Building naturally

When visitors walked around the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo last year, many of them probably also stood on a part of Zhejiang province.That is because the outdoor floorboards were made of bamboo provided by  a Zhejiang company.

Set up in 2002 with a registered capital of 1.1 million yuan (117,500 euros), the company, which has less than 60 employees, specializes in outdoor bamboo furnishings.

It raked in more than 10 million yuan in revenue last year, with more than 50 percent of the earnings coming from exports. Of those, 70 percent went to customers in Europe and the United States.

The plant is well known in Zhejiang, especially in Anji county, where there are more than 60,000 hectares of designated bamboo groves.

It is also an important part of Chinese aesthetics that feature prominently in the landscaping of the provincial capital Hangzhou, which draws countless visitors from home and abroad as a cultural center.

“Currently, there are at most three companies nationwide focusing on such outdoor bamboo furnishings and we possess leading technology to reprocess the material for such products,” Wang says.

“With the development of China’s economy and globalization, bamboo products will become increasingly popular.”

Jiang Jianchun, a researcher with the China Academy of Forestry Science, says bamboo products hold a lot of potential in China because they are environmentally friendly.

Compared with wood, bamboo is a kind of grass that grows much faster and is more easily recycled. The government is also providing more subsidies for these kinds of low-carbon industries.

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