This is in the news on-line, today, 30 may 2012

20:13:47 local time map of china CHINA

* Rising China costs see manufacturers heading back to the West:

Manufacturers are moving selected activities such as consumer electronics and garment manufacturing from China back to Europe, and even to the US.
With China losing its comparative advantage, the World Bank said some countries, including advanced economies, are absorbing manufacturing activities traditionally dominated by China.
China has been dubbed the world’s factory and driving force behind the rest of Asia.
(…) Some Chinese manufacturers, such as shoe-makers and garment manufacturers, are reportedly looking for offshore bases. read more.

* Baby boom boosts kids’ clothes:

Annual household spending on children’s products will reach $1,256 by end of 2013

Baby boom boosts kids' clothes
A children’s clothing vendor and her daughter at a clothes market in the Xicheng district of Beijing. By 2013, the size of China’s market for children’s products is expected to reach 311.1 billion yuan ($49 billion), at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent. [Photo / China Daily]

For Wang Xin, a 30-year-old housewife, choosing a skirt for her daughter aged 1 is a very important event.
“I want my baby to wear safe and good quality clothes because I want to give my only child the best,” smiled Wang.
Wang’s view is representative of the attitude of most of Chinese middle class parents. As their income levels rise, parents in the world’s second-largest economy have more cash to spend on their children. According to Frost & Sullivan, a US-based market consultancy, annual per household spending on children’s products in urban China increased to $663 in 2009 from $288 in 2005 and is expected to reach $1,256 by the end of next year. read more.

* Chinese wages see double-digit growth:

The average annual salaries of urban Chinese workers at non-private companies hit 42,452 yuan ($6,717) in 2011, up 14.3 percent year-on-year, statistical authorities announced Tuesday.
After taking inflation into account, wages actually grew by about 8.5 percent, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Meanwhile, the annual salaries of workers at privately-owned businesses in urban regions grew 12.3 percent (after deducting factor of inflation) to 24,556 yuan in 2011, NBS data showed.
The data was based on a survey of 1.48 million non-privately owned organizations and 620,000 private companies, the NBS said.
Wages for workers in the nation’s more developed eastern regions and major cities were the highest, while the central provinces of Anhui, Henan and Hubei ranked lowest, according to the NBS. read more.

* Trade and investment between China and The EU:

read more & see the graphics.

19:13:47 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Free trade fuels business hopes:

As Vietnam’s economy slows,  future trade opportunities can give businesses some rays of hope.

While demand in traditional export markets has declined, Vietnam needs to seek new export markets, while working on the implementation of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU and nurturing its domestic demand.

Domestically, the figures reveal macroeconomic chaos. Many local companies have filed for bankruptcy, more than 17,000 in 2012’s first quarter. The unemployment rate has surged, while economic growth is sluggish and is expected to be as low as 5 per cent this year. And lastly, domestic demand is still very weak, resulting in high inventory levels.

Vietnam’s exports in 2012 were affected due to its main export partners struggling with economic difficulties and hence their imports reduced sharply. In Europe, the debt crisis and Greece potentially leaving the Eurozone has impacted on confidence. The future of the Eurozone economies is uncertain. The US – the largest export partner of Vietnam – has overcome its recent financial crisis, but is still dealing with economic growth issues.

On the international market, Vietnam as a main trade partner in many traditional markets such as textiles, garments, footwear and seafood, has also been challenged from new competitors, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India, as these economies enjoy preferential tariffs from the EU. Other economic difficulties that Vietnam may encounter will arise from the FTA with the EU, which is expected to be reached next year. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/5.

* Firms confront decline in export values:

Viet Nam had a year-on-year increase of 24.1 per cent in export value for the first five months to US$42.9 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
The growth rate in export value was a positive sign in terms of the world economic crisis and economic difficulties in key export markets of Viet Nam, including the US, the EU and Japan. (…)
Pham Xuan Hong, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), said the domestic exporters of the textile and apparel industry had difficulty in getting export orders, which were reduced by 5-10 per cent against the same period of last year. read more.

