This was in the news on-line, today, 13 april 2012

CHINA
* Half of clothes imported from ROK fail test in Zhejiang:
Fifty percent of clothes imported from the Republic of Korea (ROK) are
below standards, according to a report from Zhejiang provincial
Industrial and Commercial Bureau, legaldaily.com.cn reported on
Thursday.
The report, which examined imported S Korean clothes in Hangzhou,
Ningbo and Wenzhou of the province, indicates that half of the samples
have problems in fiber content, with some even being toxic.
It also found that some of the dye materials, which contain heavy
metals, may enter people’s bodies and have a negative effect. The
bureau has ordered the business dealers to call back those clothes, the
report said.
http://en.ce.cn/Industries/Consumen-Industries/201204/13/t20120413_23237281.shtml

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* The sign of collective compromise:
A recent collective contract will give more than 100,000 workers in the
software industry in Dalian, Liaoning province, a raise, lifting
minimum salaries and other work-related benefits.
This is the first collective contract in the country’s software
industry.
The contract, signed on Tuesday by representatives from the Dalian
software industry association and Dalian high-tech industrial zone
federation of trade unions, would give workers a raise of at least 6
percent this year.

more at:
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-04/13/content_15041011.htm

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* Swiss narrow fabric tech leader to present at ITMA + CITME:
Jakob Müller AG will be present at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2012, Shanghai.
Founded in Switzerland in 1887, Jakob Müller AG is the world’s
leading company with regard to technol-ogy for the manufacture of
woven and knitted tapes and webbing, woven ropes, woven labels and
tech-nical textiles, printed narrow fabrics, dyeing, make-up and
winding machinery.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110013

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PHILIPPINES
* New labor group slams Aquino’s ‘Noynoying’ on workers’ concerns:
NEWLY FORMED labor center Sentro ng Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro)
is set to shake President Aquino out of his “Noynoying” on workers’
concerns when its more than 800,000 members march to Mendiola early
next week, and remind the Chief Executive that he has the power to
implement practical solutions  to workers’ concerns.

In a statement after its launch on Thursday, Sentro said on April 16,
which the group called a “national day of protest,” simultaneous
rallies would be held in Quezon City, the Department of Labor and
Employment, Welcome Rotonda and Mendiola in the National Capital Region.

more at:
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/economy/25733-new-labor-group-slams-aquinos-noynoying-on-workers-concerns

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VIET NAM
* 12,000 businesses died, others dieing, shouting for help:
“To be or not to be” is the question that many young entrepreneurs have
raised for themselves, after a long period of struggling to survive the
difficulties.

more at:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/21108/12-000-businesses-died–others-dieing–shouting-for-help.html

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* Jobless insurance claims up, employment down:
The increasing number of enterprises filing for bankruptcy in HCM City
in the first quarter of the year has resulted in a surge in
unemployment insurance claims. More than 5,000 enterprises in the city
filed for bankruptcy in the first quarter of the year, 4.6 times higher
than that of the same period last year, according to a report released
by the city’s People’s Committee.
(…)
Most laid-off workers registering for benefits were those working in
the labour-intensive and industrial production sector such as textiles
and garments, and footwear.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/social-issues/employment/223419/jobless-insurance-claims-up-employment-down.html

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* Supply chain growth to up competitiveness:
Officials at a seminar yesterday in HCM City underscored the urgent
need for supply chain development in several sectors, including
electronics, textiles and garments, electronics, leather shoes, and
automobile and motorbike manufacturing.

more at:
http://www.vietnamnews.com.vn/Economy/223437/supply-chain-growth-to-up-competitiveness.html

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THAILAND
* Strikes break out in wake of wage policy:
Two strikes have broken out at large processing companies in the past
week as employers respond to the government’s minimum wage policy with
what workers say are cutbacks in conditions.
Almost all the 800 Cambodian workers who staged industrial action at a
seafood company in Songkhla went back to work yesterday after their
employer agreed to reinstate their conditions following a four-day
stoppage, Cambodia’s ambassador to Thailand said.
Two strikes have broken out at large processing companies in the past
week as employers respond to the government’s minimum wage policy with
what workers say are cutbacks in conditions.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/288647/strikes-break-out-in-wake-of-wage-policy

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* Thailand falls 5 places in investment risk rankings:
Thailand is ranked the 47th-safest investment destination in Euromoney
magazine’s latest survey of country risk.
This marks a fall of five places as the Kingdom received deteriorating
scores for political risk after the election of Yingluck Shinawatra as
prime minister last July.

