of the union has also won the support and recognition from People’s Government of Zhejiang Province, China National Cocoon and Silk Coordination Office, China Silk Association, Economy and Information Technology Commission and Department of Commerce of Zhejiang Province, as well as Hangzhou City Development Research Center.
After the foundation, the union actively develop the key silk producing and consuming enterprises and organizations from all over the world and expand the member scale. At present, there has been 123 enterprises and organizations from 20 countries and regions joining ISU, including Italy, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Poland, Japan, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore, USA, Australia, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Laos, China, Hong Kong(China), among which there are 38 executive director units and 6 vice-chairman units. Especially Italian Silk Office, INTERSOIE France, Vietnam Sericulture Association, Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission, and Brazilian Silk Association, which have spread great impact on hundreds of silk enterprises.
During the period of four years, adhering to the purpose of “Communication and Cooperation, Development with Concerted Efforts”, and thanks to the enthusiastic cooperation of member units, the union held twice members assemblies and twice chairman enlarged meetings, four times international silk industry forums and seminars, organized multiple silk industry and culture exchange activities among member countries, improved the construction of the union secretariat, established and updated the union information publishing platform. A series of excellent works have been carried out. they are listed as follows:
1.Building the communication platform to promote exchanges and cooperation
(1) Convening twice members assemblies and twice chairman enlarged meetings
Since the establishment, the union has been making efforts to act as a platform for the interconnection, mutual construction and benefit for the international silk industry. So far, ISU has convened twice members assemblies and twice chairman enlarged meetings reporting annual work, discussing work plan of the next year and the key issues of the healthy steady development of international silk industry. Especially the chairman enlarged meeting of 2018 was held successfully in Como, Italy, winning positive support and assistance from Italian Silk Office and creating a successful case of holding ISU meeting in other regions.
(2)Four times group participating in Vietnam silk industry exchange activities
On invitation of local governments and member units in Vietnam, the union has organized representatives of member units to attend 2016 Vietnam-Asia Silk Cultural Festival, 2017 Vietnam- International Silk Cultural Festival, 2017 Vietnam Bao Loc Silk-Tea Culture Week and 2019 Vietnam- International Silk and Brocade Cultural Festival. Through the activities, ISU members have learned about the situation of the silk industry in Vietnam, experienced the silk-related historic culture of Vietnam, and discussed the possibilities for cooperation between Vietnam and the foreign silk enterprises. In Bao Loc, the union signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Vietnam Sericulture Association to deepen exchanges and cooperation. After back from visit, the union wrote and published the “Brief Analysis of Silk Development Prospect in Vietnam” as an industry investigation report forwarded to Bao Loc Municipal Government and Vietnam Sericulture Association. The main content of the report covers activity profile, current situation of the silk industry, silk development space and priorities, and feasibility analysis for investment and cooperation in Vietnam.
(3)Twice group investigating the silk industry in Cambodia
In 2017, invited by Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, the union organized ISU Chinese member units to investigate the silk industry in Cambodia. Ministry of Commerce arranged high-level business conference and all-around industry investigation. The union composed an investigation report based on the impressions and suggestions to make in-depth analysis of requirements, possible cooperation and future investment proposed by Cambodia side and put forward feasible strategies and solutions. The report was forwarded to the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia and Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission, meanwhile also submitted to China National Cocoon and Silk Coordination Office and Zhejiang Provincial Cocoon and Silk Coordination Office, and published in both Chinese and English in Journal of Silk. In August 2019, the union was invited again to meet with the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Ministry of Industry of Cambodia, also visited the member silk enterprises in Cambodia to continuously deepen exchanges and cooperation.
