This was in the news on-line, today, 14 may 2012

CHINA

20:44:37 local time map of china  * HK firm buys British luxury clothing brand:

Hong Kong-listed YGM Trading has bought the British luxury clothing brand Aquascutum, which entered administration last month after registering 24 million pounds ($38.66 million) loss in the previous year, local media reported on Thursday.

Aquascutum, the 160-year-old British clothing retailer, had collapsed into administration, jeopardizing 250 jobs.

Aquascutum’s administrators announced Thursday the completion of the sale, saying “We are delighted to announce the sale of Aquascutum, safeguarding the jobs of over 100 employees and the presence of the iconic Aquascutum brand.” read more.

* Li Ning rejoins race in children’s wear market:

The race to control China’s children’s wear market has escalated, with Chinese sportswear company Li Ning rejoining the battle, which has never seemed to lack major players.

Li Ning Co Ltd is pinning its hopes on the nation’s huge children’s wear market after its net profit fell behind some other local sportswear brands.  read more.

* XiDeLang eyes listing:

XiDeLang Holdings, a Chinese shoemaker listed in Malaysian, is eyeing a dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company said over the weekend.

“The company has engaged Dow-Capital, a financial advisory company in Hong Kong, to evaluate the possibility of the dual listing,” XiDeLang said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia Securities.

XiDeLang, China’s second largest running and skateboard shoemaker, was earlier quoted by Malaysian newspaper Business Times as saying that it was disappointed with the valuation it had fetched on the Malaysian bourse.  read more.

19:44:37 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vietnam-Norway’s two-way trade reaches $127mln in Q1/2012:

Vietnam-Norway’s bilateral trade was estimated to hit $126.8 million in the first three months of this year, the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said. (…)

Footwear topped the list of Vietnam’s export staple to Norway in the period with a total of $23.6 million Followed by garments ($12.3 million) funiture ($7.6 million) and seafood (4$.2 million).

Footwear, seafood, garments, furniture, vegetables and cashew nuts are considered to be Vietnam’s export strength those also meet the Norway’s demand, experts said, adding that the two countries should further boost their bilateral trade coperation as they are enjoying Free Trade Agreement between the European countries and Vietnam. (EFTA).  read more.

* Enterprises struggle with high inventory:

Economic difficulties have not only hit manufacturing and real estate companies in the first four months of this year, but also distributors and service companies who saw their inventories rise substantially. (….)

From an enterprise point of view, Nguyen Huu Toan, deputy director-general of Saigon 2 Garment Joint Stock Company, garment buying power has been extremely slow and the company sales have dropped by 30-40 per cent, as against the same period last year. The number of orders for uniforms from regular buyers has also fallen drastically.

read more.

* Export firms fete workers:

Companies in HCM City’s industrial parks and export processing zones are organising a slew of activities to benefit workers to mark Workers’ Month.

The HCM City Labour Federation, which is organising the campaign, has encouraged individuals and companies to raise funds for surgeries for poor workers and those suffering workplace accidents.

Thirty workers would benefit in the first phase of this charity programme – called Trai Tim Nghia Tinh (Sentimental Attachment for Hearts) – with each surgery costing more than VND100 million (US$4,800).  read more.

19:44:37 local time map of laos LAOS

* Workplace inspections loom for underpaying employers:

With many payment-related disputes erupting, officials in charge have announced they will inspect businesses where there is the potential for disputes to arise, a senior workers’ representative has announced.

The government issued an announcement which came into force on January 1 to increase the minimum wage paid to unskilled workers from 348,000 kip to 626,000 kip per month, while maintaining existing supportive allowances.

But many businesses have failed to comply and have cut supportive allowances, despite increasing the wage. The allowances that employers are supposed to give include money for meals, good performance and social welfare protection.  (…)

Garment factories are responsible for the majority of violations, especially the larger ones. read more.

19:44:37 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Employers side-step pay hike:

Labour groups say workers are being ripped off by employers after the 300-baht minimum wage policy was introduced and have called on the Pheu Thai Party to rectify the situation.

