Today in the news on-line 25 March 2012

THAILAND
Free Somyot:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has urged Thai
authorities to release Voice of Taksin magazine editor-in-chief Somyot
Prueksakasemsuk, who is being detained without bail pending a verdict
in his ongoing trial on charges of lese majeste.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/285659/international-journalists-free-somyot
&
http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-calls-for-immediate-release-of-senior-journalist-in-thailand

CHINA
China becomes New Zealand’s biggest wool export market:
China has become the main market for New Zealand wool, taking almost
half the exports, as the European market declines and sales to
Australia plunge, according to an industry official.
Wool Exporters Council president John Dawson said the problems in the
Euro-zone and the increasing strength of China as the world ‘s major
textiles producer had seen a marked swing in where New Zealand wool
sold. “Compared to last season, our European customers are taking much
less wool, with exports down 14.5 percent,” Dawson said in a statement
Friday.

more at:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/23/c_131485264.htm

Intertextile to feature latest apparel fabric trends:
Intertextile Beijing Apparel Fabrics opens for three days on 28 March
2012 and will house a complete range of apparel fabrics and accessories
targeting mass to luxury market buyers.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109319

Rising Chinese wages a headache for US firms:
After decades of US caterwauling about the crippling impact of China’s
low labor costs on domestic manufacturing, firms state-side now fret
about the impact of rising Chinese wages, reports AFP.
First came anger, then depression and then acceptance. In the three
decades since Deng Xiaoping began opening China’s economy, US
manufacturers have gone through something resembling Elisabeth
Kuebler-Ross’s five stages of grief.
Industry cried foul, then groped around for solutions, before accepting
the rules of the game had changed—deciding to make a buck by offshoring
some of their own production to China.
To be sure, there are still frequent spasms of anger over China’s
ability to produce goods at “unfair” prices, notably in election years.
But the bitter pain of jobs lost and factories closed has been
sweetened just slightly over the years.
Using cheap Chinese laborers has resulted in $499 iPads, bumper
corporate profits and—in turn—fatter pensions for those who have
stock-based plans.

more at:
http://www.newstoday.com.bd/index.php?option=details&news_id=57032&date=2012-03-25

PHILIPPINES
ILO: 2.4 million child laborers in Philippines:
An estimated 2.4 million children with ages ranging from nine to 17 are
“employed” across the country, a report from the International Labor
Organization said.
Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano cited the data yesterday as
he called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to step up efforts
to curb child labor in the country.
Cayetano expressed concern about the figure and the fact that many of
these child laborers are street children who are most vulnerable to
exploitation.
He urged the DOLE and DSWD to undertake a joint nationwide campaign
aimed at creating higher awareness on child labor and exploitation to
protect the vulnerable children against those who exploit their
innocence.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=63&articleId=790746

Binay Cites Filipino-Indian Businessmen:
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Thursday night paid tribute to the
Filipino-Indian community, saying that it is an active though silent
mover of the Philippine economy.
In a speech during the induction ceremony and general membership
meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Philippines)
Inc. (FICCI) at a hotel in Makati, the Vice President thanked
Filipino-Indian businessmen “for having poured so much into the
economic foundations of our country.”
“The Filipino-Indian community is an active mover of our economy in
industries as diverse as garment exports and Business Process
Outsourcing industry.
Your chambers and your federation have done much to further our mutual
cause, and your contributions are eclipsed only by your desire to serve
the cause of nation-building quietly.
In a world where publicity is more coveted than gold, I applaud your
heroic simplicity,” Binay said.

more at:
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/355239/binay-cites-filipinoindian-businessmen

Business sector protests too many non-working days:
The business community has risen as one in protest over too many
non-working, paid holidays. In a series of letters sent to Malacañang
and both houses of Congress, business organizations led by the Joint
Foreign Chambers of Commerce in the Philippines have asked top
government officials to stop legalizing more non-working holidays.

more at:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=66&articleId=790649

PH most underrated country in the world, says Purisima:
The Philippines is the most underrated country in the world, Finance
Secretary Cesar Purisima said yesterday during a forum organized by the
Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

more at:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/03/24/12/ph-most-underrated-country-world-says-purisima

VIET NAM
Leather, footwear set to earn $2b in exports:
The leather and footwear industry earned an export revenue of about
US$2 billion in the first quarter this year as part of a $7.3 billion
annual target, up 21.7 per cent against 2011. Nguyen Thi Tong, deputy
chairwoman and general secretary of the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear
Association (Lefaso), made the statement at a seminar jointly held by
it and the Viet Nam Leather and Shoe Research Institute in the capital
yesterday. The event was aimed at launching a campaign to encourage
Vietnamese creative designers to take part in the 4th International
Footwear Design Competition 2012 in the Asia region. The competition
will take place in Guang Zhou, China, from May 30 to June 1 and will be
organised by the Asia Footwear Association and regional industrial
associations.

more at  BUSINESS IN BRIEF 24/3:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/20265/business-in-brief-24-3.html

Decline in garment exports from Vietnam:
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has reported that 80 per cent of
Vietnamese garment and textile companies have received export orders
until the end of the first quarter, but quantities are small, showing a
sharp decline in volumes.
Compared to the same period last year, export turnover to the EU market
has dropped by 25 per cent; to the US market by 12 per cent; and to
Japan by 7 per cent; presumably due to the present economic downturn.