(4)Group participating in the Lyon silk exhibition of French Silk Festival
In 2018, on invitation of INTERSOIE France, the union organized Chinese member silk enterprises to attend Lyon silk exhibition of 2018 France Silk Festival to present traditional Chinese silk culture and features, after the chairman enlarged meeting in Como. This was the first time that INTERSOIE France invited foreign silk enterprises for exhibition. President and vice president of Lyon Metropolis, mayor of Lyon Municipal Government and other local leaders visited Chinese boutique silk exhibition zone. The Chinese silk products were also very popular with local citizens. During the silk festival, the union secretariat and representatives of member enterprises were invited to attend the special Chinese style grand dinner on the opening ceremony of France Silk Festival, and the working conference about Lyon Municipal Government’s preparation for building “International Silk Cities Network”. The union delegation also visited Lyon silk products exhibition, Lyon Textile Museum and the silk enterprises in Lyon. In November 2019, the union was invited again to attend 2019 French Silk Festival and the signing ceremony of “International Silk Cities Network”, led by Lyon Metropolis, Lyon Municipal Government and INTERSOIE France. At the same time, the union gives full play to the role of international bridges and helps to connect Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province and Nanchong City, Sichuan Province of China to join the network, promoting multiparty exchanges and cooperation.
(5)Visiting member units among countries and regions
Since the foundation, the union secretariat has visited dozens of silk enterprises and industrial organizations among member countries and regions one after the other, including Italy, France, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and also include Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, Sichuan, Guangxi, Chongqing province of China. Meanwhile, the member units also came to visit the secretariat always, including Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and the member enterprises in China. Exchange visits have helped the secretariat acquire an in-depth knowledge of fundamental state of each member unit, take their suggestions on the work of the union secretariat, strengthen “service” awareness and offer convenience and support to the member units better.
(6) Carrying out lateral exchanges and cooperation
With the developing of the union, the influence is promoted progressively, and lateral communication and cooperation also increase gradually, as follows. Presided over the “China Silk Innovation and Development Salon” of the 126th China Import and Export Fair on the invitation of China National Cocoon and Silk Coordination Office; tried best to facilitate and offer contact support for international exploratory visit of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel, China Fashion Association, Hangzhou Government, Huzhou Government and Sichuan Silk Association, and for the exchange visits among member units of the union and members of the committees; wrote a recommendation letter for Italian Silk Office to apply to join the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO; offered assistance to the “International Training Program for Modern Silk Product Processing Technology and Innovative Design” of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University in recruiting interna- tional trainees; helped China National Silk Museum in carrying out a series of activities, including “A World of Looms: Weaving Technology and Textile Arts in China and Beyond” and “Khmer Evening”, and took an active part in the international silk industry activities.
2.Discussing industry issues to build development consensus
(1)Holding the International Seminar on Silk Fashion Design and Development Trend
During the chairman enlarged meeting in 2016, the union and Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (the vice chairman unit of ISU) jointly held the International Seminar on Silk Fashion Design and Development Trend, at which more than 120 experts, scholars and enterprise representatives in the silk filed from France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Brazil, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, China and Hong Kong(China) attended for in-depth exchange about the sustainable development of silk, challenges faced by the high-end fashion industry in Europe, fashion design of silk, innovation and development of China’s silk industry.
(2)Holding the international silk forum and the symposium
During the members assembly in 2017, the union and the organizing committee of China International Silk Expo jointly held the Belt and Road Forum for International Silk, and the union also held the Symposium on Sustainable Development of Silk Industry. More than 150 representatives of silk industry from Italy, France, Greece, Brazil, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong(China) attended the events for in-depth exchanges about the direction and approach of sustainable development of the world silk industry in the context of the “Belt and Road Initiative”. During the forum, the union and Cambodia Silk Sector Promotion and Development Commission signed a strategic cooperation agreement to deepen exchanges and cooperation.
(3) Holding the Seminar on World Silk Industry Development Trend
During the chairman enlarged meeting in 2018, the union and Italian Silk Office (the vice-chairman unit of ISU) jointly held the Seminar on World Silk Industry Development Trend. More than 90 industry representatives from Italy, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong(China) attended the seminar for further strengthening international exchange of silk enterprises, accurately grasp the new trend of the international silk market and promote healthy and steady development of silk industry.
