* Interview: Malawi woos Chinese investment in cotton industry:
Malawi on Tuesday expressed its willingness to attract more Chinese
investment in its cotton industry, stressing that more value addition
The Malawian Minister of Industry and Trade John Bande told Xinhua in
an exclusive interview that the southern African country wants to see
more value addition to cotton where they would want Chinese companies
establishing textile mills to produce textiles for exports to regional
markets and other important markets.
* Exceed to set up sportswear facility in Jiangxi:
Exceed Company Ltd, the owner and operator of “Xidelong” brand and one
of the leading domestic sportswear brands in China, has provided
additional detail pertaining to the agreement announced by the Company
on February 17, 2012.
* 2.3M Philippine youth in poor working conditions – ILO:
Some 2.3 million young Filipinos were in vulnerable forms of employment
in 2010, the International Labour Organization said.
Lawrence Jeff Johnson, Director of the ILO Country Office for the
Philippines, said the global economic crisis has worsened unemployment
among the young people or those aged between 15 and 24.
According to the 2011 Philippine Labor Force Survey, 1.5 million young
people, aged 15 to 24 were unemployed.
On average, young people are more likely to be unemployed than adults.
The situation was further aggravated by the global financial crisis,
Globally, 74.8 million youth aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2011, an
increase of more than 4 million since 2007.
& Philippines, ILO hammer out employment strategy:
* Call Centers Oppose Wage Hike:
The call center industry has bucked down clamor from the labor sector
for an increase in daily wage saying their workers are already
receiving higher salary rates than all other industry workers in the
Industry leaders made this known at the launch of the 4th Call Center
Fitness Program, which is co-organized by the Call Center Olympics 2012
organized by the Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) and
the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
* BPO Workers Opt For Jobs Overseas:
HEALTH and work-quality issues are pushing Filipino workers to leave
call centers in the Philippines for locations abroad in an apparent
exodus that may hobble the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry
to meet its jobs target by 2016.
The night shift contributes to the attrition rate, since call-center
agents look for countries nearer to time zones of clients in order to
avoid working late in the evening and into early dawn, according to
Executive Director Joselito Uligan of the Contact Center Association of
the Philippines Inc. (CCAP).
* Hundreds of companies restrain workers’ salary rates:
About 160 businesses in industrial parks and export processing zones in
Ho Chi Minh City have not increased the salary for workers despite
their seniority, and apply the same salary rates for both newcomers and
As shown in the results of the inspection of more than 1,000 businesses
in the parks and zones, only 600 have registered their wage frames with
the agency in charge, and of these 600 businesses, 160 have violated
regulations related to wage issues, said the HCM City Industrial Parks
and Export Processing Zones Authority (HEPZA).
* Garments become nation’s top export:
Export value of garments and textiles reached US$1.15 billion in
March, making them the country’s largest export earners with $3.23
billion in total earnings during the first quarter, the General
Statistics Office reported.
The figure represents a 15.4 per cent increase over last year’s first
The office said that garments and textiles were the only export staples
that earned the country more than $1 billion in March, adding that it
was an impressive result in the context of a shrinking export market
due to the global economic slowdown.
* Employers warned on wage hike:
Employers who have not raised their workers’ minimum daily wage to
Bt300 after the Sunday deadline will be facing legal action, the
Department of Labour Protection and Welfare said yesterday.
Meanwhile, employers who have been including other benefits under the
guise of increasing the basic wage have one month to stop doing so,
otherwise they will face prosecution, which includes six months in jail
and/or a fine of up to Bt100,000, director-general Arthit Issamo said.
* Pay hike could force out Japan firms:
Thailand’s minimum wage hike may force Japanese companies to relocate
to neighbouring countries if they operate at a loss, while labour
disputes in the country are expected to increase, Japanese investors
The impact on SMEs remains a concern even for foreign investors.
The Finance Ministry yesterday raised the possibility of granting a tax
deduction to SMEs for the increase in wages to help the largest group
* Comment: An ASEAN for the people:
With Cambodia holding the ASEAN chair, it’s an important moment for all
10 member countries to think about what it means to be part of ASEAN.
Is ASEAN to be a private club for member states’ governments?
Or a vehicle for aggressive development and corporate expansion?
Or perhaps an inclusive regional body that considers the interests of
its people first, that puts people before politics and profits?
Any such ambitious vision must be founded on core principles. What
should ASEAN’s core principles be?
The European Union was founded on the principles of peace and economic
co-operation, but ASEAN should have loftier ambitions.
* ASEAN leaders agree to ‘phased approach’ on migrant workers:
Southeast Asian leaders agreed Tuesday to take a phased approach in
developing an ASEAN instrument to protect migrant workers in the region.
* ASEAN economic ministers invite private sector to talks:
ASEAN economic ministers have invited the private sector to meet with
senior officials to take part in talks on customs, connectivity and
information communication technology.
