* Asia-Pacific vulnerable due to EU export dependency:
International rating agency Standard & Poor’s yesterday said the Asia-Pacific region is vulnerable to any flare-up in the European debt crisis due to its strong export dependency. read more.
* ADB announces start of Asean Infra Fund:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced yesterday the start of the so-called Asean Infrastructure Fund (AIF), the largest financing initiative for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). read more.
23:12:43 local time CHINA
* China blames U.S. export controls for trade imbalance:
Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said Thursday that the current trade imbalance between China and the United States has mainly been caused by U.S. restrictions on over 2,400 items exported to China.
He said it will be difficult for the two countries to achieve balanced trade if the U.S. continues to maintain control over such a large variety of exported goods. read more.
23:12:43 local time PHILIPPINES
* After Labor Day: Philippines to raise salaries… of president, top officials:
Philippines President Benigno Aquino’s Labor Day rejection of workers’ demands for a much-deserved wage hike has been heightened by news that he, along with Vice President Jojo Binay and other top government officials, is set to receive a salary increase in a few months.
Labor groups of all stripes, from the conservative Trade Union Congress of the Philippines to the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno, have demanded meaningful wage hikes for the nation’s minimum wage earners who for many years have been given paltry increases and so-called “non-cash” benefits. These steps taken by the previous Arroyo regime and the current Aquino regime satisfy employers’ greedy demands that the public’s pleas for an economic reprieve via a wage hike should not be at the expense of their superprofits. read more.
* Labor groups protest Noy, ADB policy on workers’ welfare:
A coalition of labor groups on Friday held a lightning rally near the venue of the 4th Asian Development Bank conference at the PICC Manila to protest the full-scale privatization program of President Benigno Aquino III. read more.
22:12:43 local time VIET NAM
* Garment exports to Korea earn US$380 million:
Vietnam’s garment exports to the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the first four months of this year reached US$380 million, up by 50 percent compared to the same period last year.From February to April, the average monthly turnover level was estimated at US$90-96 million.
The RoK is the fourth biggest importer from which the Vietnamese garment industry is expected to earn as much as US$1 billion by the end of this year. Other major importers include the US, the European Union (EU) and Japan. read it here.
* Viet Nam’s exports to Norway surges:
Viet Nam exported US$81.9 million in goods to Norway during the first quarter of this year, up 26.3 per cent against the same period last year, according to Statistics Norway.
Among export items recording significant growth were footwear, garments and textiles, interior decor and seafood. Over the reviewed period, Viet Nam’s imports from Norway increased by 33.7 per cent to $46.7 million compared with last year’s level.-
* City focuses on workers’ rights:
As the country’s commercial and industrial hub, HCM City has also taken the lead in taking care of its labour force, according priority to improving workers’ living standards, a senior official said last week.
Nguyen Tan Dinh, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA), told the Vietnam News Agency in an interview that providing accommodation to workers has always been treated as an urgent task by city authorities. read more.
22:12:43 local time THAILAND
* Sweden’s biggest newspaper Dagens Nyheter covers the trial Somyot:
International campaigns for detained journalist.
Beijing. Trials held in Thailand against journalists and internet companies accused of lèse majesté have led to several international campaigns to secure their release. read more.
22:12:43 local time CAMBODIA
* Cambodian Garment workers makes Music with a message:
As the sun went down the music roared on Tuesday when the Messenger Band took the stage at a pagoda in Svay Rieng province, about 10 kilometres from the provincial town.
The seven women – all former or current garment workers – performed for about four hours, using music to raise awareness about a wide range of social issues, from evictions to migration and indebtedness. read more.
23:12:43 local time MALAYSIA
* Minimum wage may dent glove makers’ profits:
The Malaysian rubber glove industry, which is labour-intensive and has a 63 per cent share of the global market, will be most affected by the new minimum wage policy, Singapore’s Business Times reported today.
A minimum wage policy was announced by the prime minister this week, with a floor wage of RM900 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for East Malaysia.
Analysts told the Business Times that rising wages will cut profits of the rubber glove industry and may even cause small companies to consolidate. read more.
23:12:43 local time INDONESIA
* BetterWork Indonesia:
An introductory video to the Better Work Indonesia programme. You can see it here.
* ‘Higher wages for workers is fair in times like these’: Megawati
Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri has assured workers that her party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), will support them in their aspirations.
The PDI-P chairwoman was quoted by Antara news agency as saying that workers’ demands for higher wages were “fair, especially in times like these”. read more.
21:12:43 local time BANGLA DESH
* 68 lakh jobs created in three years, claims PM:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the country will be run democratically and nothing undemocratic will be allowed, reports UNB.
“We do believe in constitutional power…the country belongs to people and it’ll be run democratically …nothing undemocratic will be allowed,” the Prime Minister warned.
She was addressing a workers’ rally organised by Jatiya Sramik League on the playground of Telephone Shilpasangstha at Tongi on Tuesday, marking the May Day.
* Migrant workers remain neglected in host countries:
Bangladeshi migrant workers remain deprived in terms of protection from violation of rights, safety and security as most of them do not enjoy trade union rights in the receiving countries.
The government and labour rights groups at home are also found indifferent on protecting rights of the migrant workers abroad. read more.
20:42:43 local time INDIA
* Concern in Lok Sabha over child labour, water scarcity:
Members in the Lok Sabha today drew the government’s attention towards several issues, particularly the plight of deserted women, child labourers, water scarcity and safety of Indian fishermen on high seas.
