17:24:53 local time CHINA
* Empowering the people with information on pollution:
Ma Jun, literally “Horse Warrior,” is the driving force behind the famous “Poison Apple” campaign that exposed toxic pollution from Apple Inc’s supply chain in China and from many other foreign and domestic brands.
“So many people are holding these fashionable iPads and iPhones, but do they know the environmental costs behind them?” Ma said in a recent telephone interview with Shanghai Daily from his home in Beijing. The Chinese capital is also the location of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, which Ma founded in 2006 to spread information about pollution and make it accessible to everyone.
Ma is now focusing on pollution caused by the apparel industry, which is highly polluting. In 2010, the entire textile industry was ranked third in overall amount of wastewater discharged, around 2.5 billions tons annually. read more.
* Xiniya Discusses Outlook for Proposed New Production Facility in China:
China Xiniya Fashion Limited (“Xiniya” or the “Company” NYSE:XNY), a leading provider of men’s business casual apparel in China, yesterday discussed the Company’s outlook for a proposed new production facility that will be constructed in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province.
In an interview with Chinese media yesterday, Mr.Jianeng Pan, Assistant to the Chairman, provided an update to Xiniya’s plans for the new manufacturing and logistic facilities. He said that the Company is awaiting approval from the government to acquire land use rights for the facilities. The budget for the facilities, including the land use rights, is expected to be approximately RMB600 million (or approximately US$94 million). He added that the facilities will be built in several phases over the next five years (assuming the Company obtains government approval for the land use rights) and that construction is expected to be funded with the proceeds from the IPO and internally generated cash.
Projected to be built on 74 acres of land, the Mr.Pan said that the Company’s goal for the proposed new facilities is to provide the Company with 30 to 40% of its total production needs and act as a logistics distribution center. read more. & read more.
16:24:53 local time Viet Nam
* Garment exporters go in search of new contracts:
Domestic garment exporters seek more export orders to overcome lagging business, according to local garment firms.
Textile and garment producers struggle from a lack of export contracts due to the ongoing public debt crisis in the EU and resulting market difficulties, said the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas). Many small-and medium-sized producers have been forced to lower production due to a lack of demand.
However, Pham Phu Cuong, chairman of Nha Be Garment Company’s (NBC) management board, said NBC actually managed to grow its business during these past months of fiscal woe. This was because the company saved on production costs, he said, including raw materials and electricity, and was able to implement free-on-board (FOB) contracts.
Under the FOB terms, the Viet Nam factory takes care of basically everything: trims, accessories, fabric, cutting, sewing, packaging, boxing and transportation to the port.
* 5 jailed for deadly Vietnam factory fire:
Five people, including a Chinese national, got jail terms of up to 12 years for violating fire safety principles at an unlicensed textile factory in the northern city of Hai Phong after a fire killed 13 people last year.
The Hai Phong People’s Court also ordered the defendants to pay over VND4.4 billion (US$208,800) in compensation to the victims.
In May 2011 Bui Thi Hien, 25, and her Chinese husband, 42-year-old Nhiep Thieu Phong, built the factory on land they rented.
The construction was not licensed and the couple ignored safety regulations like emergency exits.read more.
16:24:53 local time THAILAND
* More SMEs going under the radar:
The minimum wage of 300 baht a day is taking its toll on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), leading several to close and start doing business without registering with the Commerce Ministry, according to a university study.
”This is because a large number of SMEs are unable to compete, and if they are not in the system they can lower their costs by avoiding taxes and money sent to the social security fund,” said Kiatanan Luankaew, director of the Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU) Research Center.
According to Mr Kiatanan, once business operators report a closure (to authorities), they generally opt to purchase condominiums or other types of buildings and set up a new firm without registration. Most of these businesses have no more than five or six employees.
The companies place ads on electric poles, telephone booths and websites, providing contact via mobile phone.
”The workers will receive wages of 300 baht per day, but it is worth the payment because they don’t have to pay tax and contribute to social security,” Mr Kiatanan said. read more.
