This was in the news on-line, today, 18 may 2012

CHINA

20:31:46 local time map of china  * Zhejiang garment firm gets Olympics order:

A small-sized garment enterprise in east China’s Zhejiang province has got a big order to manufacture 120,000 football jerseys for the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games. With 120 employees working for its two plants, Zhejiang Yunlong Co Ltd, located in the city of Jiaxing, supplied football jerseys for the South Africa 2010 World Cup.                                                                                                                            “We processed the clothing for World Cup using the fabric materials from Taiwan two years ago. Now, we use our self-developed fabrics with high quality and low cost to produce garments for the Olympics,” said Ren Long, general manager of the company.                                                                                                                      The cost for each jersey is $10, 15 percent lower than the previous price, according to Ren.                                                                                                                             The 120,000 jerseys will be transported to England for football fans from 17 countries by the end of this month, Ren said. read more.

* Nation may miss foreign trade target this year:

Continuously weak demand from developed economies has already led some experts to forecast that China may miss its 2012 foreign trade growth target.                              But a slowdown may not be an entirely bad thing, they said, because it could spur more companies to undergo technological upgrading and come up with better products and services.
Anbound, a Beijing-based consultancy, said it is highly unlikely that China”s foreign trade can grow by the 10 percent that was anticipated earlier this year.

This comment was made prior to the publication of China”s April trade data on Thursday, which saw exports grow 4.9 percent year-on-year, reaching $163.25 billion, while imports grew just 0.3 percent, to $144.83 billion.                                                   Both figures are a far cry from the 10 percent mark set for the year. (…..)

In the first four months, garment exports totaled slightly less than $40 billion, showing a year-on-year increase of only 1 percent. Textile exports fell 0.3 percent to $28.85 billion, and footwear exports increased 4.2 percent to $12.4 billion. read more. 

* 100 Chinese apparel firms to partake at White Label:

White Label takes place for the first time in Berlin at the Max- Schmeling-Halle during the Berlin Fashion Week (BFW) from 04 – 06 July 2012. This first show provides access to 100 Chinese textile and clothing companies as potential suppliers of top-quality womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and accessories. In 2013, White Label will open its gates to exhibitors from  all over the world. (….)                                              For Chinatex, White Label in Berlin is the stepstone into the European exhibition market – a decision the company took at the beginning of 2011. (….)

It is envisaged to host White Label twice a year during the BFW. The aim is to open the gate to exhibitors from other countries as of 2013. Access to White Label is free upon registration on www.whitelabelfair.com.  read more.                     

* Chinese textile firm Shandong Demian to set up new unit:

Shandong Demian Incorporated, formerly Shandong Dezhou Cotton Mill, plans to raise up to 530 million Yuan through private placement to set up a new production unit.
The company intends to issue a maximum of 95 million shares at a minimum price of 5.54 Yuan per share.
The funds so raised would be utilized by the company to set up a textile production unit, strengthen sales channels and to retain a part of it as operating capital. read more.

20:31:46 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines to appeal P30 wage hike:

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines on Friday said it will appeal the P30 additional cost of living allowance for workers in Metro Manila approved by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board.

“We will file the appeal before the wage board next week before it announces its decision in news papers,” said AllanTanjusay, TUCP policy advocacy officer.

He said the wage hike did not even meet half of the P90 the TUCP asked for minimum wage workers in Metro Manila. read more.

CHINA-VIET NAM

* Trade fair features Chinese products:

The second Zhejiang Export Fair opened on May 16 in Hanoi , attracting 138 enterprises from the Chinese province. Nearly 200 booths at the fair displayed electronic and construction equipment, decorative materials, textile accessories and home equipment.                                                                                                 Through the fair, enterprises from China ’s fourth most-developed province sought to seek high quality material resources at competitive prices, particularly in the textile sector.                                                                                                                         Last year, two-way trade between Vietnam and Zhejiang reached more than 2.8 billion USD. Vietnam mainly imported cotton, textile materials and exported coal, crude oil and rubber from the province.                                                                                       By the end of 2011, Vietnam had operated 23 projects in Zhejiang with a total investment of nearly 22 million USD, while 153 firms from the province have invested more than 390 million USD into projects in Vietnam. read more.