(4) Carrying out the research project “Millennials, Fashion, Sustainable Development and Silk”
The international research project named “Millennials, Fashion, Sustainable Development and Silk” was carried out in 2018 for the purpose of fully understanding the perception of women in the millennial generation on sustainable development, fashion and responsible consumption of silk. The project was launched by ISU Brazilian member unit, and won support from ISU and assistance from Italian Silk Office and INTERSOIE France. An online questionnaire survey of 2500 women in the millennial generation from China, Italy, France, Germany, and the United States, was conducted by an American professional research company. Conclusions were drawn via data analysis and summary, and then a report was developed. The union secretariat has sought for opinions and suggestions from Italian Silk Office, INTERSOIE France and some Chinese member unit representatives for every link of the project. The report was released at the chairman enlarged meeting in 2018 after nearly one year’s fully preparation.
At the same time, union made a promotional video in Chinese, English, Italian and French respectively, which was widely shared and spread in the fields of silk industry and fashion design around the world. The member units also took active actions to help propagandizing and popularizing the project results.
Promotional video - Italian Silk Office applicable version
(5) Reaching “World silk, Hangzhou consensus”
At the members assembly in 2017, more than 100 silk industry representatives from Italy, France, Brazil, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Greece, China and Hong Kong (China) reached the “World silk, Hangzhou consensus”, which has contributed to promote the healthy, steady and sustainable development of the global silk industry.
3.Carrying out professional research to accumulate exchange results
At the chairman enlarged meeting in 2016, the union set up five professional committees including the History Culture, Education Research, Technical Innovation, Fashion Design, and Trade Manufacture. Among all of them, four committees have convened the founding meeting and carried out a series of related works, while the Trade Manufacture Professional Committee is still being established. At present, there has been more than 70 experts, scholars and entrepreneurs coming from all over the world joining the committees and being the valuable think tank for the union, who were mainly nominated by the director of each committee and also invited by the union secretariat.
(1) History Culture Professional Committee
The director of the ISU History Culture Professional Committee is Zhao Feng, the vice-chairman of ISU and the curator of China National Silk Museum. The committee aims to promote the historical and cultural research and inheritance of the international silk industry. There are 13 experts and scholars from Italy, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Greece and China joining the committee. The first meeting was held successfully in Lyon, France in December 2017. The second meeting was held in Buyeo, South Korea in November 2018, and the third meeting was held in Kizlovodsk, Russia in September 2019.
(2) Education Research Professional Committee
The director of ISU Education Research Professional Committee is Chen Wenxing, the vice-chairman of ISU and the president of Zhejiang Sci-Tech University. Committee aims to promote the development of education, training and scientific research of the international silk industry. The committee is comprised of 16 experts and scholars from Brazil, Poland, Thailand, Australia, India and China. The first meeting was held in Hangzhou, China in October 2018. The second meeting was also held in Hangzhou in September 2019, at which the participants deeply discussed the future development of silk-related scientific research and education from the aspects of silk education model, innovative development of modern silk technology, key research projects and the international training of sericulture and silk.
(3) Technical Innovation Professional Committee
The director of ISU Technical Innovation Professional Committee is Giuseppe Bianchi, the former vice-chairman of ISU and the former president of Italian Silk Office. The committee aims to promote technological research and innovation of the international silk industry. The committee is comprised of 16 experts and scholars from Italy, France, Switzerland, Brazil, India Myanmar and China. The first meeting was held in Como, Italy in November 2018, which committee members and related expert representatives in silk technology field attended, and a special topic about the electronic raw silk detection grading standard was discussed.
(4) Fashion Design Professional Committee
The director of the ISU Fashion Design Professional Committee is Xavier LEPINGLE, the vice-chairman of ISU and the president of INTERSOIE France. The committee aims to promote the fashion and design leading and innovation of the international silk industry. There are 15 experts and scholars from France, Italy, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. The first meeting was held in Lyon, France in November 2018 which committee members and experts in silk fashion design field attended for in-depth understanding and communication.