* Wage hike affects Thailand textile industry- Report:
* Garment firms seek assistance from govt in overseas push:
Local textile and garment manufacturers have urged the government to reduce tariff barriers, strengthen promotion activities in new targeted markets and support their investments in neighbouring countries as urgent steps to stimulate growth amid a severe export decline to Europe, as well as a labour shortage.
After a meeting with textile and garment exporters, Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said this group of exporters comprises one of the priority sectors that need the government’s help, as their shipments declined dramatically in the first half of this year. These products have relied mainly on the European Union, US and Japanese markets, all of which are facing slowing growth.
According to the department, exports of textiles and garments fell 15.3 per cent year on year to US$3.59 billion (Bt113 billion) in the first half of this year.
Nuntawan said that enterprises have urged the government to draw up a plan to promote their investments overseas as they are having difficulty expanding their business at home. read more.
* ‘Early harvest’ with EU sought:
Thailand will ask the European Union to put the more than 700 export items that are at risk of losing export privileges in two years into an “early harvest” scheme under a bilateral free-trade agreement.
Thailand is considering starting the FTA negotiations soon after the EU had long proposed them. The EU plans to cut export privileges for its trading partners including Thailand by 2014 under its revision of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
“The country plans to ask for the EU to enforce an ‘early harvest’ programme for Thai goods if the negotiations are completed. Then the GSP cut would not affect our exports and competitiveness as duties would be brought down to zero for Thai goods under the free-trade pact,” Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department, said last week.
However, the bilateral FTA will be a comprehensive pact covering goods, services and investment. read more.
16:24:53 local time CAMBODIA
* Strike may end if deal holds-union:
Workers who have been told they have been sacked for striking at the co-owned Tai Yang and Camwell factories will forget about their seniority bonuses – for now – if they are reinstated, unions and an advocacy group said yesterday.
In an attempt to end one of the longest strikes in the industry’s history, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) made pleas for the reinstatement of 37 workers to the Ministry of Social Affairs and buyer Levi’s late last week.
Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said yesterday the workers, who were recently told they had been fired after striking since June 25 over seniority bonuses, would return to the Ang Snuol district factories in Kandal province if a deal was struck. read more.
Tai Yang Enterprises workers protest last month. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post
* New spin on an old tradition:
Putting a new spin on a traditional art form isn’t a simple thing to achieve, but for niche fashion enterprise Artisan Designers (AND) an ambitious new branding campaign is seeing Cambodian handicrafts pushed in a new direction.
Opening eight months ago on the tourist-friendly street 240, AND is the newest arm of Whatthan Artisans Cambodia, a fair-trade handicraft manufacturer and store based at the Wat Than pagoda in Phnom Penh.
The enterprise, which does not list itself as an NGO, employs approximately 40 workers in its on-site workshop, most of whom have a disability, as well as contracting traditional ikat weavers in Takeo province. read more.
17:24:53 local time SINGAPORE
* NTUC wants more workplace support for breastfeeding mums:
3 in 10 mums returning to work wean off babies before they turn 6 months old
The labour movement’s U Family unit has called on more employers to support back-to-work breastfeeding mothers through providing flexible lactation breaks, and for office building owners to provide functional nursing and family corners.
According to a U Family Survey on Breastfeeding conducted in April of 1,318 married women, 98 per cent were aware of the health benefits to mothers and babies if babies are breastfed for a minimum of six months.
Yet, 30 per cent of mothers said they weaned off breastfeeding before their babies turned six months old when they returned to work.
Close to 50 per cent who did not breastfeed, or planned not to breastfeed for at least six months, felt that there was a lack of support at the workplace – such as lactation breaks and functional lactation corners. Half said employer support at the workplace was “most important” for them to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
17:24:53 local time INDONESIA
* Used clothes continue to flood into North Sumatra:
As Idul Fitri approaches, the illegal importation of used clothes into North Sumatra is on the rise, following increasing demand.
North Sumatra Customs and Excise recently foiled two attempts of used clothes smuggling into the country, which had originated from Malaysia.
On July 26, the police stopped a ship transporting used clothes in Percut Sei Tuan waters in Deli Serdang, followed by an arrest on a ship carrying similar goods intercepting in Pematang Sei Baru waters in Asahan, on August 2, said Goodman Purba, the head of the Investigation and Law Enforcement Unit at Customs and Excise.