Another reason that led to a drop in garment export turnover in Vietnam
was due to most importers shifting to developing countries where import
tariff is zero per cent, such as Cambodia and Laos, instead of Vietnam
where it is 10 per cent.
In order to tackle such problems, the ministry has suggested that
garment companies use natural materials; buy materials directly; and
create innovative finished products.
Garment companies should now also improve their designing sector, to
achieve high growth in the future, instead of merely relying on
processing orders.

more at  BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/3:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/20360/business-in-brief-25-3.html

VN should become less labour intensive:
Viet Nam should shift from labour-intensive to more capital – and
skill-intensive manufacturing, economists told a seminar in HCM City
yesterday .
Prof James Riedel, who teaches international economics at the US’s
Johns Hopkins University, said Viet Nam may be one of the developing
world’s fastest growing countries as hailed by multilateral agencies,
but since 2006 its growth rate has been lower and much more unstable.

more at  BUSINESS IN BRIEF 24/3:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/20265/business-in-brief-24-3.html
&
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/19817/seeking-ways-to-paint-a-better-fdi.html

Insider busted for social insurance scam in Vietnam:
Labor authorities in southern Vietnam has requested a probe into an
operation which sought out pregnant women in order to take their
postnatal assistance.

more at:
http://www.thanhniennews.com/index/pages/20120322-man-caught-stealing-from-social-insurance-by-hiring-only-pregnant.aspx

Staff cuts can cost in the long run:
Cutting salaries can save expenses in the short-term but more money
would be needed for recruiting and retraining in the long term, a human
resources consultant has said.
Duong Xuan Giao, director of Netviet Human Resource Consulting Co.,
said that more than 30 per cent of businesses in Viet Nam faced a staff
shortage, particularly highly skilled employees.
He was quoted as saying in Nguoi Lao Dong (the Labourer) newspaper that
it would take two to four months for businesses to recruit employees,
which could affect company plans for the future. Giao said that
companies could retain staff by seriously paying attention to salary,
bonus policy and working environment.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/social-issues/222544/staff-cuts-can-cost-in-the-long-run.html

INDONESIA
Workers say fuel price hike reduces their buying power:
The Alliance of Confederations and Federations of Workers Unions said
the planned fuel price hike will reduce workers` buying power or wages
that have just been raised by 15 to 30 percent.

more at:
http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/80848/workers-say-fuel-price-hike-reduces-their-buying-power

BANGLA DESH
India allows limited cotton exports to Bangladesh:
India on Friday allowed cotton exports to neighbouring countries such
as Bangladesh and Pakistan via land route after scrutinising the export
orders that were issued before the ban on cotton.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=227626

INDIA
It is time for us to call the shots in textiles, Pakistan tells India:
Stating that it was time for both India and Pakistan to re-work their
trade strategies, and tap the huge potential, especially in energy,
petrochemicals, textiles and cotton, the All Pakistan Textiles Mills
Association (APTMA) has called for removal of all non-tariff barriers
to ensure free trade of cotton and textile products.

more at:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3220870.ece

Trident to set up integrated textile manufacturing unit:
Trident Group, one of the country’s leading conglomerates with revenues
of Rs 45 billion and clientele across over 75 countries has charted out
aggressive expansion plans to further consolidate its global
leadership. The Group has already emerged as one of the top terry towel
manufacturers and agro based paper manufacturer in the world and is
embarking on expansion drive to target Rs 90 billion revenues.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109331

About 70% of India is poor: Top adviser:
Debunking the government’s claim that the number of poor  in India has
come down, a top adviser has claimed that around 70 % of the country’s
1.2 billion population is poor, and stressed the need for a
multi-dimensional assessment of poverty.
“The government claim that poverty has come down is not valid… there
is a need for a multi-dimensional assessment of poverty as around 70%
of the population is poor,” National Advisory Council member NC Saxena
told IANS in an interview.
According to Saxena, the various poverty estimates the government
relies on to assess the impact of developmental schemes are faulty as
they fail to factor in the lack of nutritional diet, sanitation,
drinking water, healthcare and educational facilities available to the
people.

more at:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/WorldEconomy/About-70-of-India-is-poor-Top-adviser/Article1-830544.aspx

PAKISTAN
Textile industry in Pak’s Punjab to get 5-day gas supply:
The supply of gas to textile industries in Punjab province would be
increased from the current three days to five days a week from March
26, 2012, Pakistan’s Minister for Petroleum Dr. Asim Hussain has
announced.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109293

Indian minister launches appeal over flailing economy:
India’s finance minister appealed Saturday to fractious government
allies and a hostile opposition to cooperate “in the national interest”
to restore the health of Asia’s third-largest economy.
Pranab Mukherjee’s call came as global ratings agencies and investment
houses warned that India’s weak public finances and political paralysis
over reform measures were clouding the nation’s financial prospects.
Getting India’s economy back on track “is a question of broad national
interest that is staring us in the face,” Mukherjee told the Federation
of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in a bluntly worded speech.

more at:
http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/24/indian-minister-launches-appeal-over-flailing-economy.html

map of Asia

THAILAND
Free Somyot

CHINA
China becomes New Zealand’s biggest wool export market:
& Intertextile to feature latest apparel fabric trends
& Rising Chinese wages a headache for US firms

PHILIPPINES
ILO: 2.4 million child laborers in Philippines
& Binay Cites Filipino-Indian Businessmen
& Business sector protests too many non-working days
& PH most underrated country in the world, says Purisima

VIET NAM
Leather, footwear set to earn $2b in exports
& Decline in garment exports from Vietnam
& VN should become less labour intensive
& Insider busted for social insurance scam in Vietnam
& Staff cuts can cost in the long run

INDONESIA
Workers say fuel price hike reduces their buying power

BANGLA DESH
India allows limited cotton exports to Bangladesh

INDIA
It is time for us to call the shots in textiles,
& Trident to set up integrated textile manufacturing unit
& About 70% of India is poor

PAKISTAN
Textile industry in Pak’s Punjab to get 5-day gas supply
& Indian minister launches appeal over flailing economy

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2