15:09:05 local time CHINA
* China’s GDP hits three-year low:
China’s economy expanded 7.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter this year, slowing from 8.1 percent in the first quarter and hitting a three-year low, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.
The figure took GDP growth to 7.8 percent in the first half, slightly higher than the 7.5 percent full-year target set by the government earlier this year, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Analysts said Friday that there was no need to be overly pessimistic about the statistics since slowdown was a natural trend after 30 years of rapid growth, and the second quarter showed signs of a growth rebound compared with the first quarter.
* Designer says future US uniforms to be made in USA:
IT’S too late for London, but US Olympians in 2014 will be clad in Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms made in the United States, the fashion firm and the US Olympic Committee said.
The announcement, made yesterday, came in the wake of bitter criticism from US lawmakers over the fact that the uniforms that US Olympians will wear at the opening and closing ceremonies in London are made in China.
“With athletes having already arrived in London, and the apparel distribution process beginning this weekend, we are unfortunately not able to make a change for London,” USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun said. read more.
15:09:05 local time PHILIPPINES
* Indian to PHL garment makers: Go organic and conquer US, Europe:
Using organic material in garments and textile could boost Philippine exports, especially to the United States and Europe, an Indian manufacturing council official said Friday.
The “organic concept” is getting worldwide attention in the bigger markets, deputy director of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council of India Rajesh Satam said in a statement.
“With these value-added and environmental-friendly garments, maybe you will get more of acceptance for your country’s products and you will get even more offerings,” Satam said.
The Indian director noted that the potential is there for Philippines to cut a bigger stake in the US and European markets, where 55 to 60 percent of imports are organic garments and textile. to read.
14:09:05 local time VIET NAM
* Garment exports up 11 percent:
Vietnam exported US$6.5 billion worth of garments and textiles in the first six months, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.
The country now ranks second in clothing exports to the US market with a growth rate of 8.5 percent, while still retaining sustainable growth in the Republic of Korea and Japan.
The garment and textile sector will continue facing difficulties due to falling demand from major markets such as the US and the EU.
This year, the sector is forecast to earn between US$18.2-18.5 billion with a growth rate of 12-14 percent if there is no big fluctuations in major markets and in the price of materials. to read.
* Local shoemakers do not evade taxes – Brazil:
After a nine-month investigation, Brazil came to a conclusion that Vietnamese shoemakers do not evade anti-dumping duties, said the Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Wednesday.
Brazil officially announced its final conclusion last Thursday, after the working group of Brazil’s Department of Commercial Defense (DECOM) had interrogated the two biggest importers of Brazil and 11 companies of Indonesia and Vietnam. Among those are five producers of Nike and Adidas shoes in HCM City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An.
* Industry parks lack women’s healthcare:
Deputy director of Hai Duong Department of Health, Do Thi Thanh Xuan, said more than 570 cases of abortion were reported in the province in the first six month this year, and nearly 300 of them were workers from industrial zones.
But Hoang Thi Thu, head of the provincial Labour Federation’s Woman Association, said that while taking care of female workers’ reproductive health was important, few enterprises in the province paid much attention to it.
The province now has nearly 200 industrial enterprises in the nine industrial zones – and 70 per cent of their workers are female. However, only 40 per cent of them receive gynaecology checks during their annual health review.
Thu said it was difficult to arrange training courses to help the women and girls as they often worked overtime. Most healthcare information in the province was generally given in the home.
She said industrial zones in the province did not have medical stations to treat or help workers and the number of trained reproductive workers was limited.
Female workers themselves do not seem to want to spend time on attending lessons on reproductive health,” she said.
La Thi Hue, from the province’s Ninh Giang District works with Chau Giang Co Ltd, said she worked overtime three days a week. read more.
14:09:05 local time CAMBODIA
* Tai Yang garment strikers sacked:
Rong Chhun (L), president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, is confronted by Phnom Penh Police Commissioner Touch Naroth (R) during a protest by Tai Yang Enterprise workers this month. Photograph: Meng Kimlong / Phnom Penh Post
Garment employees who have refused to return to work after striking for three weeks no longer have jobs at Tai Yang Enterprise, which supplies Levi’s and Gap, management said yesterday.
Tired of strikes the company claims are costing it US$10,000 per day, administrative manager Ou Meng Hour said yesterday that more than 100 employees have effectively resigned by choosing not to return to work.
