19:35:09 local time CHINA
* Revenue jumps almost 25% at China Xiniya Fashion in Q2:
Second Quarter 2012 Highlights
Revenue in the second quarter of 2012 increased by 24.9% to RMB220.9 million, as compared to RMB176.9 million in the second quarter of 2011, which exceeded the prior guidance of 19%-21%.
Gross margin was 33.0% in the second quarter of 2012 as compared to 32.4% in the second quarter of 2011.
Profit before taxation in the second quarter of 2012 declined by 39.1% to RMB28.3 million as compared to RMB46.5 million in the second quarter of 2011.
Net profit in the second quarter of 2012 declined by 42.9% to RMB20.2 million as compared to RMB35.4 million in the second quarter of 2011. read more.
* Chinese sportswear firm Exceed’s net profit dips sharply:
Financial Highlights – Second quarter ended June 30, 2012
. Revenue was RMB562.0 million (US$88.3 million), representing a 24.2% year-over-year decrease.
. Gross profit was RMB162.0 million (US$25.5 million), representing a 29.6% year-over-year decrease. Gross margin was 28.8%, representing a 2.2 percentage point decrease as compared to 31.0% for the second quarter of 2011.
. Operating profit was RMB35.5 million (US$5.6 million), representing a 67.7% year-over-year decrease.
. Net profit was RMB30.0 million (US$4.7 million), representing an 81.1% year-over-year decrease.
Shuipan Lin, Exceed”s founder, Chairman and CEO, commented, “As anticipated, our results in the second quarter were impacted by weakening consumer demand in China, which was largely attributable to the domestic and global economic slowdown. read more.
* China’s power consumption slows on weak factory activity:
China”s power consumption growth slowed further in July, as the country”s factory activity and industrial output posted weaker growth amid the economic downturn, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Tuesday.
The July data brought electricity consumption in the first seven months to 2.83 trillion kWh, up 5.4 percent year on year, easing further from the 5.5 percent seen in the first half of this year, according to the NEA data. read more.
19:35:09 local time PHILIPPINES
* Appeal for Solidarity with Victims of Floods in the Philippines:
In scenes reminiscent of the large scale destruction wrought by Typhoon Ondoy, also named Ketsana, in late 2009 in which 400 died, torrential rains brought widespread flooding in the capital Metro Manila and nearby provinces this month.
Almost a million people are affected and some 250,000 forced to evacuate, majority of whom are workers and poor, with 15 deaths already reported.
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) [Labor Party-Philippines] is appealing for solidarity and assistance to the communities which have been hit by flashfloods. Among the severely hit areas are communities organized by PM located in the working class towns of Marikina, Malabon, Valenzuela, Paranaque, Pasay, Marilao in Bulacan, Bacoor and Rosario in Cavite. read more.
* Trade union rights violations are still global:
My hubby brought home some publications from an annual International Labour Organization (ILO) conference he attended in Geneva. As I expected, among these was the Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights in 2012 of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The study found trade union rights violations in 45 African, 27 American, 26 Asia-Pacific, 30 European, and 14 Middle East countries. Let me share some survey highlights I find very interesting, and which should merit discussions among all those concerned with labor in our country.
In Africa, trade union members and other human rights defenders, like journalists, have come under increasingly harsh verbal, psychological and physical attacks. In Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Rwanda, legislative enactments bar many workers from forming and joining trade unions of their choice.
In the Americas, there is widespread use of contract labor and precarious forms of employment designed to put an end to trade union organizations and the promotion of workers’ rights. American employers are constantly devising new tactics, sometimes applying regulations abusively, to hide employer-employee relationships with complete impunity, and hiring workers on contracts that provide no guarantees and no trade union rights, all in order to earn higher profits at the cost of their workers’ rights, and eliminate the nuisance of dealing with trade unions demanding the respect of those rights. read more.
18:35:09 local time VIET NAM
* Garment firms lower outlook:
Domestic exporters said the weak global economy and sinking textile and garment consumption were the reasons behind the move.
Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that the sector’s export value increased 14.7 per cent year-on-year in the first four months of 2012, hitting $4.4 billion.
However, in the first five months, growth fell to 7.7 per cent, reaching $5.3 billion, and in the first seven months, the sector’s export growth was at 8.8 per cent, much lower than the country’s general year-on-year export growth of 19 per cent.
Although exports of textiles, garments and fibres increased 7.5 per cent year on-year to $9.2 billion for the first seven months, the figure was much lower compared to the 30-per-cent increase over the same seven-month period last year.
Dang Phuong Dung, deputy chairman and general secretary of VITAS, said: “Although textile and garment export turnover was still positive, it has not met the expectations of the sector.” read more. & read more.