19:13:47 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Labour law update: Daily minimum wage:

On April 1, in accordance with an announcement by the Central Wage Committee, the daily minimum wage was increased to 300 baht in seven provinces _ Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phuket, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon. Elsewhere, the rate varies from province to province.

This article examines the minimum wage, discusses the effects of the change and finally analyses what can be done to moderate this new burden on employers.

General concept of the minimum wage announcement: The minimum wage report was initially prepared by the tripartite Central Wage Committee, which has employee, employer and government representatives.
The announcement established a rise in the daily minimum wage nationwide by an average of 30-40%, with the minimum in Bangkok and Phuket increasing from 215 baht and 221 baht, respectively, to 300 baht.
As for the rest of the country, the rate increased by 8-17 baht.

Employers are legally obligated to abide by the new rates. They cannot pay employees less than the rates. If they do, then they will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding 100,000 baht or both.
read more.

19:13:47 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* SL employees back to work after resolution:

A resolution reached on Monday in the wake of a violent strike at two SL Garment factories that supply Levi’s and Gap resulted in employees returning to work yesterday – for the second time in days.

Ek Sopheakdey, a Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union legal official, said workers had accepted the factory’s conditions, which included it withdraw legal complaints against 23 C.CAWDU officials, putting an end to a strike that began on May 12 and involved more than 5,000 workers.

Worker Srey Ny, 31, however, said she was upset that the company, in the capital’s Meanchey district, would not be paying her for the past fortnight of strikes.

“But I have no choice, so I have to go back to work,” she said. “Otherwise, I have no money to pay my electricity and water bills and rent,” she said. read more.

* Cambodia garment union blames violence on company:

A union leader in Cambodia has blamed clothing maker SL Garment for violence that broke out at a factory.
The union official said the company was trying to provoke violence as part of a campaign to smear the union.
“This is the company’s trick, to be willing to provoke … severe violence and put all mistakes entirely on the workers,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union. read more.

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

Phnom Penh Post
2012-05-25 Strikers back at table.gif
2012-05-28 SL factory owners deny agreement.gif
2012-05-29 Garment workers fall ill in K Speu.gif

The Cambodia Daily
2012-05-25 Factory says buyers will go to Burma if protests continue.gif
2012-05-29 Garment protest turns violent after accord fails.gif
2012-05-29 Radio competition aims to teach Labour Law.gif
2012-05-29 SEZ shooting suspect under court supervision.gif
2012-05-30 31 garment workers injured in Kompong Speu crash.gif
2012-05-30 Phnom Penh garment factory protest resolved.gif
2012-05-30 Seventy workers faint at factory supplying H&M.gif

or via Betterfactories.


 

* ILO arranges labor law competition with radio station:

The Better Factories Cambodia initiative of the International Labor Organization (ILO) says it’s arranging a labor law competition with Moha Nokor Radio (FM 93.5)

A statement said 18 selected candidates would compete in front of a judge on the radio every Saturday from July 28 to September 29. The top three winners will get $200 with a television, $150 with a sewing machine and $100 with a phone.

Jill Tucker, chief technical advisor at Better Factories Cambodia, said the competition was especially targeted at garment workers who listened to the radio.

“Exploring more understanding about the Labour Law will give the workers additional benefits, and eventually will contribute to good workplace cooperation and sound industrial relations,” she said. to read.

20:13:47 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

*  Emerging fashion designers benefit from Blueprint & AFS:

Just recently, Singapore has hosted two major fashion events which were aimed at catapulting homegrown talent to the international stage. Blueprint 2012, which showcased primarily up-and-coming Asian designers, in tandem with the Third Asia Fashion Summit (AFS), which brought together the global fashion industry’s thought-leaders such as Nicola Formichetti, served as platforms for local and regional fashion labels to go global. read more.

