In the news on-line, today, 2 april 2012

* Fashion factories move out of China as costs surge:
Some global fashion brands’ latest move to shift their manufacturing
bases from China to Southeast Asia and developing countries close to
Italy is a natural result of the changing landscape in the sector,
experts said Monday.
In response to media reports that some Italian brands had moved
production lines to Turkey and Tunisia, Wang Tiankai, president of
China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), said that the trend
is inevitable as China was no longer a cheap-in-everything paradise.
The latest movements came as China, dubbed as the world’s biggest
factory, grows more expensive as its labor and material prices rose
significantly last year.

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* United Envirotech to buy two water plants in Changyi City:
The Board of Directors of United Envirotech Ltd. (UEL) is pleased to
announce that it has signed the sales and purchase agreement to acquire
a water supply plant and a wastewater treatment plant in Changyi City,
Shandong Province, China.
UEL will set up a 70%:30% joint venture company (JV) with the existing
shareholders of the plants for the acquisition in which UEL will hold
70% of the JV.
Changyi City is well known for its textile industry.
The water plant supplies industrial water and the wastewater plant
treats industrial wastewater from the textile companies located in the
industrial parks in Changyi. The design capacities of the water supply
and wastewater treatment plants are 40,000 m3/day each. The wastewater
treatment plant is currently operating at near full capacity.

more at:


* DOLE Issues Lent Pay Rules:

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reminded employers of
the applicable pay rules in effect for Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday
this week, and Araw ng Kagitingan next Monday. “All private sector
employers in the country are urged to bear in mind the welfare and
protection of their workers by observing the applicable pay rules and
other core labor standards during the nationwide holidays,” DOLE
Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement.

more at:


* Saudi enterprises to increase VN investments:

Many companies in Saudi Arabia are seeking investment opportunities in
Viet Nam because of its promising markets, according to a Saudi
official. Speaking at a press conference in HCM City last week,
Ambassador to Viet Nam Salah Ahmed Sarhan said that Saudi companies
were especially interested in the agriculture sector, particularly the
production and export of rice. In addition to agriculture production,
Saudi enterprises expected to establish relations soon with Vietnamese
companies in the steel, petroleum and refinery industries as well as in
real estate and tourism.

(Workers at Gia Dinh Garment Co make clothes for export.
Garments are among Viet Nam’s key export items to Saudi Arabia. —
VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu HCM CITY —)
more at:


* Chinese business leaders eye ventures in Laos:
The number of Chinese investment projects and their value is expected
to surge over the next few years in Laos, as more Chinese business
operators are discovering that their neighbouring country is an
attractive investment destination. A group of Chinese business
representatives met up with their Lao counterparts in Vientiane on
Friday to discuss partnerships in the manufacturing industry and the
transfer of knowledge and technology from China to Laos.

more at:


* Happy trails?:
Thai firms weigh pros and cons of shifting production to other
countries as wages rise.
With minimum wages rising by 40% in seven provinces effective
yesterday, companies are unveiling plans to relocate production to
neighbouring countries.
Saha Pathanapibul Plc, the country’s leading consumer goods maker, has
decided to relocate its production to Myanmar to enjoy the equivalent
of a 100-baht daily wage.

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* Manufacturers, SMEs seek to raise productivity:
Manufacturers are closely monitoring the impact of the rise in the
minimum wage that took effect in seven provinces, including Bangkok
yesterday, anticipating the need for further mechanisation to increase
Moreover, they will focus further on training to give their workers
multiple skills.
The government’s policy to raise the daily minimum wage to Bt300 has
been implemented as planned in Bangkok, Phuket, Nakhon Pathom, Samut
Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nonthaburi.
The wage will be increased in the remaining provinces next year.
According to the Labour Ministry, there are roughly 38.7 million
labourers in the Thai economy, of whom 14.6 million are in the labour
system, and 24.1 million are outside the system.
Previously, the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) said
manufacturers must increase productivity of their workers by 8 per cent
if they want to survive after the implementation of the daily minimum
wage. Without government support, the manufacturers must initiate
in-house training programmes.(..)
Sukij Kongpiyajarn, president of the Thai Garment Manufacturing
Association, said manufacturers in this industry were trying to
increase productivity by at least 10 per cent and reduce working hours
by roughly the same percentage as ways to relieve the impact from the
wage increase.
The industry so far has no idea whether these measures will be fruitful
for all manufacturers and keep them in business.

more at:

According to Sukij, there about a million labourers in the garment and
textile industries in Thailand.
“We cannot stop the government hiking the minimum wage.
If the policy finally has a big impact on labour in the garment
industry, we plan to ask the government to set up a coaching centre
aimed at improving production technology and to help manufacturers
improve their productivity.
So we may save some of them that are strong enough to continue their
production,” he said.