19:31:46 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Major firms cut costs to stay afloat:

As many as 83 major companies and four banks in the country have registered to cut operational costs by some VND13 trillion (US$624 million) in a bid to stay afloat in the economic downturn, the Ministry of Finance said. (…)                                              Other firms followed such as Viet Nam National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex) with VND1.1 trillion, Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) with VND1.8 trillion, House and Urban Development (HUD) with VND125 billion and Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) with VND105 billion. read more.

19:31:46 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Strikers told they have it good:

About 4,000 workers from two garment factories protested in Phnom Penh  yesterday for better working conditions – but bosses told them their 7.5 hour working days and free meals meant they had it pretty good.

The workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories began striking yesterday morning with a list of demands that included the introduction of accommodation, transportation and attendance bonuses.  read more.

* Brands proving free lunches might exist:

Major international garment and shoe brands have expressed interest in funding a food program that would feed Cambodian factory workers lunches in an effort to improve health and productivity, a labour advocate said on Wednesday.

Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, said he raised the idea of a brands-sponsored food program with representatives of 14 brands that source from the Kingdom, including Nike, PUMA, Gap and Walt Disney, during a forum in Hong Kong this week. read more.

* Investors eye Meoun Chey border:

Chinese, Korean and local investors have shown interest in Meoun Chey border crossing in Prey Veng province’s Komchay Mear district between Cambodia and Vietnam, provincial officials said yesterday.

Komchay Mear district governor Prak Savann said the potential investors are looking for land in the area to develop garment and other types of factories.(…)
“Some investors have expressed interest in building casinos, factories and warehouses,” he said. read more.

* Welsh secretary pledges to urge investors to Cambodia:

The Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan pledged on Thursday to encourage more investors from the United Kingdom to Cambodia in order to further strengthen the UK-Cambodia ties.                                                                                                       Cheryl made the promise during a two-hour meeting with the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace.                                                                          She said her visit here was to boost the UK-Cambodia relations and cooperation and during the stay, she would open a UK Trade and Investment Office in Cambodia and a new factory for Quantum Clothing (Cambodia), which is invested by a British company.

Meanwhile, Hun Sen congratulated the UK for opening the Trade and Investment Office in Phnom Penh and said Cambodia has been expanding the scope of its economy through encouraging investments in mineral resources and energy.             The premier said he wanted to see Britain investors in these fields.                                   He also told Cheryl that Cambodia now is full of political stability, security and sound macroeconomics.

Moreover, the country enjoys remarkable increases in garment and textile exports and foreign tourist arrivals. read more.

* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:

1. Union leader brings backup. read here.
2. Brands proving free lunches might exist. read here.
3. Strikers told they have it good. read here.

* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:

4. Growing number of strikes worries clothing brands. read here.


20:31:46 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* Fashion sellers trail today’s savvy buyers:

Today’s average consumer is not only tech-savvy but well-informed, opinionated and not loyal to any particular brand – and the fashion retailer is only now scrambling to keep her interested.

“The consumer has changed drastically and the retailer is still in shock,” said Angelia Teo, content director for the

Asia-Pacific region at fashion think-tank WGSN.

No longer do most customers walk into a store to browse and buy on impulse. Research has shown that more than 40 per cent of young people do their research online and decide what to buy before even stepping into a physical store, she said.  read more.

20:31:46 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Adidas: Pay PT Kizone workers legally mandated severance:

In January 2011, the owner of PT Kizone factory fled Indonesia, and 2,800 workers and their families found themselves without the nearly half a year’s wages worth of legally-owed severance pay.  adidas is the only major buyer from the factory that has refused to accept responsibility and contribute towards what the workers are owed under Indonesian law.  Nearly $1.8 million is still owed to the workers, who are struggling to keep children in school and put food on the table. Join us in calling on adidas to uphold its commitment to social responsibility. PLEASE read & take action here. & or here.