* Vietnam’s apparel industry has high hopes from Korean market:
According to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, orders from major markets such as the US, EU and Japan have experienced a slump which has made the country’s textile and garment industry turn with high expectations to the Korean market.
Export figures show that garment and textile turnover to Korea reached US$904 million in 2011, the highest compared to previous years.
The association said that Vietnamese firms should focus on high-grade market segmentation to develop the diversity of consumer demand of Korean teenagers.
Currently, there are 450 Korean firms investing in Vietnam’s textile and garment industry with total investment of $1.8 billion, making Korea one of the biggest investors in Vietnam. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 16/8 . (13th item)
18:35:09 local time THAILAND
* Mixed reviews on wages:
Minimum pay scheme still a work in progress
If you ask ordinary people which of the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s first-year programmes they like most, raising the daily minimum wage and salaries is sure to rate highly.
The government has honoured its promise to set a 300-baht daily minimum wage for workers and a 15,000-baht monthly starting salary for bachelor’s graduates albeit partially.
Somphob Manarungsan, an economist and rector at the Panyapiwat Institute of Technology, hailed the government’s efforts, saying salaries in the government sector have been quite low in contrast with ever-rising expenses.
But he suggested the government work harder to increase the productivity of civil servants and company employees.
The government should consider whether the salary structure is fair for those whose service predates the new salary hike, said Dr Somphob.
He also warned of the impact on the budget and inflation induced by the government’s financial burden and higher spending. The government was estimated to spend 50 billion baht to support the 15,000-baht monthly starting salary for new bachelor’s-degree graduates. read more.
18:35:09 local time CAMBODIA
* Minister delays letter to end strikes:
It’s been marked by violence, fervent protests and a stream of recriminations, but now bureaucracy is hampering efforts to resolve the seven-week-long strike at the Tai Yang and Camwell factories, which supply Levi’s and Gap, a trade-union advocate said yesterday.
Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, told the Post yesterday that Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng was delaying penning a letter to the factory owners that would likely end the dispute.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Welsh said yesterday after a meeting with the remaining 40 strikers. “It could have been resolved two Fridays ago.”
Welsh met with Sam Heng on August 3 to discuss the letter, which would order the company to reinstate strikers it claims to have sacked.
“The minister assured me, and went on TV to say, that he would write a letter,” Welsh said. “Now he’s saying it needs to go through two or three committees for approval. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Policy and new law has to go through committees, not a minister’s letter.” read more.
* Union leader asks US buyers to press Taiwanese company:
Cambodia Confederation of Unions President Rong Chhun said Wednesday he appealed to the American owners of the Gap, Old Navy and Levis clothing brands to put pressure on Taiwanese-owned Tainan Enterprises (Cambodia) Co Ltd.
Speaking at a news conference, Rong Chhun said he urged the companies to stop buying from any local garment factories that failed to meet the demands of striking workers. read more.
* Overworked factory workers in mass fainting incident:
About 50 workers at the M&V manufacturing factory in Kampong Chhnang province fainted yesterday morning due to overwork and exhaustion in the factory’s third fainting incident this year, officials said yesterday.
Noun Sam Ol, Free Trade Union representative at M&V, said that the collapse of a final press section worker as she returned from the bathroom set off the fainting spree.
“They fainted because they had been working hard without rest,” Sam Ol said. “They work overtime and on their holidays they have to work in their rice fields.”
The factory sent the workers who had fainted to the provincial hospital and allowed all workers the rest of the day off without penalty, Sam Ol said. read more.
* International machinery fair to draw investors:
The second Cambodia International Machinery Industry Fair 2012 (CIMIF 2012) will kick off this weekend from at the Diamond Island Convention Center in an effort to promote the industry development and foreign investment in Cambodia. It will run for four days from tomorrow to August 20.
Despite recent strikes in the garment and textile sectors, Ngoun Meng Tech, the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce’s (CCC) director general, said such tensions will have little effect on attendance and participation at the exhibition.read more.
* NGOs rally support for summonsed worker:
Charges against outspoken Adhoc head of monitoring Chan Soveth are baseless, politically motivated and threaten to undermine human rights work in Cambodia, a coalition of NGOs said yesterday.
Soveth, who has been summonsed to court on August 24 over the vague charge of assisting “specific perpetrators”, spent yesterday working on a human rights project with Anti-Corruption Unit President Om Yentieng in Sihanoukville.
But according to NGOs, legal action against Soveth has placed the future of such rights work under serious threat.
“Soveth’s summons represents the boldest attack against human rights work that we’ve seen in a decade,” Suon Bunsak, the executive secretary of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee said in a statement yesterday from 20 NGOs.
