18:15:13 local time THAILAND
* Thailand faces hardship to achieve 15% export growth:
The commerce ministry of Thailand will face difficulties driving the country’s export growth to the targeted 15 per cent this year, as shipments in the first four months dropped, not only from the impact of last year’s floods but because of the economic sluggishness in the European Union.
During a meeting of 66 ministry commercial counsellors from overseas in
Bangkok yesterday, the International Trade Promotion Department lowered
its export-growth target slightly to 14.86 per cent, from the previous
projection of 15.52 per cent, based on an anticipated slowing of
shipments to the EU and Russia. read more.
18:15:13 local time CAMBODIA
* SL factory owners deny agreement:
Just as a solution to a two-week-long dispute at two SL Garment factories seemed over on Saturday, the company’s owner issued a statement refusing to recognise an agreement that had lured more than 5,000 employees back to work.
The protesters, who walked out of the SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s factories in the capital on March 12, resumed work on Saturday believing they would be paid for the strike period, Ek Sopheakdey, legal officer at the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said.
Workers, management and Ministry of Social Affairs officials signed an agreement on a range of points on Friday, including that bosses withdraw complaints against union officials and that workers accept rent and travel allowances of $7 per month, he said.
Upon returning to work on Saturday, however, they had discovered 23 of their representatives were not allowed back.
“The employer [also] did not withdraw complaints against them [and] was unwilling to negotiate,” Ek Sopheakdey said.
SL Garment issued a statement on Saturday denying it had reached an agreement.
* Gap, Levi’s, H&M Garment Workers in Cambodia Strike Over Poverty Pay:
More than 5,000 Cambodian garment workers failed to reach an agreement with their employers on Tuesday after 11 days of striking. Negotiations between the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union and Singapore-owned SL Garment Processing broke down after workers rejected offers they regarded as less than satisfactory. Employees at the facility receive a base pay of $61 a month, which requires them to toil eight hours a day, six days a week. read more.
17:15:13 local time BANGLA DESH
* BGMEA demands punishment to factory attackers:
Expressing their grave concern over the recent incidents of unrest in the sector, the garment makers yesterday demanded immediate punitive actions against the persons responsible for such violence.
The leaders of the garment makers’ platform, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), called for bringing the culprits to book immediately, in a meeting held at the association office in Dhaka.
The leaders also condemned the attack on garment workers’ leader Montoo Ghosh at the factory of Opex & Sinha Textile Group at Kanchpur under Narayanganj district. read more.
16:45:13 local time INDIA
* Major fire at a garment factory in east Delhi:
A major fire broke out on Sunday at a garment factory in east Delhi, a fire department official said.
Efforts are on to douse the flames in which no casualty has been reported so far, he said.
“The fire at the garment factory in Gandhi Nagar area was reported at 2:00 pm and so far, no loss of life has been reported,” he said, adding 20 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot.
The reason of the blaze at the factory, located in a congested area, is not known, he said. to read.
* Cotton rules steady as ginners curb sales:
Cotton price ruled steady in Gujarat and other western parts of the country on normal demand. Prices increased marginally in the North on restricted selling by ginners.
A Rajkot based cotton broker said that an uptrend in the global market and usual demand kept cotton steady. However, prices will not move up much in the coming days as export demand is still weak. Moreover, buying by mills is below normal.
* Adidas India confiscates goods from ‘secret’ warehouses:
Adidas India has confiscated goods from three of the four ‘secret’ warehouses where it alleged that its former top executives had stashed products worth Rs. 63 crore, two persons with knowledge of the development said.
“When the police went to search the alleged secret warehouses it found that the sporting goods company had on its own gone ahead and confiscated the goods in three warehouses,” one of them said. The police have now restricted Adidas from opening the fourth warehouse, the person added. read more.
* Government defers decision on raising minimum pension for organised sector employees to Rs 1,000 per month:
The government has yet again deferred a decision on raising minimum pension for 50 million organised sector employees to Rs 1,000 per month as the labour ministry struggled to persuade workers, employers and the finance ministry to share the financial burden.
The Central Board of Trustees, the key policymaking body for the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, or the EPFO, which met on Friday, also deferred a decision on approval sought by Reliance Capital Asset Management for sale of its 26% equity stake to Nippon Life Insurance of Japan. (…)
“Trade unions opposed the proposal as it would put the entire burden of funding the increase in minimum pension on workers,” said AITUC Secretary D L Sachdev. As per an expert committee, employees need to contribute 0.63% more of basic wages, over the current 8.33%, and the Center needs to hike its share by 1.16% to fund the increase in minimum pension. read more.
16:15:13 local time PAKISTAN
* Boosting exports: Textile association demands duty free access to West:
Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) released a statement on Saturday that greater duty free access to Pakistani exports to the US and European markets is imperative to cope with the current economic recession and the government of Pakistan should take immediate administrative and diplomatic initiatives to achieve this objective.”
Talking to the media, PTEA Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said that exporters are facing difficulties in getting international orders due to energy shortages and a reduction in demand. Between July 2011 and April 2012, textile exports fell 9.6% compared to a year ago, according to official statistics.
He emphasised that it was vital for the survival of the textile industry to obtain duty free market access to the US and the European federation. Being on America’s front-line in the war on terror, duty free market access was given to Pakistani textiles for three years and during that period export volumes boomed. read more.
* Delay in EU package worries Pakistan garment exporters:
Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) has expressed concern over delay in the implementation of the eagerly awaited EU Trade Concessions Package.
The EU announced the package for Pakistan to grant relief to it and help it offset the losses suffered due to devastating floods in 2010. Under the package 75 Pakistani items, including 65 textile and garment items, qualify for concessional duty access to the EU.
However, during a recent meeting of the EU Parliament, the economic package announced by the EU for Pakistan got politicized, following which the chances of its implementation have decreased, PRGMEA Central Chairman, Shehzad Salim, said. read more.