“From the two operations, we have seized 490 batches of used clothes and 60 pairs of used shoes,” Goodman said, putting the value of the smuggled goods at around Rp 1.3 billion (US$137,800).
Customs also arrested the ships’ five crews, who were allegedly carrying the used garments into the country. read more.
* Indonesia eyes to become Islamic fashion hub by 2020:
15:54:53 local time BURMA/MYANMAR
* US import ban hurts Myanmar garment sector – Report:
15:24:53 local time BANGLA DESH
* Open new avenues for jobs:
Bangladesh must identify potential high-employment generating industries to lessen the burden on the readymade garment and agriculture sectors, experts said yesterday.
The observation came at a discussion, “Creating Jobs for All” as part of the International Conference on People’s Empowerment and Development, organised by the foreign ministry, at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.
Speaking as a keynote presenter, Syed Manzur Elahi, who served as an adviser to a former caretaker government, said it takes the whole economy to create jobs.
“Regardless of size, the stage of development or even the nature of economy, the policymakers everywhere are looking to job creation as the vehicle for economic empowerment that would lead to social development, economic growth and political stability.” read more.
* Relocate RMG units to rural areas- Muhith:
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday suggested garment makers subcontract partial processes to rural areas to reduce the urban pressure.
“You do not need to bring all the workers to the city. You can dye, stitch and cut the garment items in the rural areas through subcontracting,” Muhith said.
Moving goods is easy in Bangladesh now, Muhith said as the chief guest at the inaugural of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sponsored GORBO-2, a musical talent-hunt reality show for garment workers.
The minister also unveiled the CD album of the top 10 GORBO-1 singers from 2010 at the ceremony at the Radisson Hotel in Dhaka.
Begum Monnujan Sufian, state minister for labour and employment, said the government will make three dormitories for garment workers in Narayanganj, Ashulia and Gazipur to reduce the housing problem.
She suggested allocation of funds for dorms to individual factories from the under-utilised Prime Minister’s Fund of Tk 100 crore.
Strong partnerships between workers, owners and the government will help Bangladesh beat China to become the largest apparel exporter worldwide, said Dan W Mozena, the US ambassador to Bangladesh. read more.
* BGMEA reaches accord with stakeholders to expedite exports:
Garment manufacturers, shipping agents and freight forwarders at a meeting on Sunday decided to form a working committee to solve existing and evolving problems through discussion on monthly basis to expedite the export process. The committee will be formed with the representatives of all related trade bodies including Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and International Container Shipping Association (ICSA) and Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFA).
The meeting was held at the conference room of the BGMEA with its President M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin in the chair.
BGMEA vice president Faruque Hasan, chairman of Port and Shipping Committee Hasan Abdullah, ICSA vice president Shamim-ul-Hoque and BAFA President Mahbubul Alam, among others, were present at the meeting.read more.
* Accelerating exports needs diversification, consolidating strengths in garments- WB:
Accelerating Bangladesh’s overall exports will require not only consolidating existing strengths in basic garments but also diversifying gradually into higher-value garments and other exports.
This is one of the key messages that has been emphasised, once again, in one of the latest studies of the World Bank (WB), titled “Consolidating and Accelerating Exports in Bangladesh”.
In seeking to suggest ways about how Bangladesh can address the issue and achieve diversification of its exports, the WB report, on the basis of available research, identifies the infrastructure deficit, especially energy, lack of appropriate skills and the weak regulatory environment as factors that continue to deter exports.
Complement existing research, the WB report explores a few critical areas in some depth, focusing particularly on the role that trade logistics, skills and compliance with labor standards can play in consolidating existing strengths in exports and moving to higher value products.
In doing so, it uses the garment sector as a lens and examines prospects for diversifying into information technology (IT)-enabled services — a sector that is growing fast worldwide and can provide high-quality jobs. read more.