20:13:47 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Companies obliged to implement health, safety work management:

Companies employing over 100 workers are obliged to implement the healthy and safety work management system based on Government Regulation No. 50 signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last April 12, according to a minister.

“With the issuance of the government regulation, all companies, particularly those employing at least 100 workers, or those which have high level of occupational accidents, are obligated to implement the system,” Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said here on Friday. read more.

* PAN BROTHERS To Work On Spinning Industry:

PT PAN Brothers Tbk will expand its business to spinning industry and textile fibers with initial capital of IDR10 billion.
The company is obsessed to develop its business by working on the integrated industry from upstream to downstream.
There are three options to working on the retail sector, i.e. creating its own brand, establishing a joint venture of global brand owner, or acquiring the existing brands.

PAN Brother is currently focusing on garment sector by working on apparel orders from Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Bennetton, Emporio Armani, Polo Ralp Lauren, and Espirit. (T06/TW). to read.

18:43:47 local time map of myanmar MYANMAR

 * Eighteen strikes Yangon in May- activist:

EIGHTEEN strikes have occurred in Yangon industrial zones in the first four weeks of May, with several still active, a labour rights activist said last week.

“According to our survey, since May 1 there have been at least 18 strikes by factory workers” to May 26, U Tun Tun Naing, a spokesperson for the Committee for the Establishment of Independent Workers Unions, told The Myanmar Times.

“Workers from five factories – Nay Min Aung, Sabei Pwint, Myanmar Pearl, YJ and Hi-Mo – are holding long term strikes. [On May 22], we got news that workers from a knitwear factory – Toe Mya Aung – had gone on strike,” he said.

Strikes have also occurred at Grand Royal distillery in Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone, and Tycoon, Nay Min Aung and Yes One garment factories, he said.

Workers from Nay Min Aung, Sabei Pwint and Myanmar Pearl had been on strike for 13 days as of May 26, but the longest strike has been at wig manufacturer Hi-Mo.
read more.

* Workers embrace power to strike:

Silenced for decades under military rule, the country’s workers are daring to speak out to demand better pay and conditions after a new law gave them the right to strike.

Workers in Myanmar are already testing their new-found power with a string of walkouts, emboldened by legislation that is considered among the most progressive in the region.

Hundreds of employees from three garment factories at Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone went on strike last week demanding improved working conditions, picketing outside the plants. read more.

* Is hunger strike last resort for Myanmar workers?:

Strikes over low wages are common in industrial zones in Yangon Region.

One of the strikes was ignited by the pay cut for Chinese New Year holidays at Taiyi Shoe Factory owned by an entrepreneur from Taiwan (China), and a total of 1863 workers form the factory went on strike on 6 February demanding basic pay rise and other labor benefits.

The strikes over low wages spread to other factories in the industrial zones including High-Art (HiMo) Wig Factory A and B in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone 4, UNNO Myanmar Yes Garment Factory in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone 3, Sabaipwint Garment Factory, Palei Garment Factory,  Nay Min Aung Garment Factory and Grand Royal Distillery. read more.

18:13:47 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* H&M worried about Bangladesh ‘violence’:

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, HM-B.SK +0.27% the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, wants to source more products from Bangladesh to take advantage of cheap labor, but unrest and violent strikes present a big hurdle to expansion in the troubled country, said a report carried by the Wall Street Journal.
“The often-recurring strikes and demonstrations disrupt production and cause delays. We want to grow in Bangladesh … a stable market will benefit us buyers, the suppliers and the workers,” H&M’s head of sustainability, Helena Helmersson, told Dow Jones Newswires.
About 25 percent of H&M’s products are made in Bangladesh and the company aims to increase this figure, but it is not the only big retailer looking to expand there.
read more.