4.Expanding communication routes to publicize silk road culture
(1) Cooperating and producing the telefilm about silk culture with CCTV Station
To enhance the cultural exchange of the international silk industry with silk as a link, the union and CCTV Station cooperated and produced the telefilm named “City to City—Hangzhou, China·Como, Italy”. The film crew shot in Como (the center silk city in Italy) and Hangzhou (the center silk city in China), and the two cities had conversation about silk. The film was set to air on CCTV International Channel in October 2017 with the joint efforts of the shooting team.
(2) Cooperating with China Zhejiang TV Station International to shoot silk cultural documentary
In 2018, the union was invited to produce the three-episode TV documentary themed by silk and humanity titled “Oriental Splendor – Silk” jointly with China Zhejiang TV Station International Channel. Through coordination and contact by the union secretariat, the crew has shot 180-hour footage in Italy, France, UK, Brazil, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya and China to fully reflect the current situation and develop of the world silk industry in the aspects of sericulture, reeling, weaving, fashion design, cultural inheritance, and exchange and cooperation. The premiere of the film was on via Zhejiang TV Station International Channel in December 2018. In the process of later period promotion, more than 140 reviews were solicited, among which 13 were published in newspapers and periodicals and 35 were selected to be published on the World Silk Website. The autograph album of the “Oriental Splendor – Silk” was jointly produced by the crew and Hangzhou Oriental Silk Culture and Brand Research Center.
(3) Publishing articles on the international silk industry
During the union group investigations, the secretariat wrote a series of industry comments, including “Hangzhou and Como: Shaking Hands in the Name of Silk”, “Exploration of Khmer Silk”, “Analysis on Development Space of Silk Industry in Africa (I) (II)”, “The Maritime Silk Road and Silk in Southeast Asia”, and “The Brand Road of Hangzhou Silk”, etc., all of which were published in related newspapers, periodicals and new medias.
5.Establishing work mechanism and strengthening system construction
(1) Strengthening and improving the construction of the union secretariat
Since the convening of the founding members assembly in October, 2015, the union has set up the secretariat in Hangzhou, China, formulated the work regulation for the secretariat, finished the union registration and filing, designed and registered the logo of the union. The daily management work of the union is under the responsibility of the secretariat, including holding regular office meetings, communicating timely about the phase work and implementing the next stage of the work plan.
(2) Establishing and promoting the union information publishing platform
The platform is comprised of the secretariat’s e-mail, the union wechat group, the Word Silk Website and the wechat official account. In four years, the secretariat has dealt with more than 3,700 e-mails and kept close contact with all member units. The revision and upgrade have been carried out in the World Silk Website to adapt the development need of the new media. And there have been more than 2,200 articles and over 100,000 visits in the period of four years. Besides, the wechat official account has published more than 1,740 articles, among which there are 230 more original reports, and has gained over 116,000 page views and 7,200 follows, some of who are international visitors. From 2018, the secretariat starts to publish the quarterly work reports to show the work carried out by the union in stages. After sending to the vice-chairmen of the union for advice, the reports are sent to member units via email, and released in both Chinese and English on the World Silk Website, the wechat official account and the wechat group of the union so as to improve the transparency and effectiveness of union work.
6.Making fully preparations for members assembly
(1) To make great preparations for this members assembly efficiently in a good order, the secretariat has convened the office meeting many times to discuss arrangement, schedule, and content for the assembly, coordinate and implement all links, and prepare the related meeting materials.
(2) During the preparation, the chairman and secretariat visited the vice-chairmen, professional committee directors, and some representatives of member units to discuss the assembly topics and the committee work, and take opinions and suggestions from industry representatives. The union also kept in close touch with Italian Silk Office and INTERSOIE France via email to implement the related work.
(3) Before the assembly, the secretariat sent the modified version of the “Four-year Report of ISU” to the vice-chairmen for further advice and suggestions, which was received their support and approval.
