in the news on-line, today, 12 april 2012

VIET NAM
* Annual garment expo opens in City:
An annual HCM City textile fair that opened yesterday is a great
opportunity for Vietnamese garment and textile firms to compare notes
with leading businesses from around the world, Deputy Minister of
Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa has said.
Speaking at the opening of the 22nd Viet Nam Sai Gon Textile and
Garment Industry Expo 2012 – Fabric and Garment Accessories (Sai Gon
Tex 2012), she said it would be a perfect forum to establish new
business contacts and trading links.
Vietnamese garment and textile enterprises would have opportunities to
exchange experiences with leading businesses around the world.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/Economy/223365/annual-garment-expo-opens-in-city.html

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* 300 businesses attend Saigon Tex 2012:
Nearly 300 businesses from 18 countries and territories around the
world are showcasing their products and equipment at the 22nd
International Fair on “Garment and Textile Equipment and
Accessories” (Saigon Tex 2012).
The annual fair was opened in HCM City on April 10 by the Vietnam
National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), Vietnam Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Exhibition Service Company and Hong Kong
Exhibition JSC.
During the fair which runs until April 14, there will be seminars on
global garment and textile – from supplying markets to consuming
markets, and solutions for Vietnamese garment and textile enterprises
to improve the value of their products.
Nguyen Thi Hong Tin, head of Vinatex’s Domestic Market Department, said
the fair helps domestic businesses to keep abreast of the latest market
information about new technologies.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/4
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/21060/business-in-brief-12-4.html

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* Garment, footwear makers to enter US market:
Vietnamese garment and footwear markers are seeking new opportunities
to approach small and medium-sized distributors in the US at a
conference in Hanoi on April 11.
They are provided with up-to-date market information and the
consumption trend in the US to cater to local consumer tastes. In
recent years, the US has been the main export market for Vietnam’s
textile and footwear sector.
Last year, export turnover reached US$6.87 billion for textiles and
US$2.37 billion for footwear. These figures represent 43.4 and 30.2
percent of each sector’s total export turnover, respectively.
A conference is being held on April 11 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Textile
and Apparel Association (Vitas) and the Vietnam Leather and Footwear
Association (Lefaso).
The event coincides with a visit by Jessie Zhang, Business Development
Manager of Tiger Trade, who is in charge of foreign customers at the
US’ Sourcing at MAGIC trade show.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/4
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/21060/business-in-brief-12-4.html

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* Textile, leather companies circle US market:
A conference titled “New opportunities to approach the US market” is
being held today in Ha Noi by the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel
Association (Vitas) and the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association
(Lefaso).
The event is being organised to coincide with a visit by Jessie Zhang,
Business Development Manager of Tiger Trade, who is in charge of
foreign customers at the US’ Sourcing at MAGIC trade show.
Vietnamese enterprises operating in textiles and footwear will be
provided with updated US market information, purchasing trend reports
and new opportunities to approach small and medium sized distributors
in the US.
In recent years, the US has been the main export market for Viet Nam’s
textile and footwear sector.
Last year, export turnover reached US$6.87 billion for textiles and
$2.37 billion for footwear. These figures represent 43.4 and 30.2 per
cent of each sector’s total export turnover, respectively.-
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/4
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/21060/business-in-brief-12-4.html

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* Vietnamese garment firms learn more about US market:
Several Vietnamese enterprises engaged in manufacturing and exports of
garments will get a chance to update themselves with information about
the US market at a conference titled “New opportunities to approach the
US market”.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109950

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THAILAND
* Sets out $9.7m textile and garment plan:
The Thailand Textile Institute (THTI) has set out an ambitious THB300m
(US$9.7m) plan to develop the local textile and garment industry over
the next four years, with the aim of transforming Thailand into the
Asean region’s fashion centre.

more at:
http://www.just-style.com/news/sets-out-97m-textile-and-garment-plan_id114015.aspx?lk=dm

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* Migrant workers demand wage rise:
More than 4,000 workers, mostly foreign labour, on Wednesday staged a
protest at a pineapple factory in Kanchanaburi province, demanding the
government’s promised 300 baht daily minimum wage.
Reports said most of the workers are from neighbouring Myanmar.
Police arrived at the factory to deal with the protesters.
The government’s 300 baht daily minimum wage policy took effect in
April 1. The raise is 40 per cent from current levels.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/288415/migrant-workers-protest-for-wage-raise

