in the news on-line, 23 august 2012

05:07:59 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Vinatex stitches up shake-up plan:

Leading garment maker Vinatex is mulling a comprehensive shake-up plan to bolster efficiency.

Vinatex’s restructuring plan was finalised and has been submitted to the government for approval.
Accordingly, from 2012-2015 Vinatex will channel capital into core business areas as developing complete textile dyeing projects, promoting garment export, material supply and training.
The group set forth the targets of reaping $3.6 billion in export value by 2015 which will be scaled up to $5 billion by 2020, playing a central role in local textile garment development.

The plan has made textile dyeing investment a strategic move to help the textile garment sector establish a complete supply chain.
Under the restructuring plan, from now up to 2015 Vinatex will need more than VND20 trillion ($952 million) of this equity capital VND7.5-8 trillion ($357-$380 million) to materialise major textile dyeing projects.
Industry experts assumed sourcing such a tremendous investment amount in the next three years would be very challenging for Vinatex in current context of scarce financial sources. read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/8 (6th item).

05:07:59 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Sex charges roil Ocean factory:


Police clash with striking factory workers employed by Ocean Garment Co Ltd during a protest in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

More than 2,500 Ocean Garment factory workers jostled with about 100 military police in the capital’s Dangkor district yesterday in their second protest march over the alleged sexual harassment of four female employees.

More than half of the factory’s some 4,000 employees marched to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house with a petition, but were stopped about 100 metres away by military police brandishing shields and batons.
In an inter-governmental ministerial committee meeting on Tuesday, Ocean – which supplies retail chain the Gap – refused to meet the sole demand of the striking workers, to terminate the manager.

Yesterday, the women pressed criminal charges, after being on strike since August 11.
One of the four women alleging sexual harassment, Nary – who asked that her family name not be used – told the Post that police forcefully pushed the group back yesterday. read more.

* Another mass fainting, more fingers pointed:

The second mass fainting in a month at Kampong Chhnang’s M&V garment factory, a supplier for global retailer H&M, saw 23 women taken to hospital yesterday, bringing the total number of affected workers in August to 67.

Noun Sam Ol, president of the Free Trade Union at M&V, said yesterday that the women, who were sent home to recover after their hospital visit, had been working multiple overtime shifts, leaving some feeling weak later in the day.
“There were two instances of fainting this month in M&V, because employees have been working harder and their health is not good,” she said.

Sam Ol also noted that M&V management has granted the fainting workers time to rest at home until they recover and pledged to let them work 9am to 5pm shifts going forward.
Soam Sinath, deputy director of Kampong Chhnang provincial labour department, said the faintings were not caused by the factory but rather the women’s existing health issues.read more.

* 1000 shirts a day for GAP:

Workers – the real people out there who the Six Items Challenge is focused on helping… Labour Behind the Label recently visited Cambodia to attend an international tribunal on wages.   An important event and a great opportunity to meet our partner organisations on the ground in Cambodia and talk directly to the workers we are trying to reach.

It’s eye-opening to hear the stories of people directly experiencing the effects of a seriously profit-driven industry.  We’d like to introduce you to a young woman, aged 27, working in the capital, Phnom Penh, to support both herself and her family who still live rurally.  She works at a factory supplying GAP clothes for the Western market.  Sewing 1000 shirts a day, her monthly pay is less than the retail cost of three GAP shirts…

read more.

* “SWAP JEANS” Closing Campaign To Be Held in Late August:

 DKSH (Cambodia) Ltd., which licenses Levi’s in Cambodia, will organize the “SWAP JEANS” Closing Campaign Event in late this month.

The event will be held on Aug. 31 at 5:30 pm at Lucky Department Store, Phnom Penh under the presidency of H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information.
All swapped-jeans collected during the one-month campaign and other DKSH’s products including Healthcare and Consumer Goods will be donated to Mith Samlanh NGO.
The old jeans will be re-used or recycled and turned into bags or purses. to read.

* Government plans to boost women’s role in formal economy:

Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi said Wednesday that the government would formulate measures next month to boost the role of Cambodian women in the formal economy.

“Building capacity for women in entrepreneurial and business skills is needed to fully support the inclusion of women in the formal economic sector,” she said.
Speaking with United Nations Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer, the minister noted that the formal economy protected economic rights and generated higher incomes.

“By mid-September the ministry will work with ministries and partners to come up with concrete measures to foster women’s participation in economy through education, provision of capacities and alliances with the private sector,” she said.
“All economic progress of Cambodia is undermined when potential from thousands of women remains untapped.”

Women and girls over 15 account for more than 80 per cent of workers in the informal sector but barely a third of those in the formal sector, the ministry said in a statement. read more.

* UN: Invest in Cambodian women:

Cambodia needed to invest in women to aid its development and integration into the ASEAN economic community, United Nations Under Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer said yesterday.

Heyzer, executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), met with Minister of Women Affair’s Ing Kantha Phavi and members of the Cambodian Women’s Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA) at a small silk shop in Phnom Penh to discuss the strides made by the government and the private sector to buoy women’s roles in the economy.

Heyzer lauded the improvements that both the organisation and the government have made to women’s lives in Cambodia, but called for more action as the pending ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would require substantial work to ensure the country remains competitive.read more.

* Cambodia’s trade with U.S. reaches 1.39 bln USD in H1, up 4.5%:

Bilateral trade volume between Cambodia and the United States had jumped to 1.39 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months of this year, a 4.5 percent rise compared with 1.33 billion U.S. dollars at the same period last year, according to the statistics of the U.S. Department of Commerce obtained on Wednesday.