7.Future Direction of International Silk Union
(1) Enhancing cooperation and exchange to support industrial development
To absorb new members and further promote the work of the committees. The union will continue to adhere to the purpose of “Communication and Cooperation Development with Concerted Efforts”, keep in touch with member units and stick with absorbing and developing new member units. In the future, the union will organize the Trade Manufacture Professional Committee to convene the first meeting as soon as possible and make great efforts to assist and guide all the committees to implement practical work. Hoping that the committees will continue to strengthen construction, gradually increase new members from various countries, actively carry out the academic exchange activities, and promote mutual understanding, communication, win-win cooperation and interactive development of the international silk industry through brainstorming, experience sharing, wisdom and cohesion pooling.
To enhance industry cooperation among the members and provide conditions for realizing cooperation. Over the past four years, the union has conducted various exchange and interaction activities around the world. On this basis, the union not only has to consolidate the interaction among the member units, but also enhance communication with other silk producing and consumer countries, to become the large platform for exchange and cooperation of the world silk industry.
(2) Gathering industry resources and actively making suggestions
Since the establishment, the union has attempted to communicate and cooperate with government departments at all levels among countries, including Lyon City of France, Como City of Italy, Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Quang Nam Province and Bao Loc City of Vietnam, Shengzhou City and Nanchong City of China. Although the union is merely a platform for communication and service, the member units own a lot of resources, which can strive for supports of the governments via negotiation, convergence and project promotion, and offer policy suggestions based on investigation and survey.
(3) Gathering industry data and deepening service content
World Silk Website and weChat official account, as the official communication platform of the union, will continuously forward and post the silk trade data of China, Europe, Italy, India, Turkey, Brazil, Thailand and Japan etc. for reference by all the member units. The union plans to continually gather data on the international silk industry, and build a data acquisition system with reference value through contrastive researches and analyses to serve member units and industry development in the following four years.
(4) Increasing income while reducing expenditure, and improving service value
Since the foundation, the union has received donations amount to 1,700,000 yuan, which is used for the working cost of the secretariat. Cathaya Group (the chairman unit of ISU) donated 1,000,000 yuan, High Fashion International Group (the vice-chairman unit of ISU) donated 500,000 yuan, and Hangzhou Oriental Silk Culture and Brand Research Center (the secretary-general unit of ISU) donated 200,000 yuan. Over the past four years, the member units and related functional departments have offered substantial support in respect of activity logistics, venues and conference gifts, including the organizing committee of China International Silk Expo, Italian Silk Office, INTERSOIE France, Vietnam Sericulture Association, Hoi An Silk Group, Zhejiang Cathaya Group, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou Oriental Silk Culture and Brand Research Center, Hangzhou Yihui Culture Creativity Co., Ltd., Chongqing Wintus New Star Enterprises Group, and Hangzhou Honghua Digital Technology Co., Ltd., etc. The union is appreciative to the units mentioned above for their donations and supports, and hopes that all the member units can actively participate, continue to support and care about the union, so as to enrich the work content, improve the service quality and enhance the service value. The secretariat will continue to adhere to the principle of diligence, thrift and personnel streamlining, strengthen management, make careful calculations, insist fund exclusive use and do more with the minimum expenditure. Meanwhile, the secretariat will also stick with staying in touch with the member units, take opinions and suggestions, implement relevant services effectively, carry out special exchange activities, and act as a platform for the world silk industry on behalf of the union.
Considering unbalanced development of silk industry around the world, there may be some gaps in historic culture study, research and development of products, design, standard establishment, production, trade and consumption. Over the past four years since the establishment, union has been sticking to the work concept of “Service is supreme”, and always working on exchange and interaction among member units, to gain more common ground, promote cooperation and achieve joint development. We energetically explored and gathered experience, did some work to narrow the gap, and finally made some progress and enhanced the influence in the industry. We know that the union has not reached the expectation of all the member units yet. We realize that the vitality of an industry association lies in service-generated value and can win living and development space only by rendering good services. The healthy and steady development of the union can not be achieved without the substantial support of the member units. Thus, we hope all the members can actively participate and cooperate. We will earnestly do the best for the union and make contributions to the development of silk industry together with all of you.
Finally, I wish the assembly a complete success! I sincerely wish the international silk industry prosperity! I also wish all the guests a good trip, good health, and light heart!