Raising the issue on the plight of child labourers during Zero Hour, Virendra Kumar ( BJP) said people often employ child labourers to save money as they can be hired for much lesser amount. read more.
* Labour woes affect jute sowing in North-East:
The sowing of jute is yet to pick up this season despite a higher minimum support price and favourable weather conditions.
Jute sowing starts in the last week of March and continues up to end May. Harvesting begins in end June or in the first week of July.
According to senior officials in the jute industry, there has been a 10-15 per cent decline in sowing in north Bengal, Bihar and Assam on account of labour problems. Sowing is yet to be completed in south Bengal. read more.
* 25 lakh jobs created in labour-intensive sectors:
Over 25 lakh jobs were created between October 2008 and December 2011 in selected labour-intensive and export- oriented sectors, such as textiles, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. read more.
* ASHA workers want ‘saree’ identity:
The issue of identity crisis doesn’t seem to be limited to political leaders in the Narendra Modi government. It seems to be affecting grassroots-level workers in the state. In an interesting episode on Wednesday while the chief minister was felicitating sarpanchs of samaras gram panchayats, Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers put forth a demand for saree as their uniform so that they could have a unique identity, just like anganwadi workers. Along with this, they also demanded fixed salary. read more.
* Adidas to slash Reebok store base in India:
Germany’s Adidas said today it would cut the number of its Reebok stores in India by about one-third as it tackles “commercial irregularities” at the unit, an issue that has clouded a strong start to a bumper sports year. raed more.
* India’s factory activity gains pace in April as orders rise:
The pace of growth in India’s factory sector inched up in April, supported by bulging order books, but slower output growth and increasing price pressures dampened sentiment, a business survey showed yesterday.read more.
* Govt must bring clarity in policy – Shingora Textiles:
Frequent changes in Government policies are creating a barrier in long-term planning for Indian textile and apparel companies, which are now seeking some clarity in Government’s policy.
The Government’s policies regarding export of cotton and imposition of excise duty on branded garments have changed a few times in recent years. Moreover, absence of labeling standards and strong regulatory system is also adding to the vows of textile and garment companies competing in domestic and international markets. read more.
* Allowing cotton exports a good decision: FIEO
Welcoming the decision of the Government to allow fresh Cotton Exports, Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, President, Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) said that this is a good decision which has removed the uncertainty amongst exporters having substantial orders in hands. read more.
20:42:43 local time SRI LANKA
* Apparel exports surge 20% in value in 2011:
The value of apparel exports from Sri Lanka soared by more than 20% to break through the US$4bn barrier in 2011, according to the country’s Export Development Board. Exports to number one destination the US were up by 15.8% to $1.59bn, continuing their recovery from the low points of 2009 and 2010, and nearing pre-recession levels.
Out of Sri Lanka’s top 10 markets, only the Netherlands fell, with exports down by more than 20%, but there were rises in the UK (15%), Italy (38%), Germany (19%), Belgium (67%) and France (48%).
Despite concerns about a slowing European economy, total exports to the EU rose 19.9% to just over $2bn, but emerging markets provided the most dynamic growth, with exports to countries outside the US and EU surging up 43.8% to $409m.
Shipments to India, Korea, Saudi Arabia and China all more than doubled, and there was also strong growth in Hong Kong, Australia, Mexico, the Russian Federation and Poland. read more.
20:12:43 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile industry upbeat in meeting export shortfall:
Textile industry has potential to meet shortfall in exports, reaching $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period provided it was facilitated with uninterrupted energy supply and globally competitive interest rates.
Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Mohsin Aziz said the textile exports have suffered a loss of $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period, mainly due to energy crisis and financial constraints. read more.
* Cotton market observes firm trading session:
Trading remained firm with fine lint in focus at the Karachi cotton market, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Wednesday. read more
* Textile exports suffer loss of $1 billion in 9 months:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Mohsin Aziz has said that the textile industry has potential to meet shortfall in exports if it gets uninterrupted energy supply.
He said the textile exports have suffered a loss of $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period of last year, mainly due to energy crisis and financial constraints especially high interest rates. read more.
* Energy crisis impacting Pakistan textile exports:
Mr Mohsin Aziz, Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has said that the textile industry has potential to meet shortfall in exports, reaching $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period provided that it is facilitated with uninterrupted energy supply and globally competitive interest rates.
He said the textile exports have suffered a loss of $1 billion during first nine months of current fiscal against the corresponding period, mainly due to energy crisis and financial constraints. read more.
* PTEA condemns hike in electricity tariff:
Instead of reducing the cost of doing business, the government has gone ahead and hiked electricity rates by 12 percent said a top official of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA).
“We condemn the proposed 12 percent rise in electricity tariffs, which will increase the cost of manufacturing and ultimately affect cost-competitiveness of Pakistani textile exports”, Rana Arif Tauseef – Chairman of PTEA said.
He added, “The textile industry was already reeling under excessive electricity tariffs, despite which, the government has increased tariff by another 12 percent, instead of rolling back or reducing the earlier hike”. to read at.
* Record cotton harvest of 14.8m bales:
A record cotton harvest of 14.813 million bales has been achieved this season (2011-12), showing a growth of over 26 per cent over previous year when production stood at 11.698 million bales. read more.