in the news on-line, 25 October 2012

06:28:39 local time map of viet_nam VIET NAM

* Garment sector strives for 17 billion USD in export:

Vietnam’s garment and textiles sector has seen positive signs for the fourth quarter of this year with many big names having acquired sufficient orders for the period and even for the first quarter of 2013.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Textiles Group (Vinatex) Le Tien Truong said the sector will spare no efforts to achieve an export value of 17-17.5 billion USD in 2012 and a target of 20 billion USD in 2013.
By the end of September, Vinatex topped the sector with an export value of 12.6 billion USD, a 7.4 percent year-on-year increase.

According to Truong, the garment sector had a really difficult time in the second quarter, but the situation improved in the third and fourth quarters thanks to higher growth of the market.
In particular, Vietnam’s host of the 2012 annual global conference of the Textile Manufacturers Association from Nov. 4-6 will be a good chance for local businesses to update themselves on market information and expand ties with leading manufacturers in the world, he added.-
to read in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/10 (9th item).

* Testing times ahead for Vietnam garment makers:

No relief is expected for the ailing garment and textile enterprises of Vietnam in the coming months, and difficulties faced are mainly due to restricted or no access to capital and dearth of export orders, industry circles said during a seminar organized to deliberate on ways to help the garment firms to overcome the problems faced in securing new orders and capital.

 According to Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) all the companies, with revenues of over US$ 10 million that it considered for a survey, were in need of medium and long-term loans for supporting their production enhancement or investments plans.
 BIDV was one of the joint organizers of the seminar along with Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). read more.

* Wage rise to fuel demand:

The National Assembly’s (NA) 13th Legislature’s fourth session was launched on October 22, 2012 looking for solutions to help firm unclog the economy. NA deputy chairman Nguyen Si Dung said not delaying the minimum pay hike would be one of most effective solutions in current context to fuel demand.

What will be the nuts and bolts of this fourth NA session?

As usual, hot on the agenda at this year-end session will be appraising socio-economic developments this year and delivering a plan for next year. At this session, the National Assembly will dedicate 12 days out of 26.5 official working days to delve into big socio-economic issues of the country. read more.

06:28:39 local time map of thailand THAILAND

* Reno: Bring on AEC, apparel industry will gain:

Reno (Thailand) Co, the maker of AIIZ fashion apparel, believes Thai clothing brands will garner a net gain from the Asean Economic Community (AEC) starting in 2015.

Chief executive Piya Thanakitamnuay said the company plans to generate 3-4 billion baht in sales from the Asean market from 2013-15.
It is now negotiating with retailers in several countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Dubai to open AIIZ shops in their markets. read more.

06:28:39 local time map of cambodia CAMBODIA

* Cambodia issues licenses to 2,606 new firms in 9 months, up 11 percent:

Cambodia had granted operating licenses to 2,606 new companies in the first nine months of this year, a 11 percent rise from 2,336 new firms at the same period a year ago, the report of the Commerce Ministry showed Wednesday.

Those companies are dealing in the businesses of garment and textile, footwear, agriculture, agro-industry, tourism, real estate, transport service, import and export, information technology and mining.
They are opened by businesspeople mostly from China, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Singapore, besides Cambodia. read more.

07:28:39 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Basuki Promises Minimum Wage Increase:

Jakarta’s minimum wage will be increased in line with the rising cost of living, Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama pledged on Wednesday.

The promise came after hundreds of laborers protested in front of City Hall on Wednesday morning, demanding the city administration increase next year’s minimum wage from Rp 1.5 million ($156) per month to nearly Rp 2.8 million a month.

“For years there has been a policy of cheap labor, and it has made the lives of workers and their families a misery,” said Muhamad Rusdi, secretary general of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI). “The wages cannot support the actual living needs of the workers.” read more.

* Sludge bath:

A child swims in the heavily polluted Badung River in Denpasar, Bali, on Wednesday. Despite a government regulation on the environment, textile factories near the river often dump their waste directly into river. (JP/Agung Prameswara)
to see.