   

* SGS extends Partnership with Leading Japanese Testing and Inspection Firm    BOKEN at Jakarta:

The textiles and garment industry in Indonesia is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth as it becomes an active hub for the sourcing of textile products by leading firms from across the globe. With such growth there comes an increasing demand for a one-stop service solution and SGS has once again teamed up with BOKEN Quality Evaluation Institute (BQE) to create this solution. In March 2012, BOKEN’s ninth overseas centre, which is located within the SGS laboratory in Jakarta, Indonesia, has opened to new clients and provides the capability for physical and chemical testing to the textile and garment industry.  read more.

18:31:46 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* No more hartal, please, chambers urge:

Business leaders Wednesday expressed their grave concerns over today’s hartal call which they said would only impede trade activities, damage economy of the country and create a panicky situation among all. They urged the political leaders to refrain from calling hartals, practising tolerance and be respectful to each others with a view to avoiding any troublesome activities. (…)                                                                     The strike will harm the economy, tarnish country’s image abroad, hinder the flow of investment into the country, he said adding that Bangladesh needs foreign investment to create more employment.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Vice President Mohammad Hatem said the opposition called the hartal at a time when the country’s fresh export orders are on a marked decline due to the economic crisis in Europe. He urged the opposition leaders to refrain from any activities detrimental to the country’s economy. read more.

* BGMEA design institute chief visits European countries:

Ms. Rushmita Alam, an Associate Professor and Head of Fashion Design and Technology of BGMEA University recently made a trip to several European countries including France and Germany under an UNIDO initiative focused on promoting  design and quality planning of Bangladesh garments, meant for the European market.
During the trip Rushmita Alam visited several companies, design centers etc.
and exchanged views with their marketing chains on how to make better RMG products in tune with the European tests and demands for ever changing fashions.
On her return home, she has compiled and edited a booklet titled “Growing Sustainable Fashion Economies” and distributed it to European importers’ houses.

UNIDO International Coordinator John T. Smith has also appreciated her efforts saying, “UNIDO is very pleased that BUFT and LCF were deservedly successful.”
He further said “BUFT has developed significantly over the last five years to a point where students are winning international competitions and the Institute is participating in International Cooperation projects. In today’s troubled world the necessity of developing sustainable fashion is increasingly evident.” read more.

* 1.5m bales of cotton to be imported from India:

Bangladesh is going to import some 1.5 million bales of cotton from India per year to meet huge demand of the country. A deal between the two friendly countries in this regard will be signed soon.
A competent source from commerce ministry disclosed the matter. On May 14, a two-day long first session of discussion over cotton trade between Ministry of Commerce officials, Bangladesh Tariff Commission and Trading Corporation Bangladesh (TCB) personnel and other stakeholders of an Indian delegation concluded.
The Bangladesh delegation was led by Commerce Ministry’s additional secretary Ruhul Amin Sarkar while Indian Textile Ministry Joint Secretary V Srinivas led the Indian side. to read.

 * US concerned over workers’ leader killing, human trafficking in Bangladesh:

The US ambassador in Dhaka, Dan W Mozena, on Thursday expressed concerns over the killing of garment workers’ leader Aminul Islam and also incidents of human trafficking in Bangladesh.
‘The US government is not taking the death of labour leader Aminul easily. They are very concerned about the matter,’ labour and expatriate welfare minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain told
reporters after a meeting with the US diplomat at the secretariat.
During a courtesy call on the minister, Mozena discussed various issues of bilateral interests that included migration, trafficking and labour issues in the readymade garments sector. read more.

18:01:46 local time map of india INDIA

* Expansion of SGS textile testing laboratory in Tirupur:

SGS India, recently inaugurated a new lab in Tirupur to serve the knit city’s textile and home textile manufacturers, exporters, buyers and domestic retailers. The brand new facility located at College Road, Tirupur, was recently inaugurated by Padma Shri ,Mr. A. Sakthivel, President of the Tirupur Exporters Association. The new 30,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility houses both physical and restricted substances testing for the entire range of apparel and textile products. With increased capability of testing Azo Dyes and phthalates and enhanced restricted substance testing capabilities the lab will serve clients needing to meet requirements of international standards. The new capacity and capabilities will  lead to steep reductions in turnaround time for our customers in and around Tirupur. Additionally, with installation of an independent Effluent treatment plant, the new facility is fully compliant to Environment norms in the state.  read more.

