This was in the news on-line, today, 21,22 april 2012

CHINA
* World Bank, IMF call for inclusive growth, poverty reduction:
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have called
for further efforts on inclusive growth and poverty reduction amid
fragile global recovery.
“The global economic outlook remains challenging,” the two
Washington-based agencies said in a statement issued after a joint
development committee meeting on Saturday.
“Policy adjustments and improved economic activity have reduced the
threat of a sharp global slowdown. Growth in emerging and developing
economies continues to be relatively strong, but poor countries still
need support,” it said.

more at:
http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/706024/World-Bank-IMF-call-for-inclusive-growth-poverty-reduction.aspx

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* China to create fashion zone near textile university:
A fashion industry zone will be set up around Donghua University (DHU),
a leading institution imparting textile and fashion related education
in China.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/fashion-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110274

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PHILIPPINES
* Philippines Strikes Blow for Migrant Women Workers:
The Philippines, striking a blow for migrant women workers, has urged
oil-rich member-countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to adopt
measures that would speed up the repatriation of women workers during
crises, particularly household service workers (HSWs) who are most
vulnerable to physical and sexual abuses.

more at:
http://www.cawinfo.org/2012/04/philippines-strikes-blow-for-migrant-women-workers/

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VIET NAM
* VITAS urges garment makers to review strategies:
The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has advised the
country’s textile and garment sector to review its strategies, so as
to realise its growth targets for the 2010-15 period.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110232

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* Garment makers review strategies:
The domestic textile and garment industry needs to devise new measures
to realise its development plan for the 2010-15 period, the Vietnam
Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has said.
The deputy general secretary of VITAS, Nguyen Van Tuan said yesterday
at a conference held by EU-Vietnam MUTRAP and the Vietnam Chamber of
Commerce and Industry that one of the biggest problems facing the
industry is the reliance on import materials.
Under the industry’s current plan, it would have to achieve a growth
rate of 25 per cent and total turnover of US$25 billion to reach its
2012 targets. At least US$19 billion of that total figure would have to
come from exports.

more at/via BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/4:
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/21362/business-in-brief-21-4.html

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THAILAND
* Minimum wage ‘will go national:
The government insists it will press ahead and raise minimum daily
wages nationwide to 300 baht next year. But the pay rises will be the
last minimum wage adjustment until 2015 when the Asean Economic
Community (AEC) is launched, Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said
Friday.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/289735/minimum-wage-will-go-national

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THAILAND/MYANMAR
* Burma May Send 200,000 Workers to Thailand:
More than 200,000 workers from Burma could be flown into Bangkok to be
employed in Thai factories under a direct state-to-state agreement,
according to a Thai Labor Ministry spokesman.
The plan is designed to address a labor shortage in Thailand and would
involved available workers being flown directly to the capital. Burma
has an estimated three million unemployed and many millions more on
extremely low incomes.
(…)
A letter sent to Walmart by activists and seen by The Irrawaddy told
the retail multinational that, “workers at both factories appear to
be facing serious violations of international human rights standards,
local laws and Walmart’s Standards for Suppliers,” and called on
the company to help “end to this treatment of workers and do more to
ensure that this treatment is not occurring in other supplier
factories.”

more at:
http://www.irrawaddy.org/?slide=burma-may-send-200000-workers-to-thailand

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* Migrant labour conditions slowly improving, says Myanmar minister:
With industrial development still some years off in Myanmar,
Nyapyidaw’s concern at present is to ensure that migrant workers
receive standard rights protection, because their remittances have
helped shape the growing economy, Myanmar Deputy Labour Minister Myint
Thein said in Bangkok on Thursday evening.
At his first press conference with Bangkok-based media, Myint Thein has
taken a positive but realistic view of the situation of Myanmar workers
in Thailand.
(…)
Migrant workers from neighboring countries use sewing machines on a
production line at a clothing company in Bangkok.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/289628/migrant-labour-improved-but-still-challenging

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* Myanmar backs rights for workers:
With industrial development poised to take off in Myanmar, Nay Pyi
Taw’s mission now is to ensure their overseas migrant workers receive
standard rights protection and can still send money home.
The annual remittance of more than US$3.6 billion (106 billion baht)
from Myanmar migrant workers has helped the country’s growing economy,
Myanmar Deputy Labour Minister Myint Thein said.
In his first press briefing with Bangkok-based media, Myint Thein gave
a positive but realistic view on the situation of Myanmar workers in
Thailand.