* Apparel industry violence concerns H&M:

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, wants to source more products from Bangladesh to take advantage of cheap labor, but unrest and violent strikes present a big hurdle to expansion in the troubled country, said a report carried by the Wall Street Journal. “The often-recurring strikes and demonstrations disrupt production and cause delays. We want to grow in Bangladesh … a stable market will benefit us buyers, the suppliers and the workers,” H&M’s head of sustainability, Helena Helmersson, told Dow Jones Newswires.
About 25 per cent of H&M’s products are made in Bangladesh and the company aims to increase this figure, but it is not the only big retailer looking to expand there.
The industry already accounts for about 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports and employs about 3 million people. Research company McKinsey expects apparel exports to double by 2015 and triple in 10 years, with big buyers moving from China as capacity constraints and wage inflation erode profit margins.
“But, Bangladesh has been plagued by political turmoil, with violent street protests erupting last month following the disappearance of a leading opposition figure. In addition, working conditions remain poor, with substandard lighting, overcrowding and long working hours common.”
In 2010, 21 workers were killed by a fire at a factory making products for H&M and other retailers. Furthermore, apparel workers have no real collective force in Bangladesh, the report said.  read more.

* Govt to sell 2 textile mills:

The government has decided to sell out two state-owned textile mills to the private entrepreneurs soon.
“The decision to this effect was taken as the low bidding rates coupled with dilly-dally process has already delayed the privatisation process of the public sector industries for nearly a year,” said Dr Mirza Abdul Jalil, Chairman of the Privatisation Commission here Monday. The decision was taken at the 53rd meeting of the Privatisation Commission held at its conference room with its Chairman in the chair.
read more. & read more.

* H&M seeks to source more clothes from Bangladesh:

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB (HM-B.SK), the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, wants to source more products from Bangladesh to take advantage of cheap labor, but unrest and violent strikes present a big hurdle to expansion in the troubled country.
“The often-recurring strikes and demonstrations disrupt production and cause delays. We want to grow in Bangladesh […] a stable market will benefit us buyers, the suppliers and the workers,” H&M’s head of sustainability, Helena Helmersson, told Dow Jones Newswires. read more.

*  Regulator okays IPO prospectus of Argon Denims:

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday approved initial public offering (IPO) prospectus of Argon Denims Ltd, which will raise Tk 132 crore from public.
The approval came at a meeting of the stockmarket regulator with its Chairman M Khairul Hossain in the chair.(…)
Argon Denims, a subsidiary of Evince Group, will be the 26th company in the textile sector to be listed on the bourse. read more.

* Textiles sustainability seminar in Bangladesh:

Textile Exchange and Solidaridad in cooperation with Control Union Certifications Bangladesh will host Textiles Sustainability Seminar on June 2, 2012, at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Brands and Retailers are becoming increasingly concerned about the circumstances under which their products are made. In addition to social conditions in factories, environmental aspects are now receiving more and more attention as well. Increased interest in textile sustainability from raw materials selection to more sustainable production practices is a lasting trend. Topics receiving increasing attention include waste generation, effluent emissions, efficient utilization of resources such as water and energy, the substitution of hazardous chemicals and restricted substances in final products. read more.


17:43:47 local time map of india INDIA

* Reebok case referred to SFIO- Moily:

The Reebok scam case has been referred to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), said Mr Veerappa Moily, Corporate Affairs Minister.”I got the relevant papers yesterday. The Reebok case has been referred to SFIO”, Mr Moily said. SFIO is the investigative wing of the corporate affairs ministry. to read.

* Krishidhan Seeds and MSCGMFL tie up to promote BT cotton seeds to farmers:

Krishidhan Seeds and The Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Marketing Federation Ltd ( MSCGMFL), the largest supplier of cotton in the world, supporting over 2.5 million cotton farmers, announced their strategic collaboration to promote BT cotton seeds to the farmers.(…)
“India is one of the largest producers of cotton in the world with a potential to become one of the dominant players in the cotton market. Through this public-private partnership model, we will ensure that farmers get BT seeds at reasonable prices in their vicinity. We hope that such partnerships should continue at a larger scale to benefit the farmers further,” said Mr N. P. Hirani, chairman, The Maharashtra State Cotton Growers Marketing Federation Ltd. read more.

