in the news on-line, today, 24 june 2012

 00:48:52 local time map of china CHINA

* Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning to focus on de-inventory:

Li Ning, a leading sportswear brand from China, has announced that it will continue to focus on de-inventory this year.
 Analyzing the current situation, the company does not want to take risk of increasing its stocks at its retail end. However, the speed of de-inventory may be lower than originally decided, according to Li Ning.
 Li Ning said its apparel product orders for 2012 have declined by more than 20 percent year-on-year and the total order amount is likely to decline by over 10 percent at the end of the year. This, coupled with other factors like significant hike in marketing expenses during the next few years, would lead to a substantial decline in its net profit this year. read more.

00:48:52 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* Despite gains in equality, Filipino women earn only 76% of what Filipino men are paid:

As with their East Asia and Pacific neighbors, Filipino women on average are paid only 76 percent of what men earn, a new World Bank report on gender equality in the region says.
The report, “Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific”, observed that while gender equlity across the region has improved tremendously, disparities stll exist in many areas, as in economic matters.
It also said that women in the Philippines and the rest of the region are more likely to work in small firms, to work in the informal sector, and to be concentrated in lower-paid occupations and sectors. read more.

23:48:52 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* India textile companies seek new partners:

Executives from 12 leading Indian cotton manufacturers and exporters met with their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City yesterday to explore business opportunities.
They are in the country as part of a delegation from the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India (Texprocil).
Amit Ruparelia, Texprocil chairman, said: “Vietnamese importers are keen on looking at alternative sources for raw materials … Indian exporters of cotton textiles with their product range are geared to meet the needs of any gaps created in the Viet Nam cotton textile chain through this business matchmaking”.

Nguyen Van Tuan, chief representative of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association in HCM City, said the country had to import 98-99 per cent of its cotton needs at a cost of US$1 billion, mostly from the US, India, Brazil, and South Africa.
India accounted for at least 20 per cent of the imports, he said.
The industry also needed large volumes of fabric for garments, also a good opportunity for Indian companies, he said.
It needed 6.8 billion square metres of fabric last year, but domestic production was only 0.8 billion sq.m, and the rest was imported.

Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry HCM City branch, said the garment and textile industry achieved strong growth last year.
Its exports of $13.8 million were the highest by any industry.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/6

* Trade unions to get 2% of wage funds:

A majority of National Assembly (NA) deputies on Wednesday agreed to the Law on Trade Unions, which requires enterprises to set aside 2% from their wage funds to pay social insurance for workers.

The content that attracted the most attention of NA deputies on the amended Law on Trade Unions is Article 26 on union financing. There were 72.55% of deputies agreeing that 2% taken from the salary funds of agencies, organizations and enterprises will serve as a basis for social insurance payment. read more.

* Three workers die in factory wall collapse:

Three workers died and four others were injured when a wall of a sewing factory in Ha Nam Province suddenly collapsed onto them yesterday.
read more.

23:48:52 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Ministry refuses to accept letter threatening general strike:

The Ministry of Interior refused Friday to accept a letter from Free Trade Union of Workers President Chea Mony threatening a general strike in August, a source said.

The letter said Chea Mony had failed to get agreement to discuss transport, rental and regular monthly bonuses of $10 for workers in the clothing and footwear sector.

“If the labor advisory commission does not discuss the request and make an offer in July, the Free Trade Union will hold a general strike to encourage talks,” Chea Mony said, adding that he would lead 470,000 workers in the stoppage. read more.

00:48:52 local time map of singapore SINGAPORE

* Raising wages: Use a ladder, not a floor:

Labour chief Lim Swee Say says sector-based minimum wages not viable, proposes ‘progressive wage’ system

Despite the Government’s oft-stated position against setting a minimum wage, the calls for such a system have refused to go away.

Most recently, there have been suggestions from various quarters – including Members of Parliament – for sector-based minimum wages which proponents argue will minimise the erosion of the Republic’s competitiveness, as compared to a national minimum wage.