From January to June this year, Cambodia’s exports to the U.S. were 1.27 billion U.S. dollars, up 1.6 percent if compared with the same period last year, while the country’s imports from the U. S. were 120 million U.S. dollars, up 47.6 percent.
Cambodia has mostly exported garments, textile and footwear to the United States. In exchange, it has bought vehicles, machinery, and medical equipment and supplies.
According to the report, last year, the two countries’ trade volume was 2.9 billion U.S. dollars, up 18 percent from 2.45 billion U.S. dollars in a year earlier. to read.

06:07:59 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Indonesian Government to Give Tax Break to Textile Equipment Manufacturers:

The Indonesian government is set to provide tax incentives to textile machinery industries next year as part of a move to boost the ailing textile sector, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said late last week.

The minister said the textile industry needed at least 500 pieces of new equipment next year to revive the sector. Hidayat said that such machines should be produced in Indonesia, and that a tax holiday was planned to reduce imports.
Many machines currently used by the sector were produced overseas, often at high cost, damaging the competitiveness of the country’s textile industry.

“We have to do that to help cut the import of textile machines in the next two years,” Hidayat told reporters in Jakarta on Friday during a press conference to discuss the 2013 state budget.read more.

03:37:59 local time map of india INDIA

* Handloom industry to get a facelift:

Good news for those associated with the handloom industry. They can now avail benefits of several schemes started by the textile industry. To promote the diminishing handloom industry, the District Industry Centre (DIC) has formed a list of handloom units in Ludhiana district so that people associated with it can take benefits from the schemes.
They have even dispatched the list to the Chandigarh office for the same. The schemes can only be availed after they have identity cards issued by the textile department.

General manager DIC Mahesh Khanna, while briefing about the textile industry’s scheme said, “The scheme has many aspects. There is a scheme called Mill Gate under which handloom operators can get yarn at subsidised rates, which is up to 10% less. Apart from this, they can avail the benefit of the Health Insurance Scheme, that too at a nominal cost, as a major part of the premium is paid by the centre.” read more.

* Apparel exports target revised upwards to $18 bn:

The government has revised upwards the garment exports target to $18 billion (about Rs 99,000 crore) from $17 billion (about Rs 93,500 crore) for 2012—13 fiscal following recent announcements in annual supplement of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).

“The target of $17 billion for garment exports for 2012—13 was revised to $18 billion following the announcements in the annual supplement of FTP,” Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.
For the apparel sector, the market—linked focus product scheme was extended till the end of the current fiscal for exports to the US and the European Union. Also, the sops included interest subvention on pre—shipment credit.
The US and Europe together account for over 65 per cent of the country’s total textiles exports. read more.

* Brands like Hidesign, Lavie try new items to boost store topline:

When 15-year old apparel brand Peter England launched soft luggage three months ago, it entered a completely alien segment. Today, the Rs 500-crore brand from Madura Lifestyle & Fashions targets more than 5% of its total sales to come from soft luggage despite selling them in less than one-fourth of its retail outlets.

Peter England COO Kedar Apshankar says that besides increasing sales, the soft luggage rang will help improve profitability of its stores by making more product categories available using the same space, without any increase in rentals and salaries.

Peter England is not alone. Brands such as Hidesign, Holii, Lavie, Gili, Maya and Titan are diversifying to newer segments to increase their store productivity by luring customers to spend more time-and money-to offset increasing fixed costs like rent.

“No matter how fast we grow, rent is still growing faster. So per square feet profitability and sales will increase if we add more products,” says Dilip Kapur, president of leather bags and accessories maker Hidesign, which plans to launch footwear. “There is a direct co-relation in the time customers spend in a store and how much they buy,” he adds. read more.

* Textile Mazdoor union demands of better salaries and other working conditions:

Members of Textile Mazdoor union gathered in large numbers near the Ludhiana chandigarh road close to vardhaman chowk and highlighted their needs and demands of better salaries and other working conditions. to read.

03:07:59 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* First month of new fiscal year: knitwear exports decline by 14 percent:

Knitwear exports posted a decline of 14 percent or $31.689 million in the first month of the new fiscal year (2012-13) mainly because of persistent energy crisis, exporters said on Wednesday.
The domestic knitwear exports fell to $197.281 million in June 2012 against the commodity’s export of $228.689 million in June 2011, showing a decline of 13.84 percent, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Exporters criticised the government for not taking the energy issue seriously, as the gas and power shortages, especially at peak export season, delayed shipments. They said delays in export consignments resulted in cancellation of export orders. The country’s knitwear export reduced to 10,064 tons in June 2012 against exports of 10,590 tons in June 2011, showing a decline of five percent or 526 tons, according to statistics compiled by the PBS.read more.

map of Asia

VIET NAM
* Vinatex stitches up shake-up plan

CAMBODIA
* Sex charges roil Ocean factory
* Another mass fainting, more fingers pointed
* 1000 shirts a day for GAP
* “SWAP JEANS” Closing Campaign To Be Held in Late August
* Government plans to boost women’s role in formal economy
* UN: Invest in Cambodian women
* Cambodia’s trade with U.S. reaches 1.39 bln USD in H1, up 4.5%

INDONESIA
* Indonesian Government to Give Tax Break to Textile Equipment Manufacturers

INDIA
* Handloom industry to get a facelift
* Apparel exports target revised upwards to $18 bn
* Brands like Hidesign, Lavie try new items to boost store topline
* Textile Mazdoor union demands of better salaries and other working conditions

PAKISTAN
* First month of new fiscal year: knitwear exports decline by 14 percent

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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

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