Hong Kong: The Weavers' Boom

Hong Kong's textile industry spun a tale of woe when the U.S. and other nations imposed embargoes on its low-cost cotton goods a few years ago. With acrimony and self-pity, it predicted dwindling sales, growing unemployment and financial disaster for the industry, which employs 41% of Hong Kong's work force and manufactures 53% of its exports. Nothing of the sort has happened: Hong Kong has enjoyed boom rather than bankruptcy.

Meeting the challenge by imposing voluntary production controls, skillfully negotiating export quotas with other countries and increasing the variety and quality, the textile industry increased its exports 16.8% to a record...

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