05:28:39 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLA DESH

* Bangladeshi Garment Workers File for Union at Zilani Apparels:

Garment workers at Zilani Apparels Ltd., in Rampura, Dhaka, Bangladesh, formed a union in August with the help of the Bangladesh Federation of Workers’ Solidarity (BFWS) and now are waiting for the Labor Department to register it. More than 50 percent of the 350 garment workers at Zilani Apparels have joined together after recognizing that their individual efforts to improve wages and working conditions were not effective, says Fatema, a committee member.

“We raised our problems individually with management so many times… but they never listened to us,” Fatema said.
|The workers, who make men’s and women’s shirts for export to the United States and Europe, say low wages and an unfair salary scale are their biggest concerns.

“We are not getting the amount which we are supposed to get,” says Maksuda, joint secretary of the proposed union.  “We receive a lower salary than new workers, even though we are more capable.” read more.

* Bangladeshi workers fight back against corrupt bosses:

15,000 Bangladeshi garment workers blockade a key highway in protest at unpaid wages. Meanwhile, bosses at the company – who supply Primark and New Look – are arrested on embezzlement charges in the country’s largest ever corruption case

The last week has seen a series of violent clashes between Bangladeshi garment workers and the police, resulting in over 250 workers being injured.
Workers at the Hallmark Group in Hemayetpur are demanding that arrears in their salaries are paid with immediate effect, and that they receive their annual ‘Eid’ bonus, which is due later this week.

Following three days of a large and noisy protest outside the factory and offices, the bosses continued to refuse to bow to the worker’s demands. Subsequently 15,000 workers blockaded a key highway route for many hours. read more.

* 6025 Hallmark workers sued at Savar:

The Savar police on Tuesday night filed a case against 6025 workers of controversial Hall Mark Group in connection with a clash between the police and agitating workers.
The workers of a readymade garments factory owned by the Group at Nandakhali of Hemayetpur in Savar ran into a clash with the police on Tuesday while they were holding a rally demanding their pay.
Savar police sub-inspector Shahidul Islam Sarder filed the case with 25 of the accused named.
The accusations brought against them include attack on the police, obstructing the police on duty and vandalising public property. read more.

* Most RMG units paid salary, bonus to workers:

Most of the readymade garment (RMG) factories have paid wages and bonus to the workers and employees to facilitate them celebrating the Eid festival with their near and dear ones, said BGMEA president M. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin.
Addressing a press conference on “labour situation in RMG sector ahead of Eid” at BGMEA conference room Mohiuddin said that this year the BGMEA gave top priority on paying workers wages ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
To disburse the payment smoothly the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) formed nine local committees and 15 monitoring committees across the country.
The stakeholders of the RMG factory are well concerned on labour situation in Bangladesh, said the BGMEA president adding that it is their moral and social responsibility to ensure a minimum standard of our labour wages and other facilities.   “We will do these to improve the standard of labour and their work place not under any pressure from outside the country,” he added.
read more. & read more.

* BGMEA working to ensure pay for all workers before Eid:

The majority of the financially troubled garment factories have paid off their workers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, said the chief of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Of the 600 vulnerable garment factories, 572 have already remunerated their staff with the full month’s salary and festival bonus, while the remaining ones would do so by tomorrow, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said in a press briefing at the BGMEA office in Dhaka yesterday. read more.

* Companies Act amendment to discourage entrepreneurs: BGMEA:

Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Wednesday said the government move to amend the Bangladesh Company Act 1994 authorising it to appoint administrator to any company would widely discourage entrepreneurs and hamper the initiatives taken to make the country self-reliant.

“Black sheep are everywhere…legal actions need to be taken against them. But if any action and act (by the govt) hampers the progress and continuity of success, it’ll create further crisis,” BGMEA president M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin told reporters at a press conference at its conference room.

He said the business community is still reeling under the crisis created by the Hall-Mark Group’s loan scam. “We’re still facing problems to remove the panic created due to it. If such a provision (appointing administrator) is there in place, it’ll discourage entrepreneurs.” read more.

* Govt move to create panic among entrepreneurs: BGMEA:

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Wednesday said that the government’s move to amend the Companies Act-1994 with provision to appoint administrators to errant companies would hamper overall economic progress of the country and discourage entrepreneurs to invest.
‘We strongly oppose the move and urge the government to drop the plan as it has created a severe panic among the entrepreneurs and businessmen,’ BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said at a press conference on labour situation in the garment sector before the Eid-ul-Azha.
Shafiul Islam said that the business community was trying to come out from the crisis created due to Hallmark scam. The move to appoint administrators to companies has created additional crisis in the sector, he added.  read more.