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CAMBODIA
(not directly related, still worth reading…)

* Remnants of war still undermining mental health:
A dearth of trained mental health workers, a history of conflict and a
lack of coordination has resulted in a weak and fragmented mental
health system, while survivors of trauma continue to seek explanations
for the horrors they experienced or witnessed.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041055534/Special-Reports/remnants-of-war-still-undermining-mental-health.html

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* A migrant state of mind:
A lone Cambodian woman was found sitting outside Phnom Penh
International Airport late on Tuesday night by patrolling police.
Smiling to herself, with a vacant expression, she was unable to explain
where she came from or what she was doing, but a Malaysian stamp was
found in her passport.
Duong Lorn, her younger brother, said Poung Savong, 30, had been
beautiful and happy before she left to work as a maid in Malaysia, but
the sight of her now only filled him with pity.
The little that police were able to cobble together about her told the
latest of an all-too-familiar tale – Poung Savong had left two years
ago to work as a maid in Malaysia, where she had been beaten and
tortured by her employers until she had cracked.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041255582/National-news/a-migrant-state-of-mind.html

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* Strings attached to Thai firm’s offer:
Cambodia migrant workers seeking to leave allegedly exploitative
conditions at the Phatthana Seafood factory in southern Thailand said
yesterday that they were still being forced to pay to get their
passports back.

The factory, which exports fish to buyers across the world including
Walmart, has come under fire from its migrant employees, who have said
they were tricked on pay conditions, while rights groups allege the
workers are victims of human trafficking.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041255583/National-news/strings-attached-to-thai-firms-offer.html

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* Nike seeks investigation of mass fainting incidents:
Global sportswear giant Nike has asked the International Labour
Organisation’s industry monitoring body to investigate the two mass
fainting incidents at its supplier Sabrina (Cambodia) Manufacturing
last week and report its finding to it, Nike said yesterday.

“Nike has requested ILO Better [Factories] Cambodia, the industry
supply chain governance body in Cambodia, to include this incident in
their current research into the causes behind mass faintings in the
region,” it said in a statement to the Post.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041255580/National-news/nike-seeks-investigation-of-mass-fainting-incidents.html

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* Nike execs checking out factory faintings:
Nike executives traveled overseas to investigate mass fainting
incidents among workers at a sports shoe factory in Cambodia, officials
said.
Union and industry representatives confirmed Tuesday Nike officials
will be meeting with one of their suppliers in Phnom Penh about last
week’s fainting incidents, as well as allegations of violations of
workers’ rights at a Taiwanese-owned manufacturing plant, the Phnom
Penh Post reported.

more at:
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/04/12/Nike-execs-checking-out-factory-faintings/UPI-34861334209371/?spt=hs&or=tn
&
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109982

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* ADB says good staff a priority:
A shortage of skilled workers would continue to hinder Cambodia’s
economic progress, the Asian Development Bank said yesterday in an
annual report, with experts claiming an increasing number of
international companies struggle to find capable staff.

more at:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012041255589/Business/adb-says-good-staff-a-priority.html

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INDONESIA
* Indonesia Approves Migrant Workers Convention:
Indonesia has ratified the Migrant Workers Convention will bring new
protections for millions of Indonesian migrant workers, Migrant Care
and Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
The House of Representatives adopted the international treaty today,
without reservations in a plenary session.

more at:
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-approves-migrant-workers-convention/510905
&
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/04/12/ri-endorses-migrant-workers-protection-bill.html

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* Govt encourages businessmen to expand business to UK:
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government will encourage
and give the widest opportunities for national business companies to
increase business opportunities to the United Kingdom along with
increased trade cooperation between the two countries.

more at:
http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/81310/govt-encourages-businessmen-to-expand-business-to-uk

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BANGLA DESH
* Bangladesh: Investigate Killing of Labor Activist:
Union Organizer Aminul Islam’s Body Bore Signs of Torture.
The Bangladesh authorities should  immediately and impartially
investigate the killing of the labor rights activist Aminul Islam,
Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina Wazed. Islam, 39, was a trade union organizer with the
Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS).