But labour chief Lim Swee Say yesterday rejected the idea as he unveiled a “progressive wage” system which will be first applied to the cleaning industry. Under the new concept, the tripartite movement will work out wage targets for a group of workers, and these targets would be met when the workers undergo skills upgrading and improve their productivity. Despite the Government’s oft-stated position against setting a minimum wage, the calls for such a system have refused to go away.

Most recently, there have been suggestions from various quarters – including Members of Parliament – for sector-based minimum wages which proponents argue will minimise the erosion of the Republic’s competitiveness, as compared to a national minimum wage.

But labour chief Lim Swee Say yesterday rejected the idea as he unveiled a “progressive wage” system which will be first applied to the cleaning industry. Under the new concept, the tripartite movement will work out wage targets for a group of workers, and these targets would be met when the workers undergo skills upgrading and improve their productivity.  read more.

* Look at low-wage jobs in a different light- NTUC:

The labour movement’s plan to implement a progressive wage system for low-wage workers is aimed at encouraging tripartite partners and Singaporeans to look at low-wage jobs in a different light.
Labour chief Lim Swee Say told the media at a grassroots event that he wants to make today’s low-wage jobs into tomorrow’s jobs of the future.
He is confident this can be achieved in today’s environment, compared with five years ago.
The NTUC will set wage targets for low-wage workers under its progressive wage approach.
Workers who are currently getting less than S$1,000 a month would strive to earn at least S$1,000. For those already earning S$1,000, NTUC wants to lift their wages to S$1,200. read more.

00:48:52 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Number of child workers still high in Indonesia- study:

A new study shows that Indonesia remains a country with a high number of child labourers, despite its record of reducing children’s involvement in the labour market.

The study, titled “Understanding Children’s Work and Youth Employment in Indonesia”, found that child labour is commonplace, especially in the eastern part of the country.

“Almost 7 per cent of children aged between 7 and 14 years old, or 2.3 million children in absolute terms, were in employment in 2009. Almost 600,000 children aged less than 10 years were already in employment in that year,” the study reports.

Scott Lyon, a researcher from Understanding Children’s Work, an inter-agency research project that authored the report, said that the child labourers were stripped of their rights to education, physical safety, protection and recreation. read more.
  

* Chinese firm to set up textile unit in Central Java:

China Hi-Tech Group Corporation, a state-owned enterprise of China, proposes to develop a textile factory in the Alas Kethu region in Wonogiri district of southern Central Java.
 Sukoharjo-based PT Sritex Textile would serve as a key partner for the project to develop a textile factory in the proposed industrial zone. read more.

23:18:52 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* U.S. lawmakers push to renew some Burmese sanctions:

A powerful group of U.S. lawmakers is urging the extension of the ban on Burmese imports, as the expiration of existing sanctions nears.
A bipartisan bill was introduced in both houses of Congress and its chances of a quick passage are good, said lawmakers.
Earlier, President Barrack Obama signed a regulation allowing U.S. investments in Burma, in response to the country’s efforts to move toward democracy.
The ban on imports, the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, was first passed in 2003 and expires in July.
The proposed bill would extend import sanctions for three years, while preserving the White House’s right to waive or terminate those sanctions, in light of Burma’s political situation. read more.

Garment workers in Rangoon. The garment and textile industry have experienced a sharp drop due to sanctions and the slump in the world economy. Photo: myanmargarment.net

* Protesting workers at 11 factories of 16 negotiated:

In the backdrop of low wage earning, workers of factories and mills in Hlinetharyar Industrial Zone were protesting against the management for pay rise, and now the labors from 11 establishments out of 16 have reached agreement, and the strike ended.

Low wage and long working hours triggered the workers to go on strike since 8 May 2012 in Hlinetharyar Industrial Zone prompting the worker’s representatives, the persons assisting the workers, the lawyers, the responsible persons from the Ministry of Labor and  the persons in charge of the factories and mills to engage in the negotiation for solution. read more.

* Labour Organization Law enables 40 labour organizations:

The Labour Organization Law enables the forming of Myanmar Labour Federation, the Basic Employers Organizations and the Basic Workers Organizations numbering 40 units so far up to June 2.

In the announcement released by the Ministry of Labour, the number of organizations includes one labour federation, 29 basic workers’ organizations and 10 basic employers’ organizations.

