This was in the news on-line, today, 10 may 2012

CHINA

15:33:15 local time map of china   * China aims to double textile output in a decade:

Chinese textile producers aim to more than double the country’s textile output by 2020 from the 2010 level, according to a 10-year plan from the textile industrial association released Tuesday.

The textile industry is planning to increase textile and clothing exports by an annual rate of about 7 percent and boost the export value of fiber products to 400 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, said a 10-year development plan approved by China National Textile and Apparel Council(CNTAC). read more.

* Chairman flees as leather industry problems mount:

Zhejiang Hongchang Leather Co, a well-known leather manufacturer in Haining, East China’s Zhejiang Province, has suspended operations after massive debts prompted the company’s chairman to flee, revealing the difficulties confronting the leather sector at present due to rising costs and sluggish exports, an industry expert said Wednesday.

read more.

15:33:15 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Labour trafficking: Philippines’ modern-day slave trade:

The Philippines is one of the great labour exporters of the world.  Some 10 per cent of its total population and 22 per cent its working age population are now migrant workers in other countries.  With remittances totaling some $20 billion a year, the Philippines places fourth as a recipient of remittances, after China, India, and Mexico.

The country’s role as a labour exporter cannot be divorced from the dynamics of neoliberal capitalism.  The labour export programme began in the mid-seventies as a temporary programme under the Marcos dictatorship, with a relatively small number of workers involved–some 50,000.  read more.

* 17 killed in Butuan City fire:

An inferno at a three-story garment store in this southern Philippine city before dawn Wednesday killed 17 employees, most of whom were women who were asleep and trapped on the top floor, officials said.

The number of casualties was previously placed at 13 but police scouring the gutted building along Montilla Boulevard found four more bodies, Superintendent Martin Gamba, Caraga police spokesman, said. read more with video.

* Luxe for less:

Naturalizer knows about accessible luxury. For 85 years, it is the leading footwear brand that women the world over swear is the most comfortable at reasonably priced levels. Unquestionably so, as Naturalizer shoes are known for their comfort, fit and fabulousness.

As it became undisputed as the dominant shoe label, Naturalizer has continuously dazzled women with its mantra of “Live Your Life, Love Your Shoes.” And so generations of women did, as they embraced the brand’s value-for-money pragmatism.

read more.

14:33:15 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment exports reach US$4.5 bil in four months:

Garment and textile exports in April reached US$1.1 billion, down 7.25 percent from last month, bringing the country’s first four-month export turnover to roughly US$4.5 billion, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) said.

In addition, Vietnam earned US$565 million from exporting fabric products, down 10.3 percent against the same period last year.

According to Vitas, the decrease in exports is attributable to a reduction in consumption demand from major markets such as the US, EU and Japan.

Many local businesses still find it difficult to sign export contracts. to read.

* Garment exports rise 14% in first four months:

Garments and textiles remained amongst the 10 biggest Vietnamese exports, reaching more than US$3.7 billion in the first four months, a year-on-year increase of 14.4 per cent, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO).

A report from the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) said that in this four-month period, garment and textile exports to South Korea increased by 50 per cent, to the US by 15 per cent, the EU by 3 per cent and by more than 30 per cent to Japan.

From February to April, exports added about $90-96 million to the industry’s revenue each month.

Vitas said the growth in garment and textile exports were not from domestic companies, but those with foreign direct investment. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/5.


14:33:15 local time map of laos LAOS

* Growing Internet use puts Lao trade online:

As the number of people in Laos with Internet access has doubled in recent years, it has spurred business opportunities for online media and advertising.

According to a recent report from the World Bank, 8 per cent of Laos’ population of 6.2 million people are now online. Laos ranks seventh in terms of Internet usage in Southeast Asia, double the figure in 2008 thanks to the expansion of IT infrastructure into rural areas. read more.

14:33:15 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Textile and garment exports slump in Q1:

Thai textile and apparel exports both slumped in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the Thai Textile Institute and the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA).
Textile exports fell 15.3% year-on-year to $1.84bn in the three months from January to March, with slumps seen in all major product categories. Fibre shipments fell 20% to $191.5m, yarn was down 35.8% to $246.8m, and fabric exports dropped 13.9% for $344.9m.
At the same time, apparel exports declined 6.9% to $749.8m. read more.

14:33:15 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Court calls Bandith to ‘clarify’ Bavet shooting:

There’s still no arrest warrant, but Svay Rieng provincial court has issued a summons to former Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith, asking him to come to court on May 27 to clarify the circumstances surrounding charges related to the shooting of three protesters, an official told the Post yesterday.

“I am not sure whether he will come to clarify in the morning or afternoon, but he already received the summons,” said Hing Bun Chea, chief prosecutor for Svay Rieng.

The charges in question stem from a February 20 protest involving more than 6,000 workers from the Kaoway Sports factory. read more.

* Government, recruitment agencies protect workers in Thailand:

The Association of Cambodia Recruitment Agencies (ACRA) says it’s working with the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok to protect 1,050 workers at a seafood plant in southern Thailand. read more.

* UN envoy rebukes Cambodia over shooting of protesters:

A UN special envoy has has called for a halt to the increasing use of firearms against human rights activists in Cambodia.

Surya Subedi told the BBC that a series of recent incidents had caused him great concern.  read more.

* Prison (garment) labour still a threat:

Prisoners still face being exploited for labour, despite the government’s March prakas banning goods made behind bars from being exported, rights group Licadho has said.

Although Licadho believes the prakas will help protect the image of Cambodia’s garment industry, it says inmates still face exploitation under a prison law introduced in December that allows private companies to employ prisoners for domestic production.

read more.