Employers were resorting to “dirty tricks” to avoid paying employees the new minimum wage, Thai Labour Reconciliation Committee head Chalee Loysung said. Since the new wage was introduced on April 1, the committee has received 73 complaints from workers who said their employers refused to comply with the wage policy.  read more.

19:44:37 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* 2,000 workers block National Road No 4 near Phnom Penh:

About 2,000 workers from Taiwanese-owned Tai Yang Enterprises Co Ltd blocked National Road 4 in front of Bek Chan market Saturday after failing to resolve a week-long protest, a source said.

Police were seen intervening to improve the flow of traffic.

The source said that worker representatives and unions were meeting with the employer and officials from the Ministry of Labor to resolve the dispute.

Workers said that according to the labor law, factory owners had to pay workers if they change the name of a factory. In this case, they said, the name of the factory has been  changed from Tai Yang to Tai Nan Enterprises. read more.

* ASEAN plus Three Labor Ministers Meeting wraps up in Cambodia:

The 7th ASEAN Plus Three Labor Ministers Meeting wrapped up here Friday with the release of a joint statement, calling for further exchange of views on joint labor initiatives.

During the two-day meeting, the labor ministers reviewed the progress of the cooperation under frameworks of ASEAN plus Three cooperation and exchanged issues relating to efforts improving social protection and skill development.

According to the joint statement, the ministers highly valued China’s commitment of sharing information with ASEAN members, including planning to convene the High Level Conference on Social Insurance Administration tentatively in October in China.

read more.

* Garment workers will return, still seek resolution:

More than 800 workers from Su Tong Fang factory in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district will end their two-week protest and return to work on Thursday after reaching an agreement with their bosses, their union representative said yesterday.

Factory union president Hai Soven, a member of the Free Trade Union, said the company had agreed to meet some but not all of the workers’ demands – an offer they had accepted.

“The company has agreed to give us US$3 [per month] as an attendance bonus, $5 for accommodation and $2 for transport,” he said, adding they had asked for $10 per month to cover accommodation and $10 per month for transportation.  read more.

20:44:37 local time map of malaysia MALAYSIA

 * Najib Wants Stronger Worker, Employer, Government Relations:

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday called for continued strengthening of the close cooperation among workers, employers and the government to enhance productivity and realise the national transformation agenda.

The prime minister said this was of primary importance in nourishing the concept of a win-win situation without jeopardising the interests of any side.

“I am totally convinced that with the cooperation of the three sides, workers, employers and the government, we can continue to strengthen understanding and consensus towards establishing harmonious and conducive relations.  read more.

19:14:37 local time map of myanmar MYANMAR

* Anatomy of a Burmese workers’ strike in Thailand:

On Friday, May 4,  2012, about 500 Myanmar migrant workers employed at the SD Fashion/Idea Garment factory in Mae Sot, Tak Province, claimed victory in a struggle against their employer for increased wages and improved living and working conditions.

The workers achieved a doubling of their wages as a result of a two-day wildcat strike they initiated on Wednesday 2 May.  This case is just one of a string of collective actions carried out by migrants in Songkla, Kanchanaburi and Tak provinces following the 1 April increase in Thailand’s minimum wage.  read more.

18:44:37 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Garment workers block Dhk-Tangail highway:

Garment workers blocked the Dhaka-Tangail highway protesting against the detention of a fellow worker for a second day on Sunday, a day after violence between police and workers had left at least 100 people injured.

One female worker died after being run over by a speeding bus during the violence on Saturday.  read more.

* Police-RMG workers clash kills 1, injures 100:

A female garment worker was killed and 100 people, including six journalists and 15 policemen, were injured in a fierce clash between garment workers and cops at Ashulia here on Saturday following the death rumour of a fellow worker.

The unruly workers blocked Baipail-Tangail Highway for several hours and vandalised and torched nearly 50 passing vehicles. Vehicular movement on the highway remained suspended for nearly four hours, causing immense sufferings to the commuters.

The deceased was identified as Kamrunnahar, an operator of ‘Opex Sweater’ garment factory. Sources said Kamrunahar was critically injured when a truck hit her during the clash between the workers and law enforcers. read more. & read more.