Islam disappeared on April 4, 2012. His body, bearing marks of severe
torture, was discovered two days later almost 100 kilometers from where
he was last seen. In June 2010, he had been arbitrarily detained and
tortured by members of the National Security Intelligence.

more at:
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/11/bangladesh-investigate-killing-labor-activist

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&
* Death of labour leader shrouded in mystery.
more at:
http://www.thenewnationbd.com/newsdetails.aspx?newsid=36525

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* Bangladesh urged to cash in on China, India:
Bangladesh’s future depends on a world-class seaport and a technology
savvy young generation who would drive the country into a new global
order in less than two decades, said Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus
yesterday.
(..)
The Daily Star at the ceremony yesterday honoured 56 persons
posthumously, and 19 living persons and two enterprises for their
contributions to Chittagong’s development.
Women Entrepreneurs’ Chamber, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters
Association, Chittagong received special awards.

more at:
http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?sec=2
&
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=229848
&
* Let’s ride on two giants:
Prof Yunus spurs country to cash in on ever-growing China, India.
Bangladesh’s future depends on a world-class seaport and a technology
savvy young generation who would drive the country into a new global
order in less than two decades, said Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus
yesterday.
Bangladesh must be prepared for 2030 when the world order would change
dramatically, he said.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=229846

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* Bangladesh expects India’s ban on cotton export may go soon:
Bangladesh expects India may lift a ban on cotton export soon as the
neighbour’s textiles minister will visit Bangladesh early next month to
discuss the issue, said a government official yesterday.
After the ban was imposed on March 5, Bangladesh launched negotiations
with India and other cotton producing countries such as Uzbekistan to
ensure a better supply as the country heavily depends on imports.
India, the second largest cotton producing country, slapped the ban
mainly to build up its domestic stocks.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=229903

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* B’desh to decide on cotton import from other nations:
The Government of Bangladesh will soon decide on importing cotton
from other countries in the wake of ban imposed by India on its
cotton exports.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109998

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* Bangladesh gets $987m loan from IMF:
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on
Thursday approved a three-year arrangement for Bangladesh under the
Extended Credit Facility (ECF) in a total amount equivalent to SDR
639.96 million (about US$987 million).
The board’s decision will immediately enable the initial disbursement
of an amount equivalent to SDR 91.423 million (about US$141 million),
said an IMF press release.
The ECF arrangement is designed to support the authorities’ program,
which aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen the external
position, and engender higher, more inclusive growth.

During the program period, the authorities are committed to taking
actions to create fiscal space, reinvigorate the financial sector, and
catalyse additional resources, in order to boost social- and
development-related spending, tackle power shortages and the
infrastructure deficit, and stimulate export-oriented investment and
job growth.
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=37028

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* RMG worker killed in Ctg:
Unidentified criminals stabbed a garment worker to death in the city’s
Double Mooring area early Wednesday.

The victim was identified as M Parvez, 20, son of Abul Kalam of
Rashidpur village in Laxmipur Sadar upazila and a worker of Technoset
Ltd garment factory.

Police said a gang of criminals hacked Parvez in front of No-1 Wapda
gate under Double Mooring police station at about 12:30am, leaving him
seriously injured.

Locals took him to Chittagong Medical College Hospital where doctors
declared him dead. The motive behind the killing could not be known yet.
http://www.unbconnect.com/component/news/task-show/id-73593

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* A Work-and-Save Project in Bangladesh: It Makes a Village:
The village of Someshpur is a ragged collection of huts made of metal
sheeting and thatch.
Children scamper among the chickens in the unpaved square.
The village, like the rest of Bangladesh, struggles to make ends meet.
But a dozen women here, and more than 24,000 around the country, have
recently become micro-entrepreneurs.
They now fish, they now make compost, they now trade firewood — thanks
to modest savings they accumulated during two years of work maintaining
roads in the vicinity.

more at:
http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/a-work-and-save-project-in-bangladesh-it-makes-a-village/