The Myanmar Seafarer’s Association has formed the labor federation. The basic workers’ organizations are formed by workers from factories and mills such as garment, shoe, pipe, and tile; service establishments namely cargo, construction and hotel; individual workers covering trishaw pullers, peasants, agro-based workers, and metal workers. The basic employers’ organizations are formed by garment factories owners and oversea employment agencies.

According to the Labor Organization Law, one unit of organization could be formed where 30 workers are employed. An establishment with employees less than 30 has to merge with other business in the formation of basic workers’ organization.
read more.

22:48:52 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Agitated workers in Iswardi EPZ stage demonstrations:

20120623
Garment workers from a couple of readymade garment factories in the Ishwardi EPZ yesterday staged protests over disputes with factory owners.
Workers of ‘Roshita Knitting Ware’, a foreign RMG factory, observed work abstinence in the company premises demanding a raise in the piece rate of production.
Upon intervention by EPZ officials and factory’s hierarchy later on in the day, the agitated workers went back to their stations.

“The workers often do not think about the company’s best interests so they often observe such agitation programs. Company authority with the suggestion from the EPZ officials had increased the piece rate earlier but few workers from the knitting section demanded more,” EPZ general manager Md Mahamudul Hassan said to The Daily Star.

Meanwhile, 291 sacked workers from Roshita Knitting and Megha Tex formed a human chain at Rooppur intersection of Pabna-Kushthia highway, demanding to be rehired on the grounds that they were unfairly dismissed.
“We, the workers, are living in hardship, so we urge the government to intervene for our sake,” said Md Helal Uddin, president of Roshita knit workers association.
to read. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
   

* Opportunities have expiry dates:

Living with senseless politics often makes us gloomy, even obsessively cynical.
Sometimes we have to pinch our skin to make a sense of any happy tiding pouring into our ears. Whether the good words showered on Bangladesh, because of our extraordinary collective or individual deeds, are well-deserved, we may sometimes wonder!
While two of our leading women are suspended in mid-air on a political parachute, a pair of our sisters or daughters has put us on the summit of the Himalayas. The contradictions are overwhelming but these can hardly take away the gloss of the list of our accomplishments. (…)

The second priority is grappling with a few projections made on the world economy by Manu Bhaskaran in his reprinted article in South China Morning Post (May 30, 2012 issue), courtesy YaleGlobal Online. Manu projects a sharper than expected deceleration in global demand. The eurozone will suffer a deeper recession than forecast; Chinese economy, the largest source of growth in global demand, is slowing sharply; and the US economic recovery will remain modest at best and, therefore, highly vulnerable to external shocks. Protectionism is likely to claw in.

Given the scenario, our US$18 billion worth of garment exports last fiscal almost entirely to eurozone and USA may be in for trouble. In this context, if we have to protect our position as the second largest exporter of RMG products after China in the Western niche markets, we have to do some real underpinnings of the sector. We can ill-afford any labour unrest simmering around living wages, minimum housing, and better working conditions for the three million-strong garment work force. When crunch comes, the buyers can be fussier. read more.
 

* THE ASHULIA GARMENT WORKERS STRIKE:


Workers busy with their machines at a garment factory in Ashulia after owners of the RMG units of the industrial belt reopened those Thursday. — FE Photo

* Workers back to Ashulia- Vigilance teams reshuffled:

RMG wheels start rolling

20120622
All the garments units at Ashulia reopened on Thursday, after a four-day shutdown, amid tight security measure.
“Production resumed in all the factories located at Ashuliaon the day and workers’ attendance were satisfactory,” said BGMEA presiden tMd. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin.
BGMEA and BKMEA, two tradeassociations of the garment sector, enforced the closure to all apparel unitsat Ashulia on Sunday in the wake of violent labour unrest. “The factories reopened from 8am as usual and workers have joined work peacefully,” he added.
He said they have resumed production at their factories following security assurances from the government.
“We opened our factory at 8.00am and the labourers have joined their work peacefully,” said Abdus Salam Murshedy, Managing Director of Envoy Fashions Ltd.
‘Envoy Fashion’ is located atAshulia industrial belt and having 6000 workers.
A former BGMEA president,Murshedy said, ” Although our factory resumed production, workers attendance was not satisfactory. read more. & read more.
 