 

* 300 RMG factories keep shutters down:

Ashulia turns into battle ground.

100 injured as garment workers, cops lock in fierce clashes over rumour of death of Hamim Group storekeeper: Woman worker killed during melee.

At least 300 garment factories at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital remained shut for a day on Saturday after rampaging workers and police were locked in clashes over the rumour of a death of a detained worker.
Sporadic clashes between the workers and the law enforcers left at least 100 people, including 10 policemen, injured.
Meanwhile, Nahar Begum, 30, an operative of Opex Group, was run over by a bus at Jamgara when the agitating RMG workers were chased by police during the clash, said Mokhlesur Rahman, inspector of Industrial Police, Ashulia.
A worker of Hamim Group was detained on Thursday for talking over mobile phone inside the factory violating rule. Use of mobile phone is prohibited inside garment factories during working hours. read more.

*Ashulia erupts into violence, 100 hurt:

Over 100 people were injured as several thousand garment workers fought pitched battle with police in Ashulia industrial belt near the capital for the second straight day on Sunday.

Production at over 100 garment factories situated beside the Dhaka-Tangail highway stretching from Jamgorah to Narasinghapur were suspended fearing vandalism, said Mostafa Kamal, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Ashulia Police Station.

The marauding workers also vandalised around 50 vehicles as soon as they took to the highway around 9:00am.

Traffic movement on the highway however resumed around four hours.

The clash started from the Ha-Meem Group as its disgruntled workers blocked the highway to know the whereabouts of Salman, a storekeeper of the group’s Artistic Design Ltd, and to protest the death of a garment worker in a road accident during Saturday clash.   read more.

18:14:37 local time map of india INDIA

* How global brand Adidas slipped in India:

For a company that sells running shoes, German sporting goods and apparel powerhouse Adidas has long preferred to tiptoe in the Indian market. Many global retail giants believe that this is a market where pots of money can be made, but Adidas has largely been cool to India. As early as 2011, the group identified North America, Greater China, Russia/CIS, Latin America , Japan and the UK as key growth markets. India managed to find mention in the annual report, but as an emerging market. Adidas chief corporate communication officer Jan Runau said India is important. How much so? “In terms of turnover, it is neither among our Top Ten markets globally nor in the Top Three in Asia.” But for a market on the backburner, Adidas devoted considerable time and emphasis on India while announcing its first-quarter results earlier this month. Only, it wasn’t for reasons it would have preferred or imagined.  read more.

* Parx launches ‘Hot Tees’ & ‘Racers Rendezvous’ this summer:

Parx, the premium casual lifestyle brand for Gen-Next, from Raymond, India’s leading textile and apparel major, has launched two new additional product lines to it’s refreshing Summer 2012 (SS’12) Collection. ‘Hot Tees’ are for those who want to ‘Express Their Freedom’ through their clothing. ‘Racers Rendezvous’, a sporty range that ensures every Racing enthusiast’s pulse goes vrooming, with its key attributes of speed, power and style. read more.

* New project aims to enhance India’s silk production:

Sericulture is an important economic sector of India as it offers better employability and profitability prospects for rural farmers as compared to agriculture.

Over the years, most of the states in the country, including the north-eastern states, have been trying to develop their silk industry. However, there still exists an information gap at the grassroots-level in developing silkworm food plants. read more.

18:14:37 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

* Garment Exports Suffer Setback:

Sri Lanka’s largest export and second biggest foreign exchange earner, garments, has suffered a setback in its first quarter (1Q) performance.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal speaking to reporters on Tuesday, said that there has been a slight contraction in earnings year on year (YoY). “However exporters have said that going forward their order books are full,” he said.
According to available statistics, garment exports in the first two months of the year grew marginally by 1.5% YoY to US$ ($) 708 million, while the trade deficit grew even faster, widening by 59.7% YoY to $ 1.7 billion in the review period.  read more.

17:44:37 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* ‘One-way traffic for Indian imports not acceptable’:

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and India should be based on level playing field, reciprocity and comparative advantages.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Mohsin Aziz said the efforts to bring two economies closer were commendable as it was high time to benefit from each other potential and increase share in the regional trade.