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INDIA
* Gujarat hits back at Anand Sharma over cotton exports:
Gujarat government hit back at Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma,
saying Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that Centre was taxing
export of cotton while offering subsidies on meat export was correct.

more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/gujarat-hits-back-at-anand-sharma-over-cotton-exports/articleshow/12627957.cms

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* How cotton and man enslaved each other:
How does a new variety of bacteria come about? Imagine a small change
occurring by chance in its genes, which allows it to withstand a
stress, say a life- threatening drug or an antibiotic.
Since bacteria multiply fast in minutes and hours, we find the drug
resistant variety take over, establishing themselves over the drug
sensitive ones in a few weeks.

more at:
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/article3304071.ece?homepage=true

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* Restructured TUFS may be extended for XII Plan period:
The restructured Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for the
textile sector, which was implemented from April, 2011 till the end
of March, 2012, is likely to be extended for the 12th Five Year Plan
period.
The Union Ministry of Textiles has submitted a proposal to the Planning
Commission for the extension of TUFS to the 12th Plan period, Panabaaka
Lakshmi, Union Minister of State for Textiles, said during an event at
the Man-made Textile Research Association (MANTRA) in Surat.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109990

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PAKISTAN
* Are they children of a lesser god?
Altaf Khan, who scavenges garbage for a living in the day and sleeps
in a street at night near a stinking natural drain in Rawalpindi, is
unaware of the day being marked on April 11 across the world for the
rights of streets children like him.
Born to poor parents in a Mohmand Agency village, this 14-year-old was
the only male member of his small family after his father, Taj Gul
Khan, died in exchange of fire between security forces and militants in
the volatile tribal area.

more at:
http://dawn.com/2012/04/12/are-they-children-of-a-lesser-god/

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* Pakistan facing tough macroeconomic challenges: ADB report:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Pakistan’s economy is
facing tough macroeconomic challenges including an energy crisis,
declining investment, persistently high inflation and precarious
security environment.
(…)
“Energy outages and damage to the cotton crop from floods (for the
second consecutive year) in early FY12 are expected to hold fiscal year
growth to 3.6 percent (against the target of 4.2 percent),” the ADB
predicted.
(…)
Moreover, textile manufacturers report substantial reductions in orders
this year, as unpredictable energy outages prevented many of them from
meeting their production commitments last year.

more at:
http://paktribune.com/business/news/Pakistan-facing-tough-macroeconomic-challenges-ADB-report-9718.html

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* Apparel exporters await EU duty-free package: PRGMEA
Apparel exporters in Pakistan are anxiously awaiting the
implementation of the EU package for duty-free export of 65
Pakistani textile and apparel products to the EU, according to the
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association
(PRGMEA).

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=109961

map of Asia

VIET NAM
* Annual garment expo opens in City
* 300 businesses attend Saigon Tex 2012
* Garment, footwear makers to enter US market
* Textile, leather companies circle US market
* Vietnamese garment firms learn more about US market

THAILAND
* Sets out $9.7m textile and garment plan
* Migrant workers demand wage rise

CAMBODIA
* Remnants of war still undermining mental health
* A migrant state of mind
* Strings attached to Thai firm’s offer
* Nike seeks investigation of mass fainting incidents
* Nike execs checking out factory faintings
* ADB says good staff a priority

INDONESIA
* Indonesia Approves Migrant Workers Convention:
* Govt encourages businessmen to expand business to UK

BANGLA DESH
* Bangladesh: Investigate Killing of Labor Activist
* Death of labour leader shrouded in mystery.
* Bangladesh urged to cash in on China, India
* Let’s ride on two giants
* Bangladesh expects India’s ban on cotton export may go soon
* B’desh to decide on cotton import from other nations
* Bangladesh gets $987m loan from IMF
* RMG worker killed in Ctg
* A Work-and-Save Project in Bangladesh: It Makes a Village

INDIA
* Gujarat hits back at Anand Sharma over cotton exports
* How cotton and man enslaved each other
* Restructured TUFS may be extended for XII Plan period:

PAKISTAN
* Are they children of a lesser god?
* Pakistan facing tough macroeconomic challenges: ADB report
* Apparel exporters await EU duty-free package

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