* Apparel exporters to hold buyers-sellers meet in Israel:

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) is organising a buyer-seller meet in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 5 and 6.

Urging the exporters to make best use of this opportunity, Mr D.G. Reddy, Senior Director of the Council in Tirupur, said that the meet would help exporters capture not just the Israel apparel market, but the $11-billion apparel market of the West Asian region

“Israel has Free Trade Agreements with both the US and EU. By virtue of the North American Free Trade Area agreement, Israel also enjoys duty-free access to Canada and Mexico and has FTAs with Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority,” Mr Reddy said and pointed out that buyers such as Crazyine, Renaur, Lucci, Castro Models, Golf, Fox & Honigman have all confirmed their visit during the buyer-seller meet. Mr Reddy said, “the potential is huge.” read more.

* Italy keen to invest in fashion, textiles in India:

Terming India’s decision to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail as a “revolution”, Italy today said several companies have shown interest in setting up stores in the country.

Italian Trade Commissioner Erica Di Giovancarlo said businessmen of both the countries can collaborate in sectors like automobiles, fashion and textiles through joint ventures.

“This decision (allowing 100 per cent FDI in single- -brand) of the government is a revolution in this market. I am sure it will catch interest of lot of companies…,” Giovancarlo told PTI.

The decision has paved the way for global Italian chains like Armani, Gucci and Prada to have full ownership of their India operations. read more.

* Maharashtra weavers get loan waiver of up to Rs. 50,000:

Maharashtra Government has announced a waiver of loans of up to Rs. 50,000 obtained by weavers and handloom workers till March 31, 2010.
The decision is expected to benefit around 6,000-7,000 weavers in the state, who are either self-employed or employed in cooperative or private sectors. read more.


17:31:46 local time map of pakistan  PAKISTAN

* Trading remains firm at cotton market:

Trading remained firm with fine lint in focus amid strong physical prices for fine grades in Punjab stations, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Wednesday. read more.

* Pak textile sector wants level playing field with India:

Pakistan’s Ministry of Textile Industry has urged the Commerce Ministry to ensure a level playing field with India while normalizing trade relations with that country.
The Textile Ministry also suggested signing of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with India, so as to make exports grow, in its submission to the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, which was followed by a meeting of textile industry stakeholders with Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin. read more.

* Change makers honored by Change clothing:

Retail brand Change has launched at Brands Just Pret, one of Karachi’s most prestigious and illustrious multi-brand stores located at Dolmen Clifton Mall. To celebrate its launch, Change held a unique and innovative Change-makers event where women of substance who have brought about real and substantial change in Pakistan were honored. Change makers from a variety of fields were recognized and awarded Change trophies for being true harbingers of Change in many ways. read more.

* Pak govt announces mark-up scheme for textile SMEs:

According to a notification issued by the Pakistan Ministry of Textile Industry, in order to attract new investments in the textile sector of the country, the Federal Government would pick up 50 percent of the mark up with an upper cap of five percent or Pk Rs. 50 million per annum, whichever is less.
The Government would also provide grant of up to five percent to new projects involving equity investment in machinery and technology, based on their LC document with a maximum cap of Pk Rs. 50 million. read more.

 17:31:46 local time map of uzbekistan  UZBEKISTAN

*  Hey, Kids, It’s Cotton-Planting Time:

Authorities in Uzbekistan don’t like to discuss how they push schoolchildren, college students and teachers to toil in the country’s feudal cotton industry. But now that spring planting is underway, again a few brave activists are bringing us reports on both children and adults being dragged out of school and forced to work in the cotton fields, in dangerous conditions for no pay.

A two-page report by the Expert Working Group, one of the only independent NGOs left in Uzbekistan, provides the latest details, including testimonies. read more .