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
4. Cambodia- Small signs show investors slowly diversifying in Cambodia.
5. Cambodia- 44 garment factory workers hurt in road traffic accident. read more.
6. Cambodia- Exports to China fell 10% in first six months. read more.
7. Cambodia- public, private sector air concerns on growth. read more.
8. Cambodia- China approves Walmart stores’ e-commerce deal. read more.
19:35:09 local time INDONESIA
* Nike Pushes Health in Aid of Street Kids:
Sports apparel giant Nike is inviting avid runners and enthusiastic volunteers to drop by the second floor of Grand Indonesia on Wednesday and churn out a few kilometers on the treadmill for the kids of Jakarta.
Runners, teams of runners and individuals simply passing by the Nike store are encouraged to run on any of the five treadmills from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the company’s Game On, World: Run to Give.
For every five kilometers completed during the day, Nike will donate a brand new pair of shoes to Sahabat Anak, a non-profit organization concerned with the welfare of Jakarta’s street children.read more.
17:35:09 local time BANGLA DESH
* RMG workers rally at Ashulia for festival allowance:
At least 2,500 workers of four readymade garment factories in different parts of Ashulia demonstrated on Tuesday, demanding immediate payment of festival allowance and dues and protesting termination of fellow-workers.
Sources said workers of Fashion It Sweater Ltd at Jamgora came to the factory premises in the morning and demanded their festival allowance and dues as the management were yet to pay them.
As the management did not pay heed to the workers’ demands, they started a demonstration, the workers said.
They said the management had promised they would pay the workers last week, but they did not. read more.
* RMG workers block Ctg road for arrears:
A group of garment workers staged angry demonstration in Jamalkhan area of the port city on Wednesday demanding payment of arrears before Eid-ul-Fitr.
Local sources said some 150 workers of JR Fashion took to the street around noon and blocked the road for due payments and allowances, disrupting traffic on the road.
The agitated workers alleged that the factory authorities did not pay their wages for the last four months and none of the owners visited the factory in the last seven days. read more. & read more. & read more.
* RMG workers lay siege to BKMEA office for arrears in N’ganj:
Workers of two garment factories laid siege to the BKMEA office at Chashara on Wednesday for payment of arrears.
Advocate Mahbubur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Textile Garment Workers Federation, said about 200 workers of Arjan Fashion situated at Tan Bazar Riverview Complex and Excellent Garment of Kashipur Dewan Bari area grearoed the BKMEA office around noon.
The agitated workers also brought out a procession in the area.
Workers of Arjun Fashion alleged that very often they are beaten up by the factory officials. Even the factory authorities did not pay the arrears and allowances of the running month and the overtime bill.
Besides, the workers of Excellent Garment alleged that they did not get their salaries for the months of July and August and Chandan, GM of the factory, beat them up for without any reason. read more. & read more.
* 100 factories yet to clear wages for July, 200 others bonuses:
Frustration prevails among tens of thousands of garment workers as around 100 factories in and around the capital have not cleared wages for the month of July till Tuesday.
Some 200 other factories of the area are yet to pay bonuses and other financial benefits that have caused a grave concern to industrial police and labour groups in the garment factories.
“Nearly 100 apparel units are yet to pay salaries till today (Tuesday) and 200 others have not cleared bonuses, overtime bills and other financial benefits yet,” President of National Garment Workers Federation Amirul Haque Amin said.
He said they have been communicating with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and the Ministry of Labour regularly.
However, workers’ leaders have adopted a wait and see policy and requested the workers not to be violent before the deadline of today (Wednesday), the day many of the factory owners pledged to clear the payments. read more.
* NBR seeks more apparel tax:
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) wants the readymade garments sector to pay taxes in line with others in coming years, and not the modest rates it has been up to now.
The readymade garment sector has grown to an annual $18 billion export industry in recent times, accounting for about 75 percent of the nation’s total shipments, but its tax contribution, compared to other corporate sectors, is low.
As part of the government’s efforts to develop the sector, a tax-exempt status was granted in the 1980s, which went on to last for two decades. read more.
* Young Woman Disappeared at the Classic Factory in Jordan:
Workers fear that 20-year-old Ms. Nazma may have been kidnapped, raped and either murdered or sold into the sex trade. Nazma disappeared on Wednesday morning, August 8, and has not been heard from since. She sewed blue jeans for Wal-Mart.
We urge that the elite Jordanian police Office to Combat Human Trafficking launch an immediate investigation into the disappearances of young women guest workers at the Classic factory.