A real caution has to be taken while deciding trade with India, as it should be a two-way road and not a one-way traffic in the larger interest of the country, its consumers as well as industry. read more.

* Textile exports face opposition in EU for GSP plus:

Pakistan’s textile exports to European Union (EU) faced a record number of objections and are still under the opposition despite unanimously approval by General Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to provide trade concessions to Pakistan on 75 products.

Pakistan’s entry was objected by Bangladesh, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Peru, and after rectifying the apprehensions of these countries the objections were dropped and entry was granted, said member Pakistan Yarn Merchants Association (PYMA), Ghulam Rabbani on Saturday.

Now Germany, Spain and Portugal have opposed Pakistan’s access to EU countries on Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facility, which was becoming reality after the approval of WTO.

“It is the third time that these three countries have put obstacles in the way of Pakistan in recent European Parliament meeting on back of recessionary fears in Europe,” Rabbani added.

He said textile made ups and garment exporters are afraid of a further cut or scraping of EU package for Pakistani textiles because of this recent opposition.  read more.

* Trading remains range-bound at cotton market:

Trading remained range-bound amid fine lint in focus with shrinking stocks past week, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Saturday.

During the past week buyers bought lint of all grades while sellers with fine grades offered their produce on slightly higher prices at around Rs 6,500 per maund, traders said.  read more.

* Limited access: EU to open gates for Pakistani goods but not for long:

After twenty months, the proposed European Union (EU) trade concessions aimed at helping Pakistan’s economy to recover from losses inflicted by floods in 2010, have become political baggage for the 27-member confederation rather than measures meant to lessen Islamabad’s economic woes.

In the latest blow, dashing Pakistani exporters’ hopes of making significant gains from the proposed trade concessions, the EU has decided to cut the waiver period from 36 months to just 18 months. It has also decided to place ceilings on the quantity of duty-free goods being imported from Pakistan.  read more.

* Pakistani cotton scientist declared the world’s best in 2012:

A Pakistan-based scientist has been honoured by the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the body said in a statement released this week.

Dr Yusuf Zafar, who is the director general agriculture and biotechnology at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission was declared ‘Scientist of the Year-2012’ for his pioneering work in the cotton biotechnology sector.  read more.

* Trade with India a need of the hour subject: APTMA:

Mr Mohsin Aziz, Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and India is a need of the hour subject to the provision of level playing field to Pakistani products in the Indian market.

He said the efforts to bring two economies closer are commendable as it is high time to benefit from each other potential and increase mutual share in the world trade.

read more.


map of Asia

CHINA
* HK firm buys British luxury clothing brand
* Li Ning rejoins race in children’s wear market
* XiDeLang eyes listing

VIET NAM
* Vietnam-Norway’s two-way trade reaches $127mln in Q1/2012
* Enterprises struggle with high inventory
* Export firms fete workers

LAOS
* Workplace inspections loom for underpaying employers

THAILAND
* Employers side-step pay hike

CAMBODIA
* 2,000 workers block National Road No 4 near Phnom Penh
* ASEAN plus Three Labor Ministers Meeting wraps up in Cambodia
* Garment workers will return, still seek resolution

MALAYSIA
* Najib Wants Stronger Worker, Employer, Government Relations

MYANMAR
* Anatomy of a Burmese workers’ strike in Thailand

BANGLA DESH
* Garment workers block Dhk-Tangail highway
* Police-RMG workers clash kills 1, injures 100
* 300 RMG factories keep shutters down
*Ashulia erupts into violence, 100 hurt

INDIA
* How global brand Adidas slipped in India
* Parx launches ‘Hot Tees’ & ‘Racers Rendezvous’ this summer
* New project aims to enhance India’s silk production

SRI LANKA
* Garment Exports Suffer Setback

PAKISTAN
* ‘One-way traffic for Indian imports not acceptable’
* Textile exports face opposition in EU for GSP plus
* Trading remains range-bound at cotton market
* Limited access: EU to open gates for Pakistani goods but not for long
* Pakistani cotton scientist declared the world’s best in 2012
* Trade with India a need of the hour subject

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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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