more at:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/289780/myanmar-backs-rights-for-workers

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BANGLA DESH
* Poor nations need more investments: Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday joined global leaders to urge
more investments into poor nations and call for introducing regulatory
guidelines to help foster investments.
Hasina urged “international regulations to avoid investment
protectionism,” and said “stabilisation of capital flow is a challenge.”

more at:
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=231129

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* Bangladesh RMG makers against FDI in apparel sector:
Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) producers have opposed foreign
direct investment (FDI) in domestic apparel and textile sector.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110261

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* B’desh aims at greater share in high-end apparel market:
As orders for high-value clothing items shift away from China, the
largest apparel exporting nation, owing to rise in wages and other
factors, Bangladesh is getting ready to grab as much share as possible.
The readymade garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh produces more of low
to middle-end apparel products and only a small number of factories are
currently engaged in the manufacturing of high-value products for some
of the world’s premium apparel retailers.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110287

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INDIA
* AP reduces VAT on textiles to 1%:
N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the Chief Minister of southern Indian state of
Andhra Pradesh, has announced that the state government has decided to
slash the value-added tax (VAT) on textile goods from the existing 5
percent to 1 percent.
The decision was taken after several rounds of negotiations between the
state government officials and the agitating textile traders in the
state, chiefly represented by the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Textile
Associations (APFTA).

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110275

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* Ministry to hire consultants for African textile cluster:
The Indian Textile Ministry will hire project management consultants to
set up a Textile Cluster in the African continent.
The Ministry of Textile proposes to set up a Textiles Cluster in Africa
under the India Africa Forum Summit II.
The Ministry has approved an allocation of Rs 3.15 billion for setting
up the cluster.
Towards that end, it has invited applications for expression of
interest from textile project consultants.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110281

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PAKISTAN
* Trade gap widens as exports fall:
Dwindling exports have widened the trade gap to a record level of 42.57
per cent as July to March exports dipped by 3.03 per cent at $17.189
billion and imports rose by 14.71 per cent at $33.285 billion.

According to provisional figures of external trade issued by Pakistan
Bureau of Statistics (PBS), country’s balance of trade widened to
$16.095 billion due to rapidly falling exports.

It is alarming that decline in exports has been witnessed in country’s
traditional items, such as value-added textiles, rice, leather and
leather garments.
(…)
Textile exports in March 2012 were lesser by 21.72 per cent.
# Amongst value-added textile, knitwear exports were down by 12.41 per
cent at 1.469 billion as against $1.678 billion last year.

# Similarly, bedwear exports declined by 12.74 per cent at $1.311
billion compared to $1.502 billion exports in the same period last
year.

# Towel exports were lesser by 7.82 per cent at $493 million as against
$534 million recorded in the corresponding period last year.

more at:
http://dawn.com/2012/04/21/trade-gap-widens-as-exports-fall/

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* APTMA demands equitable terms vis-à-vis India:
The Pakistan textile industry is expecting a level playing field
vis-à-vis its Indian counterparts for exports and imports of
textile goods and has asked for duties to be at par on both sides of
the border.

more at:
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110242

map of Asia

CHINA
* World Bank, IMF call for inclusive growth, poverty reduction
* China to create fashion zone near textile university

PHILIPPINES
* Philippines Strikes Blow for Migrant Women Workers

VIET NAM
* VITAS urges garment makers to review strategies
* Garment makers review strategies

THAILAND
* Minimum wage ‘will go national

THAILAND/MYANMAR
* Burma May Send 200,000 Workers to Thailand
* Migrant labour conditions slowly improving, says Myanmar minister
* Myanmar backs rights for workers

BANGLA DESH
* Poor nations need more investments
* Bangladesh RMG makers against FDI in apparel sector
* B’desh aims at greater share in high-end apparel market

INDIA
* AP reduces VAT on textiles to 1%
* Ministry to hire consultants for African textile cluster

PAKISTAN
* Trade gap widens as exports fall
* APTMA demands equitable terms vis-à-vis India

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