Over 5,000 young women guest workers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India work at the Classic sweatshop in the Al Hassan Industrial Zone in northern Jordan. Classic has a strict policy not to hire male workers. Wal-Mart and Hanes clothing sewn at Classic enter the U.S. duty-free.
On August 8, the day Ms. Nazma disappeared, a Bangladeshi manager at Classic, Mr. Rafiqul Islam, was seen breaking into the missing woman’s locker in her dorm and confiscating her belongings. Often the young women hide their wages in their lockers.
In the past, Rafiq Islam and several other Classic managers have been accused of rape and sexual abuse of dozens of young women guest workers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. read more.
* Fresh funds pour into shoemaking:
Significant export prospects bring a growing number of local and foreign entrepreneurs into the shoe and leather goods industry.
In the past several years, more than a dozen of local firms have signed up for making footwear and leather goods.
The investors put the money in the sector as international buyers flocked to Bangladesh, a low-cost source, due to rising costs in the world’s biggest footwear exporter — China, industry operators said.
Foreign investors, especially from Taiwan, have also established factories in export processing zones (EPZs) to cash in on Bangladesh’s cheap labour and a duty-free export opportunity to Europe and Japan.
Already, exports of shoes and leather goods are on the rise. read more.
* BD to export RMG, frozen foods, leather goods to Malaysian:
Malaysian can be a potential market for Bangladeshi Readymade Garments (RMG), frozen foods and leather goods as its exporters are increasingly showing keen interest to export these products to Kuala Lumpur, leading exporters said Wednesday.
“Bangladeshi exporters are showing their keen interest to export the potential exportable merchandise to Malaysia. The trend will help reduce the Dhaka-Kuala Lumpur trade gap,” Syed Nurul Islam, President of Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI), told BSS on the day.
Islam attributed the increased interest of Bangladeshi exporters to Malaysia to the 2nd Showcase Bangladesh held in Kuala Lumpur on July 13-15 this year. read more.
17:05:09 local time INDIA
* Undercover in India’s garment industry…:
We have teamed up with the wonderful Dear Clare human rights photography project by photojournalist Claudia Janke to show you a photo essay about the exploitation of India’s garment workforce.
Going undercover with a camera into Delhi’s garment sweatshop underbelly, harsh realities were thrown into perspective…read more.
* Indian cotton prices top global level:
For the first time in three years cotton prices in India, which is the world’s second largest supplier, have risen past global levels, triggering a scramble for the fiber from overseas, as record shipments and lower-than- expected arrivals of the commodity have depleted local stocks.
Domestic cotton prices are about 88 cents per pound, freight on board, around 14 percent higher than the African fiber and 10 percent more than the crop in the United States, the world’s largest cotton exporter.
The US cotton futures for the December delivery settled at 72. 43 cents a pound a fortnight ago, reflecting a moderation in global prices.
The US cotton futures have crashed 67 percent from an all- time-high of $2.197 a pound in March last year as production went up while demand from textile mills fell last year. Cotton is one of the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor ‘s GSCI Spot Index.
In a stark contrast, Indian cotton prices are expected to rise even further in the coming days as poor monsoon rains have raised fears of a fall in output in the year starting October 1. read more.
* Cotton yarn spinners hopeful of revival in fortune:
S P Oswal, chairman and managing director of Vardhaman Group of Industries, one of the largest cotton spinners in north India, is optimistic of a lucrative year for the Indian spinning mills. The rising demand for cotton yarn from China and moderating prices of the commodity in the global markets might help the Indian textile sector revive this year.
“Spinning factories in India are going great guns, as cotton prices in the domestic market have stabilised and most mills are running on full capacity. Although it is slightly premature to predict the impact of the poor monsoon on the cotton crop, we expect a crop size of 32-32.5 million bales (a bale is 170 kg), compared with 34.7 million bales last year. Keeping cognizance of annual domestic consumption of 25.5-26.5 million bales, supplies would be sufficient, but the exportable surplus may come down. If the government keeps a vigil on the export of cotton, there may not be a dearth of cotton for the spinning units,” Oswal said. read more.
* T&C firms hit by high cotton inventory, dull market in Q1:
In the wake of high cotton inventory and dull overseas market, major textile and clothing (T&C) companies like Arvind, Alok, Raymond, Century and Gokaldas Exports have taken a hit on their bottomline in varying degree for the first quarter of fiscal 2012-13 on a year-on-year basis.
While for Arvind it was labour strike impacting operations, for Gokaldas Exports it was the increased competition in overseas markets from the likes of Vietnam and Bangladesh. A look at just the net profits or net losses of some of the major T&C firms shows either a dip in the former or a growth in the latter.