14:54:53 local time INDIA
* It’s raining sales in Gujarat:
Who says the inflation is hurting consumer sentiments? Amdavadis, it seems, are immune to this hullabaloo. All stores across the city offering discounts in the region of 20% to 60% have recorded a rise in footfalls as well as business during this retail frenzy.
Be it malls, shopping complexes or even mom and pop (single location) stores on CG Road, SG Road as well as Ashram Road, they have all witnessed a minimum sales growth of 25%. Experts from the retail industry believe that the credit of this growth can partially be attributed to inflation.
Last year, the central government hiked excise duty on garments. Add to this, the cotton prices have doubled, said regional manager – operations, Ahmedabad Central, Aashish Gargi.
“As a result, apparel has become dearer by 20% to 30% this year. For example, an average price of a branded pair of jeans, till last year, was around Rs1,800 to Rs2,000. Now, the same pair of jeans is available for Rs2,600 to Rs3,000.” he said.
* Developing new business strategy for India-Reebok:
Sportswear major Reebok India is embarking on a new business strategy under a global strategy of its parent Adidas till 2015 even as investigations are on following its complaint against two former top executives in for an alleged Rs 870 crore fraud.
As part of the exercise, Reebok India Company is at present working with some of its key franchise partners to discuss the future relationship with them.
“We are committed to the Indian market and are in the process of developing a new business strategy for Reebok India as a part of our Route 2015 plan,” Reebok India Company told PTI in an email response.
Without sharing anything further, the company said a more detailed update will be shared once it enters the implementation phase.
In May this year, the German parent Adidas had said it planned to shut down one-third of its 900 Reebok stores in India as a part of a restructuring strategy for the brand. read more.
* ‘Lower cotton acreage no cause for worry’:
The area under cotton could be lower by 10-15 per cent this year compared with last year. But there is no cause for worry since there is global surplus in cotton, according to Textiles Commissioner A.B. Joshi.
Last year, a record 122 lakh hectares were brought under cotton.
“ International prices are 4-5 cents a pound cheaper than domestic cotton. Imports this year are likely to be higher than anticipated,” Joshi told reporters on the sidelines of the International Conference on Industrial Textiles – Products, Applications and Prospects ‘InduTech 2012’.
Earlier in his special address, he said that the market for industrial textiles is expected to more than double to Rs 11,191 crore by 2016-17 from the estimated Rs 4,090 crore this fiscal.
“It is predominantly small and medium enterprises-oriented with exporters from limited areas such as Maharashtra, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu,” Joshi said.
Since the demand for industrial textiles is directly proportional to industrial activity, and with India, gradually emerging a global manufacturing hub, there is huge potential for growth in this space, he said. read more.
* The cotton conundrum:
It is a strange thing for a country that is the second largest producer of cotton in the world to do. Yet, India is now importing a large quantity of cotton using precious foreign exchange, and exerting what could have been an avoidable pressure on the trade deficit.
And, it does this after exporting large quantities in the same season just a few months ago.In the ongoing cotton season (October 2011- September 2012), India exported 120 lakh bales, significantly higher than the Cotton Advisory Board’s (CAB) estimated exportable surplus of 80-85 lakh bales. And now, together, the mills are likely to import more than 15 lakh bales. Incidentally, the current season’s exports and imports are the highest in the last seven years!
India’s annual import of cotton was less than 10 lakh bales for each of the last seven years falling from a peak of 25 lakh bales imported in 2001-02. The textile industry mainly imported the extra long staple variety used to make fine counts of yarn as it is not available in India in large quantities.
Increase in exports
With production going up steadily in the country during the last decade, cotton exports also increased from 2005-06. Since then, almost every year, raw material security and stability in prices have been a challenge for the textile industry. Prices may not have fluctuated as sharply as in 2010-11, yet, for the Indian cotton sector, 2011-12 has been another year of extreme volatility and uncertainties. read more.
* High rates give hope to cotton farmers:
After going through a tough phase last year, cotton farmers can expect slightly better rates for their produce in 2012.
With the current outlook for prices, farmers would be spared an absolute loss even if they may not reap good profits by sowing cotton as it happened a couple of years ago. Cotton, which has been linked to the region’s farm crisis, is harvested from November to February. However, their fortunes would crash if the government once again imposed a ban on exports. read more.