“The workers who stay outside are not the workers for Tai Yang Enterprise and Camwell anymore,” he said, referring to two of three factories the company owns in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district.
“We released a letter on July 10 announcing that if they do not return to work, it means they have abandoned their work automatically,” he said, referencing a court order from Kandal provincial court. read more.
* Svay Rieng victims called back to court:
Svay Rieng Provincial Court has summonsed the three female workers wounded during a protest at Kao Ve Garment Factory in Manhattan Special Economic Zone for one more round of questioning before the case against the former Bavet city governor is sent for trial.
Bich Chhoeut, the provincial investigating judge, said the court had issued an order for the women to appear for final questioning on July 20 before the charges of “unintentional wounding” against Chhouk Bandith go before the judge.
“The previous [questioning] was the prosecutor’s primary investigation, but this is a survey of the investigating judge,” he said, explaining the rationale for the women being summonsed a second time.
The three workers were injured when Bandith allegedly shot his gun into the crowd of 6,000 protesting garment workers in February. read more.
* Textile, Garment and Shoe Producing Workers To Get More Benefits:
Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT) has issued an announcement requiring all textile, garment and shoe producing factories in Cambodiato provide more benefits to their workers, as of the 1st September 2012.
The benefits include a US$10-allowance per month for each worker to pay for travelling and accommodation; and another US$10-bonus a month for any regular worker.
The announcement was made on July 11 by H.E. Vong Saut, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training and Chairman of Labour Advisory Committee, following a discussion between the MoLVT officials and the representatives of workers from the textile, garment and shoe producing factories.
For those workers, who are already given with means of travelling and accommodation, shall not get these benefits, and the factories, that provide better benefits than that stated in the announcement, shall keep on practising for their workers. to read.
* Workers on £10 a week making Olympics ‘fanwear’:
Adidas, the sportswear company, is facing an investigation over claims that Cambodian workers are being paid pounds 10 a week in basic wages to make official merchandise for the London Olympics.
It is one of the 2012 Games’ largest sponsors – believed to have invested pounds 100 million – and manufactured the official Team GB designed by Stella McCartney.
But at the company’s Shen Zhou factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, The Daily Telegraph discovered that poor machinists were working up to 10 hours a day, six days a week, to produce the official Olympics merchandise that thousands of fans will buy in stores across Britain.
Living in squalid conditions, workers said they earned a basic salary of $61 (pounds 40) a month for working eight hours a day, six days a week, plus a $5 allowance for health care. They told The Telegraph they could take their wages up to $120 (pounds 78) by increasing their hours to 10 per day.
Adidas insisted Friday that workers at the factory made an average of $130 a month, and would get, along with other garment industry workers in the country, a pay rise later this year.
However, Anna McMullen of the campaign group Labour Behind the Label, said that was still much lower than what they regarded as a living wage for a Cambodian worker with a family. “The minimum wage in Cambodia is horrendously low – $66 a month,” she said. “But the living wage for a worker with two children is $260.”
* Olympic shame: Meet the Cambodian garment workers paid just £10 a week to make adidas’ 2012 Games ‘fanwear’:
Sportswear giant and Olympic sponsor adidas is facing an investigation after revelations that their official merchandise for the London Games is being made by Cambodian garment workers who are paid just £10 a week in basic wages.
Adidas is believed to have invested £100 million in the Games and is one of the event’s largest sponsors. The firm manufactured the official Team GB outfit designed by Stella McCartney.
But the workers at the company’s Shen Zhou factory on the outskirts of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh work up to 10 hours a day, six days a week, the Daily Telegraph reported. read more.
Factory line: garment workers at the Shen Zhou factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, make adidas Olympic Games merchandise
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
3. Union bashes wage hike, ponders national strike. read more.
4. Union officials forced to sign ‘confession’. read more.
5. Union members beaten during factory protest. read more.
6. Olympic Organizing Committee to investigate Cambodian factory. read more.
15:09:05 local time MALAYSIA
* Implementation Committee Set Up To Refine Policy On Minimum Salary For Private Sector:
An implementation committee has been set up to refine matters related to the determining of minimum salary for the private sector.
Human Resources deputy minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan said the committee was meeting employers, workers and other related parties to negotiate on matters which had not been decided, before implementing the policy.