* Possible FTA between EU and India rattles apparel exporters:

Already facing a stiff challenge due to Eurozone crisis and the weakening US economy, apparel exporters see another big challenge ahead as the FTA (free trade agreement) negotiation between India and the European Union (EU) is at the final stage, reports UNB.

“If the negotiation comes out successful, India will get GSP (generalised system of preferences) facilities in the EU market like Bangladesh for apparels export which is Bangladesh’s largest apparels market,” President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin told reporters at a press conference at its conference room on Wednesday.
read more.
  & read more.

* Puma Q3 earnings hit by restructuring charges:

German sportswear giant Puma said Wednesday that earnings plummeted in the third quarter, tripped up by heavy restructuring charges.
Puma said in a statement its booked net profit of 12.2 million euros ($15.8 million) in the period from July to September, a drop of 85.1 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
Pre-tax profit plunged 81.7 per cent to 21.3 million euros, despite a 6.0-per cent increase in sales to 892.2 million euros. read more.

* Gap to increase purchase of garments from Bangladesh:

Bangladesh Commerce Minister, Ghulam Muhammed Quader, said the US retail giant GAP wants to increase the purchase of apparels in future as the country has improved the quality of products and offers competitive prices.
Mr. Quader informed that the clothing retailer bought more than US$ 500 million worth of garments from Bangladesh last year.
 After a meeting with the Senior Vice-President of GAP Bobby Silten at Dhaka, the Minister told reporters that GAP is very satisfied with sourcing of its readymade garments from Bangladesh and it has no complaints.
read more.

04:58:39 local time map of india INDIA

* ‘Alternative to BT cotton need of hour’:

The BT cotton debate needs to be approached with an open mind, said Ananth Hegde Ashisara, Co-Chairperson of the Karnataka Bio-Diversity Board.

Speaking at a day-long workshop titled ‘10 years of BT Cotton in Karnataka. Wither Other Cotton,’ Ashisara said that they were not against BT cotton but against the lack of an alternative argument.

“At present as BT is still not a full-fledged technology, it is inappropriate and foolish on our part to abandon traditional farming practices to make way for it,” he said.

“BT agriculture is tailored for large-scale farming with high investment. But a large section of our farmers have small land holdings and it is unscientific to be imposing such a practice on them,” Ashisara said. Moreover, all agricultural and horticultural research organisations in the country should study the impact of genetically-modified crops. Instead of collaborating with  Monsanto, the institutions should look into alternatives to growing GM crops, he added. read more.

* Apparel exporters eye non-traditional markets like Russia, Mexico & South Africa:

Facing tough competition from countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh in US and European markets, Indian apparel exporters have started venturing into non-traditional marketslike Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Australia and West Asia. The plan is to increase exports to non-traditional markets from 24% to 35% within the next few years.

Apparel exports from India to the US slumped 10.6% this year up to July to $1.94 billion, according to data given by the Office of Textiles and Apparel, US. While apparel exports from China and Bangladesh, the major competitors to Indian textile firms, were almost flat, exports from Vietnam clocked a 9% growth. read more.

04:28:39 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* APTMA and US consulate for enhancing industrial growth:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and the US Consulate have agreed on a joint working strategy for resolving the issues confronting the industrial growth of Pakistan due to a limited US market access.

This consensus was evolved between the APTMA leadership and the US Consul General Nina Maria Fight.

She explained in detail as how US government was helping out Pakistan in energy projects. She said the US was also working on smaller projects with Discos to deal with the problem of efficiency and circular debt. She said there was a need for consistency in policies on the part of Pakistan. She assured the APTMA leadership of facilitating it in discussion with the Washington on textile tariff lines.
read more.
& read more.

* APTMA demands closure of CNG stations for 3 months:

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) have demanded the closure of CNG stations for 90 days during the Winter season. Central Chairman APTMA Ahsan Basheer has said that this step would help in improving the operations of Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and Independent Power Porducers (IPPs) which would further ensure export and employment stability for the country.