* More about ASEAN:
* Malaysia to invest in R&D to develop textile industry:
Malaysia’s Ministry of Information Communications and Culture has
directed the Malaysian Handicraft Corporation to undertake research and
development (R&D) to develop the country’s textile industry.
The Ministry will allocate additional sums for carrying out the
research on fashion trends of the young and middle generation and also
to create awareness among people regarding the country’s textiles, Dr.
Rais Yatim, Minister of Information Communications and Culture, said.
* Karl Mayer to present Jacquardtronic Lace at Indo Intertex:
About 20,000 visitors are expected at this year’s Indo Intertex and
there are 414 companies on the exhibitors’ list. The majority of the
foreign manufacturers will be coming from China. Other large exhibitors
– in decreasing order – will be Taiwan, India, Italy, South Korea,
Germany, Japan and Switzerland.
* ‘Social awareness stressed for preventing malnutrition’:
Experts at an orientation meeting on Tuesday stressed for creating
awareness among the people to prevent malnutrition situation for
building a healthy nation.
Proper selection and consumption of nutritious foodstuffs including
vegetables could prevent deficiency of protein, vitamin-A, iodine, iron
and other necessary minerals of the people of all ages , they said.
They were addressing the ‘Dissemination and Policy Directive Meeting
for Implementation of National Nutrition Service’ at the conference
room of the Civil Surgeon Office of Dinajpur district.
* Workers’ Recruitment-Controversial Saudi system to go:
Saudi Arabia is going to scrap the sponsorship system for foreign
workers — often criticised by rights groups for abusing the rights of
Instead, the Middle Eastern country will authorise recruitment
companies to hire foreigners, and will form a commission under its
labour ministry to look after the foreign labour issues, said a report
in the Arab News on Monday.
* Strike by C&F agents hurt Bangladesh garment exports:
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA)
have expressed serious concern over the strike by clearing and
forwarding (C&F) agents at Chittagong Customs House.
The strike was stirred by a an order issued by the Chittagong Port
authorities, making it mandatory for the C&F agents to carry out duty
assessment of all the containers in a shipment, together with the
* B’desh textile units gain from sustainable practices:
Textile processing units of Bangladesh garment companies are adopting
cleaner production (CP) practices, which is helping them save a lot of
money as well as to become more competitive.
Twelve apparel manufacturers, including the DBL Group, ABA Group, Fakir
Knitwear, Multifabs, SF Fashion and Tarasima Apparels have introduced CP
practices at their textile processing units.
* Labourers at Army housing project ill-treated:
Migrant workers allege they do not get minimum wages, are threatened
and beaten up for demanding dues.
Grave violations of not just labour laws but also basic human rights
were uncovered at a massive construction site at Kannamangala village
near Whitefield belonging to the Army Welfare Housing Organisation
(AWHO) on Tuesday.
* Making them industry ready:
With need for skilled manpower in large numbers, the textile industry
here has started offering training courses in colleges.
Apart from short-term training courses for employees and an apprentice
period in industries, college programmes help the industries train the
students to meet their needs.
The Integrated Skill Development Scheme of the Union Government is
helping the industrial associations and Government organisations take
skill development to students as part of their regular academics.
The Textiles Committee will train students from four institutions this
year through its Integrated Skill Development Programme.
* Govt invites comments on new law to strengthen cotton data:
The Textile Ministry has invited comments from various stakeholders on
new legislation that aims to set up an accurate data collection system
on cotton production and stock availability in the country.
* Kiln workers to launch `Stop Work` campaign:
Brick kiln workers plan a movement titled ‘Stop Work’ from May 1 in
protest at, what they say, government’s apathy towards them.
Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) Secretary-General Syeda Ghulam
Fatima told reporters on Tuesday at the Lahore Press Club they had been
forced to resort to the extreme measure after government’s failure to
implement its September 2010 orders about minimum wages of kiln workers.
* Karachi traders decide not to pay taxes, bills in protest:
Vice-Chairman AKTI Jameel Paracha said that the government was pushing
traders into financial problems and they were left with no choice but
to launch civil disobedience movement against the government.
All Karachi Tajir Ittehad has decided not to pay any bills or taxes and
hold out protest rallies and display protest banners in all markets
from April 5 against government move of unprecedented hike in petroleum
* India to host first Made-in-Pakistan expo this month:
The first edition of Lifestyle Pakistan, the ‘Made-in-Pakistan’ single
country exhibition, will be held in New Delhi from April 12 to 15,
The expo will be reciprocation of the single country ‘Made-in-India’
exhibition held in Lahore in February 2012, according to Mr. Sidra
Iqbal, Official Spokesperson for Lifestyle Pakistan. “Lifestyle
Pakistan has been planned with the full support of Indian Commerce
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is set to showcase the
best of Pakistani fashion, textiles, accessories, home furnishings and
other items at over 300 stalls,” Mr. Sidra Iqbal told fibre2fashion.