* RMG violence- Behind-the-scene players:

20120622
Already hit hard by the global economic downturn, the country’s largest foreign-currency earning readymade garment (RMG) industry is now at stake. A weeklong labour unrest has wreaked havoc with the most-promising industry, forcing the owners to shut down factories in RMG industrial belt Ashulia. The ongoing efforts by the parties concerned have not broken the standoff, raising a million-dollar question in public mind: what is actually going on?  Is it an effort to destroy the RMG sector? Who does stand to benefit from the destruction of the industry?

Digging Deeper

There have been persistent reports that some external groups always try to fish in the troubled waters spreading rumours about unfair management practices so that workers become restless and create unrest against the garment management. Amid the escalating tension, intelligence officials say that some vested quarters, both local and foreign, have long been involved in the dirty game. They have identified five broad categories of vested quarters as playing a role in destabilising the country’s export-oriented sector. read more.

 * Ashulia factories reopen after four days of closure:

20120622
RMG workers joined their works in Ashulia on Thursday, four days after the owners closed their factories, although the demand for their wage hike is yet to be met. The owners decided to resume production in their factories in Ashulia on Wednesday after Labour Minister Khandaker Mosarraf Hossain assured them of foolproof security in a meeting at the Secretariat. Md Fayzul Kabir, deputy director of Industrial Police 1, told UNB that most of the workers joined their respective factories in a peaceful manner.
“With the workers back to their factories, the situation in Ashulia is normal today, although the full presence of the workers can’t be ensured before Saturday,” he said, adding that some of the workers had left for home during the four days closure.
UNB Savar correspondent says: Although workers spontaneously joined the factories, they are resolute to pursue their demand for wage hike. Shafiqul Islam, an ‘operator’ of a factory who joined his work on Thursday, told the correspondent that his family cannot survive in Ashulia without a wage hike. read more.

* Apparel workers rally for wage increase at Ashulia:

20120623
Workers of an apparel factory at Ashulia of Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, on Saturday rallied to push for their demands that include an wage increase.
Workers and the police said that several hundred workers of the Envoy Group at Jamgora rallied in the factory. The workers sat in in the morning on the factory premises, sources said.
The workers said the management had closed the factory during June 17–20 amid unrest. But the workers, who had lived at Ashulia at the time and were ready to join work, demanded salary of all the days when the factory remained closed on a BGMEA decision during the unrest. read more.

* PM orders formation of committee to resolve RMG unrest:

20120623
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday night directed the authorities concerned to form a committee to resolve the labour unrest in RMG industrial belts Ashulia and Kachpur.
The Prime Minister ordered that the committee be formed comprising workers and employers under the supervision of the Labour and Employment Ministry to identify the reasons behind the crisis and recommend suggestions to resolve it.
Hasina gave the directives when leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and Bangladesh Textile Mills Associations (BTMEA) met her at her official residence Ganobhaban. read more.

* Hasina warns garment workers on ‘anarchy’:

20120624
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked garment workers to think deeply before creating anarchy in their factories.
“Think what you will do when factories are closed,” Hasina said in her speech to a discussion marking the 63rd founding anniversary of Awami League at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.
“Why are they ransacking the factories that give them salaries? If those factories are closed, they will lose jobs and will have to go back to their villages,” Hasina said. “They must realise it.”
Hasina said minimum wages for the garment workers were fixed at Tk 3,000 on her own initiative, according to a UNB report.
“I personally forced the garment factory owners to give Tk 3,000 in minimum wages while they fixed Tk 2,500-2,600,” Hasina said.
She asked why the garment workers would create anarchy on instigation from outside when the prime minister of a country is in favour of the workers. “Destructive activities will just destroy your factories that provide livelihoods for you.”
to read.
& read more.