APTMA has further demanded that if the government cannot curtail the gas supply to CNG stations for 90 days than it should equal the rates of petrol and gas within the country. read more.


* German firm to compensate Pakistan factory fire victims:

A German discount clothing retailer has agreed to pay more than $1.2 million compensation for victims of a Pakistani factory fire, a union leader said on Wednesday.

The blaze in September at the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, which made ready-to-wear garments for Western stores, killed 289 workers and injured 110 more.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in its online edition on Tuesday that the Kik chain, which the factory supplied with jeans, had agreed to pay a total of $500,000 compensation – less than $2,000 for every life lost.

Nasir Mansoor, head of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), a local union for Pakistani factory workers, said his organisation and the Clean Clothes Campaign (3-C), an international group striving for better conditions for garment workers, had forced Kik to up the compensation. read more. & read more. & read more.

* Discounter Offers $1,930 Per Victim in Factory Fire:

German discount textile retailer Kik plans to pay damages totalling $500,000 to the families of more then 250 workers who died in a fire at a Pakistan factory used to produce its clothing. The families say that is too little and are threatening to sue.

Six weeks ago, at least 259 workers died in a fire in the Pakistani port city of Karachi at a factory that produced jeans for German discount textile and clothing retailer Kik. The disaster created unfavorable headlines for the Western company because it highlighted the poor working conditions of many who create the inexpensive products sold by discounter firms. This week, the company said it is planning to pay out a combined $500,000 (€383,700) to the families of the dead, a figure that works out to about $1,930 per victim.

“That’s not that much at all,” says Nasir Mansoor of Pakistan’s National Trade Union Federation (NTUF). “Furthermore, we don’t know when and how the payment is supposed to come through.” If the payout remains this low, then the worker’s families want to file suit against Kik. Their goal, according to Mansoor, is for every victim’s family to “receive acceptable compensation.

The factory, operated by Ali Enterprises, produced jeans that were sold for €15.99 in Kik stores under the “Okay” brand. The German retailer, based in the town of Bönen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, only admitted a connection to the factory after a non-governmental organization confronted the company. Kik executive Michael Arretz admitted that Kik was responsible for 75 percent of the factory’s orders. But employees with Ali Enterprises say that, without a doubt, “at least 90 percent” of the products produced there were intended for Kik. read more.

04:28:39 local time map of uzbekistan UZBEKISTAN

* Uzbekistan harvests 3.35mn tons of cotton this season:

Announcing the end of cotton harvesting season in the country, Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov said that over 3.35 million tons of cotton has been harvested this season.
The President congratulated cotton growers in the country for their achievement in the midst of severe adversities.
He said rains, snowfall and chilling climate made it difficult for farmers to get their land ready for cultivation in time.  read more.
map of Asia

Under “special reports” you can find: an overview of articles about the Garment factory Fire in Karachi (and Lahore).

* Garment sector strives for 17 billion USD in export
* Testing times ahead for Vietnam garment makers
* Wage rise to fuel demand

* Reno: Bring on AEC, apparel industry will gain

* Cambodia issues licenses to 2,606 new firms in 9 months, up 11 percent

* Basuki Promises Minimum Wage Increase
* Sludge bath

* Bangladeshi Garment Workers File for Union at Zilani Apparels
* Bangladeshi workers fight back against corrupt bosses
* 6025 Hallmark workers sued at Savar
* Most RMG units paid salary, bonus to workers
* BGMEA working to ensure pay for all workers before Eid
* Companies Act amendment to discourage entrepreneurs: BGMEA
* Govt move to create panic among entrepreneurs: BGMEA
* Possible FTA between EU and India rattles apparel exporters
* Puma Q3 earnings hit by restructuring charges
* Gap to increase purchase of garments from Bangladesh

* ‘Alternative to BT cotton need of hour’
* Apparel exporters eye non-traditional markets like Russia, Mexico & South Africa

* APTMA and US consulate for enhancing industrial growth
* APTMA demands closure of CNG stations for 3 months
* German firm to compensate Pakistan factory fire victims
* Discounter Offers $1,930 Per Victim in Factory Fire

* Uzbekistan harvests 3.35mn tons of cotton this season

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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

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