Meanwhile, Singapore is ranked the third-safest investment destination
in Asia, followed by Hong Kong, in a long-standing survey that ranks
countries and territories according to economists’ and risk
specialists’ perceptions of economic, political and structural risk.
Both Singapore and Hong Kong are now considered safer than Germany, the
United States and Britain by participating economists.

more at:
http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?sec=2

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MALAYSIA
* Two-thirds of foreign workers in Malaysia are illegal:
Dreaded by both employers and foreign workers, the large scale
legalisation and amnesty exercise known as 6P has just concluded,
bringing in the third phase of the exercise that will flush out the
remainder of illegal immigrants who are working and staying among
locals. T
he government recorded 3.1 million foreign workers in the country, of
which two-thirds are illegal.

more at:
http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20120412-339195.html

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SINGAPORE
* 5,000 to take part in Nike Goddess 5K run:
Around 5,000 girls will be taking part in the second
edition of the Nike Goddess 5K run, which will flag off on Sunday,
April 14 at the Sentosa Wave House.
This year’s Nike Goddess 5K is all about empowering girls to run with
their BFFs (‘Best Friends Forever’), and girls are only allowed to
register in pairs.
This makes it Nike’s first BFF race in Singapore and South-east Asia.

more at:
http://www.divaasia.com/article/16507

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INDONESIA
* Textile imports drop by 3 percent:
China still dominated Indonesia`s textile imports, accounting for
about 60 percent of total imports.
Indonesia`s textile and textile product imports are estimated to have
dropped three percent during the first quarter of 2012 compared with
the corresponding period from one year earlier, according to a textile
businessman.

more at:
http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/81327/textile-imports-drop-by-3-percent

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BANGLA DESH
* Plan underway to import 1.5mn bales of cotton from India:
As India imposes frequent ban on cotton export, the government
has planned to sign a deal with the neighbouring country to import 1.5
million bales of cotton to keep the country’s textiles sector unhurt.
A formal proposal in this regard will be placed during the visit of
Indian Textiles Minister Anand Sharma, expected to be here in the first
week of May.

more at:
http://www.thebangladeshtoday.com/economy.htm
&
* Govt seeks cotton deal with India:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230046

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* Textile industy seeks early removal of Indian ban on cotton
export:
Despite a very close friend and regular importer of cotton from
Indian market to supply yarn to the domestic textile sector, why India
is not removing ban on its export to Bangladesh at the earliest,
Bangladesh textile industry insiders say.
They said Dhaka expects India will lift the ban on cotton export soon
in the wake of Indian textile minister Anand Sharma’s forthcoming visit
to Bangladesh. He will come here early next month to discuss the issue,
said a government official here Tuesday.

more at:
http://www.thenewnationbd.com/newsdetails.aspx?newsid=36567

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* Labour policy soon:
Amid growing number of labour rights violation, the government is
planning stringent provisions to protect the workers’ rights in the
proposed labour policy to be announced later this month, a state
minister said Thursday.
State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnuzan Sufian informed
a parliamentary committee that the new Labour Policy, first of its kind
in 30 years, will be announced before the celebration of, May Day on
May 1.

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/others/104596-labour-policy-soon.html

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* ‘Death Traps’ in Dhaka:
Powerful photography
A patriot might not readily describe his native city as a “death trap”
and a beautiful place in the same breath, but for the Bangladeshi
photographer Abir Abdullah, they’re not mutually exclusive. Bangladesh
and its capital, Dhaka, one of the most populous and dense cities in
the world, face complex challenges, as a robust economy frequently
beset by natural disasters.

more at:
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/death-traps-in-dhaka/

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* Hundreds cheated in the name of getting job:
Hundreds of day labourers of Aditmari upazila yesterday demonstrated in
the town demanding return of the money they paid to five people after
they promised to arrange jobs for them.

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=230112

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* Bonanza time for Baishakhi fashion sellers:
The city’s shopping malls, boutique-fashion houses and makeshift
vendors have been enjoying sales bonanza on the occasion of Pahela
Baishakh celebration, amid seasonal rain and rough weather during the
last three-days.

more at:
http://www.theindependentbd.com/business/finance/104604-bonanza-time-for-baishakhi-fashion-sellers.html

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INDIA
* Cotton output estimate likely to be revised upwards at 35.2 m bales:
he Agriculture Ministry is likely to revise upwards the country’s
cotton production estimate by 3.5 per cent to a record 35.2 million
bales for the current marketing year, a Government official said.