* EU investors court Southeast Asia:
Business leaders from the European Union and ASEAN member states
yesterday discussed the future of mutual trade and investment as crisis
continues to threaten Europe and economic integration challenges the 10
Southeast Asian states.

more at:

* For an ethical iPhone, Apple should look to clothing and Cambodia:
The tech titan must show some leadership in shutting the sweatshops.
In the world of global manufacturing, it seems that multinational
corporations are destined to take their turn in the sweatshop
Apple’s turn, merely the latest, has taken an unusual twist.
Today, federal law guarantees the garment workers of Cambodia
breast-feeding breaks, 43 paid leave days annually, medical clinics on
site and 90 days paid maternity leave, among other things.
That program, called Better Work, has become a model for Haiti,
Lesotho, Jordan, Nicaragua, Indonesia and Vietnam.
It is a partnership among the ILO, the World Bank’s International
Finance Corporation, international brands, local factories,
local governments and non-governmental organisations.
more at:

* Hu pledges millions in aid:
A weekend meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime
Minister Hun Sen concluded with millions in loans and aid agreed to and
a clear message: neither nation is in a rush to deal with the prickly
South China Sea dispute.
At the Saturday one on one, which included a vow to double bilateral
trade by 2017, the Chinese president told Hun Sen that, while his
nation favoured a declaration of conduct for the disputed sea, moving
“too fast” would only serve to inflame regional tensions, Sry Thamrong,
a spokesman for the premier, said.

more at:

* Asean Moves Towards One Community One Destiny:
Asean leaders are expected to further strengthen the grouping’s
preparation in achieving their sole destiny of creating a single
community in less than three years as they meet here during the
regional summit for two days starting tomorrow.

more at;


* Future Direction Of Proposed Malaysia-EU FTA To Be Known By June
The future direction of the proposed Malaysia-European Union Free Trade
Agreement is likely to be made by June, International Trade and
Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said today.
On the Asean-EU Business Summit, Mustapa said EU investors were still
attracted to the region due to its 600 million population, sound
economic growth, growing middle class and young population.

more at:


* Fire sweeps Panthapath furniture market; 29 establishments damaged:

At least 29 establishments, including 10 furniture factories and 17
shops, were gutted in a fire at a furniture market in the city’s
Panthapath area early Monday.
Fire Brigade sources said the fire originated from an electrical short
circuit at a furniture shop at 2:06 am and it soon engulfed the
adjoining ones.
The blaze that roared through the furniture market opposite to
Bashundhara City Shopping Mall also damaged a motor workshop and a
dwelling house.
On information, 12 firefighting units rushed to the spot and doused the
flame around 5:00 am.
The extent of losses caused by the fire was said to be Tk 1.20 crore.


* Eurozone crisis may hit Bangladesh exports: WTO
Pascal Lamy says poor countries may be short on trade finance:
An economic slowdown in Europe may affect Bangladesh as it is highly
dependent on exports to the Eurozone, said World Trade Organisation
(WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy yesterday. “Macroeconomic
development is not looking very good, especially for countries like
Bangladesh, whose two-thirds of exports are to Europe. For the moment,
the European economy has a major problem — it will grow very slowly in
the year to come,” he said.

more at:
* Macroeconomic dev in B’desh not looking very good: Lamy


* Government may not allow fresh cotton exports:
India is unlikely to allow fresh cotton exports when ministers meet next
week and may not lift the ban at least until July, government and trade
sources said.

more at:

* Use of Bt cotton seeds doubles India’s cotton output:
India’s cotton output has grown more than two times after it started
using Bt cotton seeds for cultivation. Agriculture Minister Sharad
Pawar informed the Rajya Sabha that India’s cotton output has grown
from 16.4 million bales of 170 kg each in 2004-05 to 34 million bales
in 2011-12. This clearly shows that production has soared with the use
of Bt cotton, he said.

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* NABARD gives Rs 100mn for revival of AP handloom sector:
Andhra Pradesh Cooperative Bank (APCOB) has received a sum of Rs. 100
million from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development
(NABARD) for revitalizing the state handloom industry.
The sum would be utilized for recapitalization of the Andhra Pradesh
State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (APCO).
The move is in pursuance of an agreement inked by NABARD with the
Andhra Pradesh Government and the Union Government for revival of the
troubled handloom industry in the state.
Next to agriculture, handloom sector is the second largest employer in
the state, employing over 300,000 weavers, and is currently facing
financial crisis.

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* Tamil Nadu weavers call for revival of handloom sector:
The Sellur Handloom Cloth Manufacturer’s Association has placed several
demands for consideration by the state as well as the Central
Governments for revival of handloom sector.
The association, based in Sellur region of Madurai district in Tamil
Nadu, contended that some private individuals not associated with the
textile businesses are stockpiling cotton yarn so as to induce an
artificial dearth of commodity.
The association urged the state and Central Governments to take
necessary measures to stop hoarding of cotton yarn.

more at:

map of Asia

* Fashion factories move out of China as costs surge
* United Envirotech to buy two water plants in Changyi City

* DOLE Issues Lent Pay Rule

* Saudi enterprises to increase VN investments

* Chinese business leaders eye ventures in Laos

* Happy trails?
* Manufacturers, SMEs seek to raise productivity

* EU investors court Southeast Asia
* For an ethical iPhone, Apple should look to clothing and Cambodia
* Hu pledges millions in aid
* Asean Moves Towards One Community One Destiny

* Future Direction Of Proposed Malaysia-EU FTA To Be Known By June

* Fire sweeps Panthapath furniture market; 29 establishments damaged
* Eurozone crisis may hit Bangladesh exports: WTO

* Government may not allow fresh cotton exports
* Use of Bt cotton seeds doubles India’s cotton output
* NABARD gives Rs 100mn for revival of AP handloom sector
* Tamil Nadu weavers call for revival of handloom sector

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This afternoon and give
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