“This includes requests that several allowances be considered for absorbtion in the basic salary,” she told reporters after a briefing ceremony on 1Malaysia People Friendly Houses, handing of Tekun National loans and Welfare Services Department aid, here, Friday. read more.
13:09:05 local time BANGLA DESH
* Bangladesh earns about 1 bln USD from home textile exports:
Bangladesh earned nearly 1 billion U. S. dollars from export of home textile products in the 2011-12 fiscal year ending last month , official data showed Sunday.
According to statistics of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the South Asian country fetched 906.07 million U.S. dollars from exports of home textile items like bed linen, kitchen curtain, mosquito nets, bed pad as well as furnishing fiber in the last fiscal year 2011-12 (July 2011-June 2012) .
But earning from export of home textile products fell short of target for the last fiscal year by over 11 percent, the EPB data showed.
Bangladesh set 1.025 billion U.S. dollars earning target from home textile export in the last fiscal year. The country’s home textile export surged over 46 percent to 788.86 million U.S. dollars in the previous 2010-11 fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011).
* Benarasi weavers facing hard times:
The traditional and prestigious Katan and Benarasi industry has been facing an awkward position due to abnormal price hike of imported yarn, colour, calendaring problems and other inputs etc. According to the sources concerned the running industries are incurring loss of around Tk 75,000 to Tk 80,000 every month while at least 100 Benarasi factories out of 60 factories have already been shut down and many others are on the dying condition. Closure of the about 50 Katan and Benarasi factories in Iswardi upazila under Pabna district at present has thrown about 500 families to passing their days to uncertainty. The owners and workers who are connected in the factories said that the price of yarn was Tk 1,500 per kilogram some days ago but the current price has been stood to Tk 2200 to Tk 2400. The increase in price of yarn beyond expectation has frustrated the weavers to such an extent that they find at difficult to continue their profession. read more.
* RMG growth boosts female school enrolment- study:
The phenomenal growth of the garment sector between 1983 and 2000 significantly increased the female school enrolment rate, according to a study by economists Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak and Rachel Heath.
The average yearly growth rate of 17 percent from 1983, when the garment sector employment stood at 40,000, has resulted in a current employment of over 3 million, of which 80 percent are female.
An econometric study — Does Demand or Supply Constrain Investments in Education? — revealed that growth in garment sector employment increased school enrolment for girls aged 5-16, while it decreased it for girls aged 17 and 18.
In contrast, the Female Stipend Programme, run by the government with support from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, has paid for 2 million girls to remain in school, and yet it did not have any statistically significant impact on enrolment, according to the study. read more.
12:39:05 local time INDIA
* Leather, textiles exports seen picking up- Commerce Secy:
Amid the gloom of a continuing fall in merchandise shipments, there is some cause for cheer from two labour-intensive sectors — textiles and leather.
The Commerce Secretary, Mr S.R. Rao, said the order books of the textiles sector were full and there would be a spurt in export growth in the coming months.
He said the leather sector has also got several export orders, due to the international leather fair held here recently, attended by over 300 companies from India and overseas. The Secretary said there would be another fair in the Capital in September.
Mr A. Sakthivel, Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council, said he was hopeful that apparel exports would achieve the target of $18 billion this fiscal. Exports (with over 7,000 garment exporters and employing over 11 million workers) in the last fiscal were $13.7 billion, barely missing the $14-billion target.
He said the Euro zone crisis had resulted in a fall in orders from countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain, but orders continued to come from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France. There was also a pick-up in orders from the US, he said.
* QVT now turns heat on textile firm KSL on bond default:
International hedge fund QVT Financial has filed a winding up petition against textile to real estate group KSL and Industries for recovering $90 million (approx R430 crore) of outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds. KSL is promoted by Saurabh K Tayal, son of former Bank of Rajasthan owner PK Tayal.
“We sent a winding up notice on May 30 and gave KSL and Industries 21 days to respond,” said a source close to the development. “After they failed to respond, we filed a winding up petition with the Bombay High Court on July 3.”
The petition has been filed in the HC through law firm Tri Legal. This is the third instance where the hedge fund has run into problems while recovering its money, after healthcare company Wockhardt and IT-company Zenith Computers. QVT Financial has an exposure ranging in the “high hundreds of millions” in India and nearly 15-17% of its investment is in trouble, the person added, not wishing to be identified as the matter is in court.