For instance, the likes of Arvind, Alok Industries and Century Textiles have seen their net profit for Q1 of FY 2012-13 decline by 31.46, 49 and 90 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, Raymond and Gokaldas Exports registered an increase in their net losses by 442 and 75 per cent, respectively. According to industry experts, while for T&C firms that primarily manufacture garments or have apparels as one of the major integrated operations have lost substantial competitiveness in the overseas markets. read more.
* Nagpur Sut Girni will be revived- Textile min:
Maharashtra textiles minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan has expressed shock over the theft of machinery from the defunct Nagpur Vinkar Sahkari Sut Girni (spinning mill) on Umrer Road.
“At a time when the state government is planning to revive the spinning mill, theft of machinery and equipment is a serious matter,” Khan told TOI.
In the meanwhile, the textiles directorate has woken up from its slumber. After TOI reported the thefts on Tuesday, the department sent an engineer and private contractor to the defunct mill for surveying and identifying the breaches.
On the loss of machinery putting additional burden on the exchequer, Khan said the thefts will be taken seriously and security will be beefed up. “I’ll talk to the police department and those entrusted with the responsibility to secure the mill machinery,” he added. read more.
17:05:09 local time SRI LANKA
* Increas our salaries demand employees of inland revenue:
Due to the depreciation of the rupee and the prices of fuel going up the prices of commodities and services have rapidly gone up and the salaries of the employees should be increased accordingly says the General Secretary of the Inland Revenue General Employees Union Com. Ajith Pushpakumara.
He said employees of Department of Inland Revenue and other state employees have not been paid any salary increase since the increment given by State Administrative circular 06/2006 and also authorities have not taken any measures to resolve the anomalies created by the circular. According to government statistics it had been calculated that the monthly expenses of a family of four people in 2006 was Rs.25344/- As the living index today is 162.3 the monthly expenditure goes up to Rs.45444/- As such, the employees of the Department of Inland Revenue as well as all state employees suffer without a proper income and the Union asks authorities to take measures to pay them an adequate salary at least by the beginning of 2013.
* Sri Lanka in the US market: Rip Van Winkle revisited:
Recently, I was happy to read the two news items,on the web, on Sri Lanka’s trade with the United States, which is the second largest market for Sri Lanka, after the European Union.
The first, quotes the US Assistant Trade Representative Michael Delaney, who had stated in Colombo “…The golden age of our (Sri Lanka – US) economic relationship is right now …and we think it is going to get better as we go forward”. It is not difficult to share Delaney’s view that things will get better as we go forward. Delaney is one of the best friends of Sri Lanka in the United States. With friends like him it will not be difficult to establish a golden age of economic relations. The exports have reached a record level of US$2.1 billion in 2011 and certainly we can build on this and increase the exports further. After all,just few years back, the United States was Sri Lanka’s largest market.
While reading the news item on the Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to the U.S, like Rip, I started to think “That flagon last night has addled my poor head sadly!” I was under the impression that Sri Lanka was doing much better in the U.S market, as far back as2000- 2001, more than ten years ago. So I checked the numbers again.
According to the WTO trade statistics, in 2001, Sri Lanka’ apparel exports to the USA increased by just 1%. That was very modest, compared to the 15.8% growth, as claimed by the EDB, for 2011 or 17% growth in 2000. read more.
16:35:09 local time PAKISTAN
* PHMA criticises 15pc raise in gas tariff:
Pakistan Hosiery Manufactures and Exporters Association (PHMA) has criticised 15 percent increase in gas tariff for industries and termed it unjustified and unacceptable, a statement said on Tuesday.
Usman Jawaad Khawaja, chairman of PHMA, said that the increase has been made at a time when the value-added knitwear garment industry, in particular, and textile processing, in general, is already passing through critical situation where survival has become the main issue due to increased competition in the world markets.
The textile and value-added knitted garments make sizeable contribution in the export earnings but they have registered decline in the fiscal year 2011-12 as compared to the increase in exports of competitors, he said.
This is due to the lack of level-playing field for Pakistani exporters vis-a-vis other countries, he said. read more.
16:35:09 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Uzbek PM bans child labour:
Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev has issued an order to ban the use of child labour during the 2012 cotton harvesting campaign.
On 11 August, the education departments in the Uzbek regions received the minutes of a meeting chaired by the prime minister in Tashkent.
The minutes carry a number of instructions by the prime minister about the forthcoming cotton harvesting campaign.
Mirziyayev strictly ordered that there should no case of schoolchildren being involved in harvesting cotton in 2012, a regional school principal has said.
Moreover, the prime minister also banned voluntary work by children on cotton fields during harvesting. read more.