* Cambodia- Exports to Korea -20 new garment factories-:

Cambodia’s first-quarter exports to South Korea soared nearly 80 per cent year-on-year, driven mostly by garments and agriculture products, but imports still accounted for most of the trade between the two countries. (…)

“We got increases in the garment industry, with around 20 new garment factories from Korea opening in the last year,” KOTRA manager Kim Dohyun said. “That’s the main reason for the export increase.” read more.

* From BetterFactories:

You can read in the printed version of  The Phnom Penh Post about:

1. Exports to Korea jump 80pc. (20 more new garment factories..) read more.

2. Prison labour (garment) still a threat- rights groug. read more.

You can read in the printed version of  Cambodia Daily about:

3. Cambodia- Despite decree, prison labor law problems persist, NGO
says. read more.

15:33:15 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

* Jakarta activists say Malaysia ‘most unsafe’ for Indonesian workers:

Indonesian human rights activists alleged that Malaysia is the “most unsafe” destination for their migrant workers and urged Jakarta to freeze all diplomatic ties with Malaysia until the issue is rectified. read more.

15:33:15 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* Singapore to share labor approach, experiences at ASEAN meeting:

Singapore will share its approach, experiences and challenges in improving social protection and skills development at a regional meeting of labor leaders, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday.

Singapore’s Minister of State for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin will be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from May 10 to 11, for the 22nd ASEAN Labor Ministers Meeting (ALMM), according to the ministry. read more.

* Singapore millionaires getting richer despite global recession:

70% of those surveyed by Royal Skandia said their wealth had risen between 2008 and the end of 2011.

A survey of Singapore millionaires and high net worth individuals found their wealth had increased significantly in the past three years despite the deep global economic turmoil since 2008. read more.

15:33:15 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Better Work Indonesia:

The Project aims to improve working conditions and productivity in targeted employment-intensive sectors by improving compliance with international core labour standards and Indonesian labour law. In tandem, the project will promote productivity and competitiveness of enterprises linked to the Indonesian global supply chain.

Indonesia is one of the world’s leading exporters of textiles and apparel products. This industry contributes significantly to the country’s economy, providing over a million jobs and is a major source of earnings. The Indonesian apparel industry is growing at over 8 per cent per annum, as garment factories move from China to Indonesia and other countries in the region. This has resulted in major brands sourcing more garments from Indonesia. read more.

13:03:15 local time map of india INDIA

* Cotton exports may hit record 13.5 mn bales:

India could ship up to 2 million additional bales of cotton in the current crop year, reaching a record 13.5 million bales after the government allowed export sales to resume, a trade association said on Wednesday.

Last month, India reversed a ban on cotton exports imposed in March as concerned eased that supplies would fall short for the textile industry, the country’s second largest employer, allowing firms in the world’s second-biggest producer and exporter to resume shipments abroad. read more.

* Garment exporters demand sops to counter US, EU slowdown:

The garment industry is demanding export sops and interest rate subsidy in addition to assured raw material supply to deal with the difficult economic situation in the United States and the European Union, which are major destination for Indian exporters.

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has also made a case for loan restructuring, something that the entire textiles industry has been demanding for several months. This in addition the demand for 2% interest subsidy as the garment industry is grappling with high cost debt with interest rates hovering 5-6% above the usual rates.

read more.

* Reaping gold through cotton, and newsprint:

“Not a single person from the two villages has committed suicide,” said a full page news story in the Times of India in 2008 on how Monsanto’s Bt Cotton had miraculously transformed the lives of farmers in Maharashtra. Three years later, the same story was reprinted by the agri-tech company as a full-page advertisement in the same newspaper. The Hindu‘s Rural Affairs Editor, P. Sainath, visited those villages recently to see first hand what kind of transformation had taken place. It turns out the villagers themselves have a different story to tell.

read more. & read more.

12:33:15 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Pakistan to participate in intertextile Shanghai trade fair:

Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles-Autumn Edition 2012 will return to Shanghai from August 28-30, increasing the international exhibition space by 33 percent, which now occupies two entire halls. Pakistan is the oldest pavilion at Intertextile Shanghai Home with participation from both the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and direct exhibitors. Besides Pakistan there will be pavilions from Turkey, Greece, Italy, Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Belgium. read more.

* Cotton market witnesses listless trading:

Trading remained listless with fine lint in focus amid firm spot rate at the Karachi cotton market, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Tuesday.

The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 6,200 per maund, floor brokers said.

Traders said buyers remained eager for fine lint, which was not available in plenty particularly in Sindh stations. read more.

map of Asia

CHINA
* China aims to double textile output in a decade
* Chairman flees as leather industry problems mount

PHILIPPINES
* Labour trafficking: Philippines’ modern-day slave trade
* 17 killed in Butuan City fire
* Luxe for less

VIET NAM
* Garment exports reach US$4.5 bil in four months
* Garment exports rise 14% in first four months

LAOS
* Growing Internet use puts Lao trade online

THAILAND
* Textile and garment exports slump in Q1

CAMBODIA
* Court calls Bandith to ‘clarify’ Bavet shooting
* Government, recruitment agencies protect workers in Thailand
* UN envoy rebukes Cambodia over shooting of protesters
* Prison (garment) labour still a threat
* Cambodia- Exports to Korea -20 new garment factories-
* From BetterFactories

MALAYSIA
* Jakarta activists say Malaysia ‘most unsafe’ for Indonesian workers

SINGAPORE
* Singapore to share labor approach, experiences at ASEAN meeting
* Singapore millionaires getting richer despite global recession

INDONESIA
* Better Work Indonesia

INDIA
* Cotton exports may hit record 13.5 mn bales
* Garment exporters demand sops to counter US, EU slowdown
* Reaping gold through cotton, and newsprint

PAKISTAN
* Pakistan to participate in intertextile Shanghai trade fair
* Cotton market witnesses listless trading

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