KSL and Industries Ltd is seeking to restructure its R2,800 crore debt via corporate debt restructuring. The company has approached Bank of India, UCO Bank and Punjab National Bank for the same. The decision CDR will be taken on July 30.
“No bank will agree for CDR when they know that the company has a winding up petition against it,” the person quoted above said. KSL had informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on May 26 that it was in talks with bond holders to restructure the FCCB redemption. However, sources said that no such discussions have taken place. “They haven’t spoken to the bondholders, there is not talk of restructuring the FCCBs,” the person quoted above said. to read.
12:39:05 local time SRI LANKA
* FTZ workers call for social security scheme:
It’s high time all trade unions got together and have discussions on initiating a social security scheme for the benefit of employees, including domestics and migrant workers, Anton Marcus said yesterday.
Marcus, Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Service Employees Union (FTZGSEU), told The Island that the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) issue had shown that a large sum of money from the EPF had been used by the Government for its own purposes.
He was of the opinion that funds could be utilised for medical expenses of the workers and their parents.
He said this was the ideal time to begin a dialogue with all trade unions for a social security scheme with EPF monies now reaching a trillion rupees.
Marcus said that there was a big sum unclaimed and they (FTZGSEU) welcomed the JVP proposal to present a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament in September seeking to introduce a Private Sector Pension Scheme. read more.
12:09:05 local time PAKISTAN
* Iran wants direct import of Pakistani textile products:
Iran has expressed its desire to directly import Pakistani textile products rather than through the third country.
“Pakistani textiles products reach Iran via third country, instead these products should be exported to Iran directly,” a statement of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) issued on Saturday quoted Abbas Ali Abdollahi, Consul General of Iran, as saying.
According to the statement, Iranian consul general, who met with FPCCI members a day earlier, said that Iran and Pakistan can increase trade up to $10 billion. He said that Iran trades with a large numbers of countries but Iran wants to improve its bilateral trade relations with Pakistan.
“Financial and banking sector sanctions has reduced our trade drastically,” the diplomat said.
Earlier Pakistan and Iran have agreed to barter trade in rice, wheat, meat and fruit, vegetable, oil and iron ores. He also informed that Iranian consul offices are issuing multiple visa of six month to Pakistani businessmen. He suggested that both the countries should start trading in their local currencies instead of any other currency.
read more. & read more.
* Textile sector in knots over budget:
The struggling textile industry of the country had hoped for some respite in the recently announced Federal Budget. But industry representatives lament that the fiscal plan has little for them. The Economic Survey 2011-2012 shows that textile exports declined by 9.6 percent in July-April 2011-2012, mostly due to decline in international demand and the energy crisis. Value-added items such as knitwear, bed wear, towels and readymade garments exports also showed negative growth.
“Lower customs duty on imports will bring down dyeing and printing costs but the real menace for the textile sector is the power crisis and this budget has completely failed to address that” lamented managing director Multimat Incorporated, Zafar Saeed. Calling upon government to fix local cotton prices, Saeed told BR Research that volatility in cotton prices has wreaked havoc on textile manufacturers and exporters. He also criticised the discontinuation of export rebate through the State Bank of Pakistan.
“The governments failure to address the power crisis and the deteriorating law-and-order situation is what has forced many industrialists to pack and leave this country,” said the managing director. The budget does bring some respite, particularly for smaller businesses. A research report published by BMA Capital stated that the decrease in turnover tax rate from 1 percent to 0.5 percent would bode well for small companies and loss making entities in the sector. read more.
* Higher policy rates led to closure of many units: PBEA chief:
A shot in the arm is needed to lift country’s exports which “are going down and we are losing exports markets rapidly, according to Pakistan Bed-wear Exporters Association (PBEA).
Shabir Ahmed, Chairman, PBEA painting a very bleak picture of exports said that an unprecedented increase in bank mark-up has resulted in the closure of many factories of bed-wear and other textile made-ups and many more are likely to close down in coming months.
Entire blame for this deluge has been squarely laid on former Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Tariq Iqbal Puri for criminally neglecting this important sector which brings foreign exchange for the country.
“We approached him a number of times but he was least bothered about removing exporters’ concerns,” he said and welcomed the government’s step to dismiss him. “During his tenure, he has accumulated enough (air miles) for his future travelling,” Shabir said. His lethargic approach pulverised exports to the extent that it now needs Herculean efforts to organise this sector to make it vibrate once again, he said.