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HOdo: fight its way through passes in China’s 40 years’ reform and opening-up

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Hodo Group, located in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, is one of the largest clothing companies in China, with sales reaching 50.3 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in 2015. The firm started by making knit vests in 1957; it has since developed 10 subsidiaries and operates in various fields including clothing, rubber tires, biomedicine and real estate.

As one of 120 pilot enterprises designated by the State Council for deepening reforms, the company has followed the government's call to "go global". It has two subsidiary corporations in New York and Los Angeles, and its products are exported to more than 20 countries and regions.

Since 2007, the group has made a significant investment in helping build the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) in Cambodia. Jointly developed by the Cambodian and Chinese governments, the zone covers an area of 11.13 square kilometers. The area has attracted more than 100 global companies, and helped create 16,000 jobs.

"The economic zone serves as a platform for Chinese businesses to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative," said Zhou Haijing, Board Chairman of Hodo Group.

Hodo's participation in the construction of SSEZ also helps boost Wuxi's economy and strengthens its partnership with Sihanoukville.

Hodo celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. According to Zhou Haijiang, the garment manufacturer has closely followed the CPC's policies during its six decades, helping it to grow from a small workshop to an industry leader with annual sales revenue of 3 billion yuan ($456 million).

As Zhou explained, private companies usually meet three major challenges: misjudging opportunity in the market, insufficient supply of talent and loose bonding between employees.

"Party building is the most effective way of addressing these challenges," he said.

For private businesses, the Party's latest policies offer the biggest opportunities, he added, with the best example being the reform and opening-up policies which helped the company's owners to innovate.

"Party building activities will help to develop an advanced corporate culture and so the employees will be nurtured. In this way, companies need not worry so much about the shortage of talent," he said.

According to Zhou, Party building activities help private companies to realize their corporate social responsibilities.

"The companies' relationships with the government, society, shareholders, employees, partners, and customers will become smoother as a result of Party building activities. Plus the bonds between the employees will have also become closer," he said.

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