* Deadlock in Ashulia industrial belt:

20120624
Garments industry has remarkably added value to our national economy since the emergence of Bangladesh. It is well-known that the two major bastions of the Bangladesh economy shape the balance of our international trade — one is inflow of foreign remittance contributed by more than five million Bangladeshis working abroad and the other one is RMG export.
Actually, RMG is not only the major part of our economy but it also exhibits our potential in international trade and commerce. More than five million workers, most of them women, are entrusted with this industry. Amidst great unemployment, this sector creates a balance in employment.
Although, there is criticism labour exploitation by the entrepreneurs in this regard, our RMG sector survives because the cost of production in comparison to other RMG exporting countries is cheaper, which is why the global meltdown could not badly affect our garments sector.
In the meantime, the rate of inflation is shattering the cost of living globally. It may be noted here that majors players in the RMG export sector are China, Vietnam, India etc, whose are facing a crisis due to the fall in the unit price of garments, as under their existing pay structure, they can’t afford to run the business smoothly, so that a good number of orders are shifting to our industry. read more.

22:18:52 local time map of india INDIA

* 800 from Ashima join stir of Arvind Mill workers:

20120622
The erstwhile Manchester of the East is grappling with labours’ issues. On Thursday, workers from yet another textile mill went on a strike.

Demanding 40 per cent wage hike, around 800 workers from Ashima Textiles’ denim and yarn dyeing division at Khokhra did not join the work. Even as the deadlock between the striking labourers at Arvind’s Naroda plant and its voiles division Ankur Textiles continues, workers from another mill going on strike has cast a shadow over other mills. Like Arvind, Ashima too termed the strike illegal.

In fact, sensing trouble following the Arvind strike, Ashima, Soma and Asarwa textiles mills had on Wednesday hiked wages of their workers and signed an agreement with labourers’ representatives to maintain industrial peace.read more.

* Asarwa fourth textile unit in city to join workers’ strike:

20120623
Even as the impasse between Arvind Mills management and workers continued on Friday, workers from city-based Asarwa Mills abstained from work. After Arvind, Ankur and Ashima mills, Asarwa is the fourth textile company in the city where workers have launched the strike.
Out of the total 1,200 workers at Asarwa mill’s cotton and blended yarn unit, more than 500 workers went on strike demanding higher wages.

“We support the strike at Arvind’s Naroda plant and will abstain from work till management gives us 40 per cent wage hike. On the first day, 600 workers participated in the strike, but others will join us from Saturday,” said Dinesh Patel, representative of Asarwa Mills’ workers. read more.

* Production suffers as 4th textile mill faces strike:

20120623
The strike called by textile mill workers is getting worse by each passing day with labourers of Asarwa Mills becoming the latest group to join their fellow counterparts from Arvind, Ankur Textile and Ashima Textile.
Asarwa Mill became the fourth textile mill in city to suffer from labour unrest in last 20 days. As a result of strike, production at these textile units has taken a severe hit.
read more.

* Textile strikers tear Bapu legacy to shreds:

20120624
On March 15, 1918, Mahatma Gandhi began a ‘fast unto death’ demanding bonus for textile workers. On the third day of the fast, mill owners agreed to pay the bonus and he later formed Ahmedabad Textile Labor Association (TLA) which became a role model for labour unions across the country.

Today, when the Manchester of the East is witnessing its worst ever labour strike, workers have shunned TLA and have become their own leaders. Under the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, TLA is the sole representative body for textile workers in Ahmedabad. “What’s amazing is that workers from different mills are coming together without a leader or an organization,” said social activist Manishi Jani. “It’s history in the making as the city has never seen such a strike. Another factor is that the morals of labour bodies have diminished considerably.” read more.

* RIL’s Jamnagar SEZ contributes 83% to the state’s SEZ exports:

AHMEDABAD: Exports from Gujarat’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) rose 24% in the last financial year to over Rs 2 lakh crore, helped mainly by Reliance Industries figures.
RIL’s Jamnagar SEZ contributes 83% to the state’s exports that account for 55% of total total SEZ exports from the country.
Reliance registered 61% growth in petro products shipments from Jamnagar to Rs 1.66 lakh crore. Physical exports from Reliance SEZ stood at Rs 1,48,495.96 while deemed exports were of Rs 17,802.37 crore. Multi-product SEZ at Surat clocked Rs 27,468.57 crore exports and deemed exports of Rs 0.36 crore.