* Rs.35,000-cr debt recast package for textile units:

The Centre, on Tuesday, approved a Rs.35,000-crore debt restructuring package for the textile sector, which has been faced with massive unemployment and shutdown of business.

An announcement in this regard was made by Commerce, Industry and Textile Minister Anand Sharma, who met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday to seek a resolution on the issue, impacting lakhs of people employed in the sector.

According to an official statement issued here, during the meeting, it was agreed that there was a need to support the industry in this crisis time. read more.

*  Fancy fabrics producer Orbit Exports FY12 PAT up by 17%:

Orbit Exports Limited (OEL), one of the largest manufacturers of fancy fabrics, reported a robust growth in revenue and profits for the quarter ended, March 31, 2012. The revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 increased to Rs.32 Cr. (an increase of 13%) compared to Rs.29 Crore during corresponding period of previous year. read more.

 * CITI welcomes textile sector debt restructuring:

Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has thanked Shri Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles for getting the clearance of Finance Minister for the debt restructuring proposals for the textiles and clothing industry.

In a statement issued here Shri S.V. Arumugam, Chairman, CITI stated that in a meeting with the Finance Minister, Textiles Minister obtained clearance for restructuring of debt worth Rs. 35,000 crore to this industry in view of the huge losses suffered by the industry and the crisis being faced by it. read more.

17:13:47 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Dull trading prevails at cotton market:

The Karachi cotton market witnessed a dull trading session with fine lint in focus, traders at the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) said on Monday.
The KCA kept the spot rate unchanged at Rs 5,600 per maund, floor brokers said.
Traders said spinners purchased fine grades to strengthen their inventories on competitive rates, as fine stocks were shrinking particularly in Sindh stations.
read more.

* PTEA pushes for greater duty free access to West:

In order to ensure sustenance of the local textile industry in the prevailing economic recession, the Government should take immediate steps, both on administrative and diplomatic front, to earn a greater duty free access for Pakistani items in the US and Europe, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has said.

PTEA Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said that due to energy crisis and a fall in demand, textile exporters in the country are finding it difficult to obtain international orders. According to official statistics, textile exports in the initial 10 months of the current fiscal that began on July 1, 2011 witnessed a 9.6 percent fall over last fiscal’s exports. read more.


 

map of Asia

CHINA
* Rising China costs see manufacturers heading back to the West
* Baby boom boosts kids’ clothes
* Chinese wages see double-digit growth
* Trade and investment between China and The EU

VIET NAM
* Free trade fuels business hopes
* Firms confront decline in export values

THAILAND
* Labour law update: Daily minimum wage

CAMBODIA
* SL employees back to work after resolution
* Cambodia garment union blames violence on company
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post & Cambodia Daily
* ILO arranges labor law competition with radio station

SINGAPORE
* Emerging fashion designers benefit from Blueprint & AFS

INDONESIA
* Companies obliged to implement health, safety work management
* PAN BROTHERS To Work On Spinning Industry

MYANMAR
* Eighteen strikes Yangon in May- activist
* Workers embrace power to strike
* Is hunger strike last resort for Myanmar workers?

BANGLA DESH
* H&M worried about Bangladesh ‘violence’
* Apparel industry violence concerns H&M
* Govt to sell 2 textile mills
* H&M seeks to source more clothes from Bangladesh
* Regulator okays IPO prospectus of Argon Denims
* Textiles sustainability seminar in Bangladesh

INDIA
* Reebok case referred to SFIO- Moily
* Krishidhan Seeds and MSCGMFL tie up to promote BT cotton seeds to farmers
* Rs.35,000-cr debt recast package for textile units
* Fancy fabrics producer Orbit Exports FY12 PAT up by 17%
* CITI welcomes textile sector debt restructuring

PAKISTAN
* Dull trading prevails at cotton market
* PTEA pushes for greater duty free access to West

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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