The Ministry releases four advance estimates at different stages of crop
growth. In its second advance estimate, cotton production was pegged at
34 million bales for the ongoing 2011-12 marketing year ending
September.

more at:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3303208.ece

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* Deaf to reason:
In the long run, export bans only end up discouraging producers from
increasing supplies.
The producer is the consumer’s best friend. This is a maxim that
governments somehow tend to ignore while taking extremely short-sighted
decisions. The ban on issuing fresh registrations for cotton exports
and allowing traders only to fulfil pending contracts falls precisely
in this category.

more at:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/editorial/article3303939.ece

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* Looking for wealth in the recycle bin:
As e-waste management becomes mandatory, a nascent industry in reverse
logistics looks forward to big growth.
Recently, Chennai-based homemaker Priya Rao exchanged her 10-year-old
fancy food processor for an ordinary but more powerful mixer grinder.
She got Rs 1,000 off on it – she had paid almost Rs 9,000 for the old
one.
It was one of the many space-occupying lesions in her house she
couldn’t part with or didn’t know how to dispose of – her irreparable
coffee bean grinder from a company no longer in the market; a
soda-maker purchased 15 years ago … the list went on and on.

more at:
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/brandline/article3300403.ece?ref=wl_features

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PAKISTAN
* Dark side of Pakistan bangle industry:
Wearing bangles is a long-held tradition for many women in South Asia.
But, it is women and children that bear the brunt of production of the
colourful glass odornments in Pakistan.
Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab reports from Hyderabad, Southern Pakistan.

VIDEO at:

or via:
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/

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* Record losses: Poor sanitation costs Pakistan billions:
A recent report has highlighted the staggering economic losses incurred
from inadequate sanitation in Pakistan, which have hit Rs343.7 billion
each year.
The number is equivalent to 3.9% of the country’s GDP, according to a
new report published by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), a
multi-donor partnership administered by the World Bank.
The report, The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Sanitation in Pakistan,
is based on evidence of the adverse economic impacts poor sanitation
causes, which include costs associated with death and disease,
accessing and treating water, and losses in education productivity and
time.

more at:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/363930/record-losses-poor-sanitation-costs-pakistan-billions/

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* Fashion week in Islamabad shows rarely seen side of Pakistani life
When people talk about fashion week, they are usually referring to
London, Paris, New York and Milan.
When I discovered that Islamabad was having its first ever fashion
week, I was especially intrigued.
In a country where the majority of women cover up and similar events in
the past have been threatened with fundamentalist attacks, this had to
be about promoting Pakistan’s textile industry in a strangled economy.

The majority of Pakistan’s population wears traditional Shalwar Kameez
or Burkha, are vehemently religious, poor and enjoy about a 50%
illiteracy rate. I quickly learned that there are pockets of Pakistani
society that have Western sensibilities, which warrants the fashion
industry to grow and justifies the need for a fashion week.

more at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/10/12/vice.pakistan.fashion/index.html
&
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/fashion-week-internationale/islamabad-full-length

map of Asia

CHINA
* Half of clothes imported from ROK fail test in Zhejiang
* The sign of collective compromise
* Swiss narrow fabric tech leader to present at ITMA + CITME

PHILIPPINES
* New labor group slams Aquino’s ‘Noynoying’ on workers’ concerns

VIET NAM
* 12,000 businesses died, others dieing, shouting for help
* Jobless insurance claims up, employment down
* Supply chain growth to up competitiveness

THAILAND
* Strikes break out in wake of wage policy
* Thailand falls 5 places in investment risk rankings

MALAYSIA
* Two-thirds of foreign workers in Malaysia are illegal

SINGAPORE
* 5,000 to take part in Nike Goddess 5K run

INDONESIA
* Textile imports drop by 3 percent

BANGLA DESH
* Plan underway to import 1.5mn bales of cotton from India
* Govt seeks cotton deal with India
* Textile industy seeks early removal of Indian ban on cotton
export
* Labour policy soon
* ‘Death Traps’ in Dhaka
* Hundreds cheated in the name of getting job
* Bonanza time for Baishakhi fashion sellers

INDIA
* Cotton output estimate likely to be revised upwards at 35.2 m bales
* Deaf to reason
* Looking for wealth in the recycle bin

PAKISTAN
* Dark side of Pakistan bangle industry
* Record losses: Poor sanitation costs Pakistan billions
* Fashion week in Islamabad shows rarely seen side of Pakistani life

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

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