Exports from other SEZs like Kandla, Apparel SEZ at Sachin near and pharmaceutical SEZ by Zydus Infrastructure too rose. Kandla SEZ’s physical exports were at Rs 2,960 crore and deemed exports were worth Rs 36.20. Zydus exported medicines worth Rs 245 crore and services worth Rs 102 crore.
read more.

* Government revises textiles export target upward at $40.5 billion:

The government has revised upwards the textiles export target to $ 40.5 billion for 2012-13, despite the demand slowdown in major western markets like the US and Europe.
Earlier, the Textiles Ministry had set an export target of $ 38 billion for the current fiscal.
“After sops were announced in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), the exporters have responded positively and based on it we have revised this year’s textiles exports target upwards,” Textiles Secretary Kiran Dhingra told reporters.
Segments including apparel, handicrafts and carpets are upbeat about exports performance this year, she added.
To encourage exports, the government extended the interest subsidy scheme for one more year till March 31, 2013 covering segments like handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector. Besides, the garment sector was included in the scheme.
read more.

* Textile industry spins revival news:

Yarn export registration from both traditional and newer markets rise but concern at Bangladesh undercutting on apparel costs remains.
In a major sign of revival in the Indian textile industry after three months of sharp downturn, registration for yarn exports shot up by 17.8 per cent in May on renewed demand from the traditional markets, including North America and Western Europe.
Fresh demand from other markets, such as Latin America and some Southeast Asian countries, has also helped this increase in export registrations.read more.

* Global apparel brands plan to raise prices in India:

Several international clothing brands are planning to increase their retail prices in India due to the depreciation of the Indian rupee.
“Many international brands/retailers in India like Debenhams, Next, Diesel, Puma, etc. import a large part of their garments, and the depreciation of rupee has increased the import costs by up to 10-15 percent. Hence, many global brands/retailers are planning to pass on this cost to the consumer,” Mr. Amit Gugnani, Senior Vice President, Technopak Advisors, told fibre2fashion.
“Most of the international garment companies already operate on tight margins in India after taking into consideration duties, rentals and low volumes, so they have to cover the impact of dollar appreciation only by increasing prices,” adds Mr. Harminder Sahni, MD, Wazir Advisors. read more.

 * Rupee hitting a record low worries textile sector:

The rupee hitting a record low of Rs. 57.12 against the dollar on Friday is causing worries among the textile entrepreneurs who are looking forward to capacity expansion since a good chunk of the state-of-the-art machinery used were being imported.

Industry sources told The Hindu that machinery from Italy, Germany and Taiwan, among other countries, were been imported at periodic intervals for knitting, wet processing, garmenting and printing segments of the Tirupur knitwear cluster. “The rupee dipping in this manner can very well jeopardise the plans to import new machinery as well as upgrading the existing capacity, both of which are essential for the apparel exporters to come out with new product portfolio for staying competitive in the global market,” industrialists from different segments of Tirupur knitwear cluster said. Ever since the rupee touched 52 against the dollar a few weeks ago, the ‘free-fall’ began with the currency down by over 3 per cent this week itself.
read more.

* Indian govt upwardly revises textiles export target:

The Government of India has revised its textiles export target for the current fiscal 2012-13 to US$ 40.5 billion, from the earlier set target of US$ 38 billion.
 The textiles and apparel sector in India is upbeat over exports after announcement of sops in the Annual Supplement of Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) and hence, the Government has revised the textiles export target upwards for the current fiscal, Textiles Secretary Kiran Dhingra said.
 Despite the ongoing slowdown in India’s traditional markets like the US and Europe, textile segments such as garments, carpets and handicrafts are expected to perform well this year, she added. read more.