* Unions on warpath, to protest strike ban:
While consumer activists welcomed the state government’s decision to put strikers behind bars, the huge workforce in civic, industrial, transport, health, education and other government sectors plans to put up a strong resistance to the ban on strikes.
“One cannot rule out the possibility of a massive agitation in Mumbai to protest stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act,” a source told TOI. read more.
* Govt looking to redefine SMEs:
The government is seriously considering tweaking the definition of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for giving a boost to single brand retail in the country.
Aiming at bringing in more foreign investments in the country, the government wants to remove hurdles in way of such investments from across the sectors, including single brand retail.
Though 100% FDI in single brand retail was notified in January, only two proposals — IKEA and Pavers — have been received by the government so far. As per the present definition, all entities having investment of $1 million in plant and machinery would fall under the ambit of SMEs for the purpose of single brand retail. However, as the sector thrives, SMEs would grow and the $1 million definition would need tweaking. read more. & read more.
* KIT: Textile and apparel trade:
The global textile and apparel, or T&A, trade is expected to grow to USD 1 trillion by 2020. However, with growth slowing down in developed markets, the dynamics of the global fashion market are expected to change dramatically. Emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China, along with a few other Southeast Asian countries, are seen as the major growth drivers.
In the recent past global apparel markets have seen a paradigm shift, moving towards increased product differentiation, and catering to a diverse, aware, and demanding customer base. Retailers have thus gravitated towards demographic shifts, societal and economic influences and environmental concerns. read more.
14:54:53 local time SRI LANKA
* Indian textile companies to get space in Sri Lanka:
The Indian textile industry would start manufacturing in Sri Lanka and also help the existing Lankan textile manufacturers upgrade their technology, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told Indian correspondents on Saturday.
The minister, who held discussions with Indian and Sri Lankan CEOs and government officials on the sidelines of the “India Show”, said that captains of the Indian textile industry would be visiting Lanka in the first half of September to discuss this matter.
Sharma said that co-operation between India and Sri Lanka could help corner a significant share of the world garments market, given the fact that the cost of production in China had gone up. read more.
* Sri Lankan fashion retailer plans overseas expansion:
14:24:53 local time PAKISTAN
* Import gas before economy derails- industrialists:
Textile exporters have recommended to the government to import gas immediately to bridge the demand-supply gap to keep the wheel of the economy rotating. The call was made at a joint meeting of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) and the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) held on Friday.
Uninterrupted and adequate supply of gas is crucial for the textile industry to fuel its production divisions, they said. Furthermore, gas was also an alternate energy source for the sector in the absence of electricity and acts as a mundane fuel for production, they added.
Participants were of the opinion that the shortage of gas even before the onset of winter was surprising and a serious matter. If the gas supply position is as bad as conceded by the relevant authorities then an alternate arrangement of satisfying the demand through imports should be urgently taken in hand, millers added.
* FY 2011-12: energy crisis pushes down textile exports by 17.7 percent:
The unending gas and electricity crisis and overall law and order situation of the country downed the 2011-12 textile exports by 17.7 percent , in dollar terms by $1.432 billion as compared to 2010-11 exports.
According to Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) statistics for July 2011- June 2012, Pakistan exported textile products valued at $12.356 billion during this period against $13.788 billion exported previous year.
It may be added that Pakistan has been a major exporter of cotton yarn, cotton cloth, knitwear, bed wear, towels, readymade garments made-up articles etc over the years. However, it suffered huge losses in export of these value-added textile products during the out-going year mainly due to energy crisis, insecure environment and political instability. read more.
14:24:53 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Human rights activist demand punishment for Muhitdinov’s killers:
Tashkent-based human rights activist Elena Urlayeva has said that the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan will be following the investigation into the murder of Yangiyul-based human rights activist Akromhodzha Muhitdinov to ensure punishment for those guilty of the murder.
In a statement issued on 31 July, the alliance demanded the Uzbek authorities conduct “a proper investigation and adequate punishment for both those who committed the murder and those who ordered it” and promised “to monitor this process to the end”. read more.