* Cotton Campaign Calls for ILO Access to Uzbekistan:

The Cotton Campaign has sent a letter to Hillary Clinton to urge the Uzbek government to end the use of forced labor in the cotton industry. The letter (PDF) provides a good summary of the issues at hand in this year’s determination of Uzbekistan’s status in the State Department’s annual trafficking in persons (TIP) report.  read more.

* Child Labor Protest Planned for NATO Summit:

The following announcement was posted at the request of Awareness Projects International:                                                                                                             From May 20-21 of 2012, leaders from around the world will be gathering in Chicago for The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) important diplomatic summit hosted by President Barack Obama. Chicago is the first American city other than Washington DC to host a NATO summit. About 2,000 journalists from around the world are expected in Chicago to document the event.

President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov will be attending the summit. Given the importance and high class of this summit, and presence of the Uzbek tyrant, it provides AwarenssProjects.Org an opportunity to demonstrate against child labor in Uzbekistan, demand the end of exploitation of children in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry and to bring awareness about the human rights situation and the cotton industry’s result in the environmental catastrophe of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan. read more.

* NATO Chicago Protest: Human Rights in Uzbekistan:

NATO CHICAGO PROTEST .                                                                              FORCED CHILD LABOR, FORCED STERILIZATION, TORTURE, AND MASS MURDER.                                                                                                                       It sounds like a bad dream but in Uzbekistan it’s just part of everyday life.Join Uzbek Human Rights Activists on May 20th to protest the arrival of Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, and other Uzbek government officials at the NATO summit.

WHAT:    PROTEST ARRIVAL OF UZBEK DICTATOR AT NATO                                 WHEN:    SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2011                                                                      TIME:    10:15 AM                                                                                                  WHERE:    PIONEER COURT, CHICAGO – Pioneer Court is a plaza located near the junction of the Chicago River and Upper Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The Plaza is bounded on the north by the Tribune Tower, on the east by 401 N. Michigan Avenue, on the south by the Chicago River, and on the west by Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Michigan Avenue Bridge. read more.

map of Asia

CHINA
* Zhejiang garment firm gets Olympics order
* ! Nation may miss foreign trade target this year
* !! 100 Chinese apparel firms to partake at White Label:
* Chinese textile firm Shandong Demian to set up new unit

PHILIPPINES
* The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines to appeal P30 wage hike

CHINA-VIET NAM
* Trade fair features Chinese product

VIET NAM
* Major firms cut costs to stay afloat

CAMBODIA
* Strikers told they have it good
* Brands proving free lunches might exist
* Investors eye Meoun Chey border
* Welsh secretary pledges to urge investors to Cambodia
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post
1. Union leader brings backup
2. Brands proving free lunches might exist.
3. Strikers told they have it good.
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
4. Growing number of strikes worries clothing brands

SINGAPORE
* Fashion sellers trail today’s savvy buyers

INDONESIA
* Adidas: Pay PT Kizone workers legally mandated severance
* SGS extends Partnership with Japanese Testing and Inspection BOKEN at Jakarta

BANGLA DESH
* No more hartal, please, chambers urge
* BGMEA design institute chief visits European countries
* 1.5m bales of cotton to be imported from India
* US concerned over workers’ leader killing, human trafficking in Bangladesh

INDIA
* Expansion of SGS textile testing laboratory in Tirupur
* Apparel exporters to hold buyers-sellers meet in Israel
* Italy keen to invest in fashion, textiles in India
* Maharashtra weavers get loan waiver of up to Rs. 50,000

PAKISTAN
* Trading remains firm at cotton market
* Pak textile sector wants level playing field with India
* Change makers honored by Change clothing
* Pak govt announces mark-up scheme for textile SMEs

UZBEKISTAN
* Hey, Kids, It’s Cotton-Planting Time
* Cotton Campaign Calls for ILO Access to Uzbekistan
* Child Labor Protest Planned for NATO Summit
* NATO Chicago Protest: Human Rights in Uzbekistan

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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