 22:18:52 local time map of sri_lanka SRI LANKA

 * Sri Lanka to export more apparels and raw rubber to Iraq:

Iraq, which is one of the leading Pure Ceylon Tea  importers from Sri Lanka  has expressed willingness to import more and more Sri Lankan products, including apparels and raw rubber.
This has been stated by the Iraqi Ambassador in Sri Lanka Kahtan Taha Khalaf yesterday when he made a courtesy call on Minister of Commerce and Industry  Rishard Bathiudeen.  He has said that Iraq look forward to import Sri Lankan apparels and raw rubber in strong volumes, as none of which are being produced in Iraq.
The Ambassador has also invited Sri Lankan investors and businessmen to visit Iraq and attend the Baghdad Int’l Fair 2012 to be held in November
Minister Bathiudeen has assured the Iraqi Ambassador of Sri Lanka’s  capability of fulfilling their demand for apparels and rubber products, including value added rubber products.  He has also assured to send a strong Sri Lankan trade and biz delegation to the Baghdad International Fair 2012.
Bilateral trade between the two countries which stood at 8.76 million U.S.Dollars in 2003 had reached 37.5 million U.S.Dollars in 2009 with 98% of it being tea exports to Iraq. Sri Lanka was the major supplier of tea to Iraq with 65% of the total annual intake of our tea by Iraq until 1990. Currently, more than 90% of Sri Lanka exports to Iraq consist of tea. .(niz) to read.

21:48:52 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Textile exports facing difficulties entering EU:

There is a dire need to take up issue of early implementation of Autonomous Trade Preferences (ATP) proposed by European Union (EU) Council for Pakistan.
Pakistan textile exports to EU faced a record number of objections and were still under the opposition despite unanimous approval by General Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to provide trade concessions to Pakistan on 75 products.
read more.

 21:48:52 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* US government rapped over child labour in Uzbek cotton fields:

The coalition of organisations fighting against forced child labour in Uzbekistan has harshly criticised the US government decision to downgrade the country in its annual Global Trafficking in Person report.
Human rights defenders’ criticism came after the US Department of State decided not to downgrade Uzbekistan from Tier II to Tier III despite systematic use of forced and child labour in the cotton sector, says a press release by the global human rights organisation Human Rights Watch.
US government members must make the Uzbek authorities to allow the ILO into Uzbekistan to monitor the 2012 cotton harvest, human rights defenders wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Cotton slavery increased while rating remains as before

The authors of the 2012 Global Trafficking in Person report, published on 19 June, acknowledge that the use of forced and child labour in Uzbekistan is systematic and widely practiced. read more.

map of Asia

CHINA
* Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning to focus on de-inventory

PHILIPPINES
* Despite gains in equality, Filipino women earn only 76% of what Filipino men are paid

VIET NAM
* India textile companies seek new partners
* Trade unions to get 2% of wage funds
* Three workers die in factory wall collapse

CAMBODIA
* Ministry refuses to accept letter threatening general strike

SINGAPORE
* Raising wages: Use a ladder, not a floor
* Look at low-wage jobs in a different light- NTUC

INDONESIA
* Number of child workers still high in Indonesia
* Chinese firm to set up textile unit in Central Java

BURMA/MYANMAR
* U.S. lawmakers push to renew some Burmese sanctions
* Protesting workers at 11 factories of 16 negotiated
* Labour Organization Law enables 40 labour organizations

BANGLA DESH
* Agitated workers in Iswardi EPZ stage demonstrations
* Opportunities have expiry dates
* THE ASHULIA GARMENT WORKERS STRIKE:
* Workers back to Ashulia- Vigilance teams reshuffled
* RMG violence- Behind-the-scene players
* Ashulia factories reopen after four days of closure
* Apparel workers rally for wage increase at Ashulia
* PM orders formation of committee to resolve RMG unrest
* Hasina warns garment workers on ‘anarchy’
* Deadlock in Ashulia industrial belt

INDIA
* 800 from Ashima join stir of Arvind Mill workers
* Asarwa fourth textile unit in city to join workers’ strike
* Production suffers as 4th textile mill faces strike
* Textile strikers tear Bapu legacy to shreds
* RIL’s Jamnagar SEZ contributes 83% to the state’s SEZ exports
* Government revises textiles export target upward
* Textile industry spins revival news
* Global apparel brands plan to raise prices in India
* Rupee hitting a record low worries textile sector
* Indian govt upwardly revises textiles export target

SRI LANKA
* Sri Lanka to export more apparels

PAKISTAN
* Textile exports facing difficulties entering EU

UZBEKISTAN
* US government rapped over child labour in Uzbek cotton fields

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Convention on the Rights of the Child
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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

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2