15:57:12 local time CHINA
* Township weaves innovation into clothing industry:
Over the past few years, clothes affixed with the label “Made in China” have slowly lost their ubiquitous appeal. Clothes labeled “Made in Vietnam” or “Made in Indonesia” now crowd the number of choices available to consumers.
One major reason for the change is the lower labor cost in many Southeast Asian countries, which collectively threaten China’s position as the biggest manufacturer of textiles.
“The biggest advantage of Southeast Asian countries in the textile industry is their low labor costs. The monthly salary is almost one-10th that of a Chinese worker,” says Zhang Wenshan, a professor at the China-ASEAN Studies Institute of Guangxi University. read more.
* Making the shoe fit:
Currency appreciation, rising labor costs and tighter environmental rules have cut into Wenzhou shoe-making companies’ profits and have forced them to change business strategies, focusing more on quality and brand building, Yu Ran reports.
Lee Fung Shan, a 33-year-old Hong Kong businesswoman, may never be able to get used to the dusty roads, honking horns, traffic and people speaking a dialect that’s as alien to her as Swahili, in this boom town by the ocean in Zhejiang province.
But having worked in Wenzhou for nearly six years, she has never been bored. “Everything changes so fast here,” Lee said. “I have a hard time catching up with it although I came from a city that’s known for its fast pace,” she added.
Indeed, the transformation from a sleepy, sea-side rural town to an industrial powerhouse in less than two decades has won Wenzhou the widely circulated accolade “haven for entrepreneurs,” among many others, some of which aren’t so complimentary. Now, the city’s entrepreneurs, who have amassed fortunes in shoe manufacturing, clothing and special industries, are finding that daring, brawn and hard-work are no longer enough to make their fortunes grow.
A combination of factors, including currency appreciation, rising labor costs and tighter environmental rules, have cut into their profits. What’s more, declining demand in overseas markets, particularly the United States and Europe, is choking their businesses. read more.
* Mexico seeks dialogue with China on textile subsidies:
15:57:12 local time PHILIPPINES
* Preserving The Country’s Indigenous Textiles:
The art of handweaving is a tradition handed down from generation to generation of Filipinos. Indigenous peoples in some regions of the country weave fabrics with unique designs that are admired locally and abroad.
Cited for their ingenuity, craftsmanship, beauty, and global appeal are tropical textiles such as piña, jusi, abaca, silk, abel iloco and ikat of Ilocos, hablon of Iloilo, t’nalak of the T’boli, balud of the Maranao, and dagmay of the Bagobo of Davao, among others.
Fashion shows and trade fairs abroad showcasing indigenous fabrics generate demand for local fabrics. Local fashion designers win international awards for their designs using indigenous materials.
Republic Act 9242, the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law of 2004, defines tropical fabrics as those containing natural fibers produced, spun, woven or knitted, and produced in the Philippines.
Piña (pineapple fiber) and jusi are two popular local fabrics that are made into Barong for men and Filipino terno for women.
Admired in the international scene, they are preferred attire for weddings, diplomatic and other official functions, and special occasions that require formal wear.
Known worldwide as Manila hemp, abaca fiber, produced from a plant endemic to the country, is woven to make sinamay fabric. read more.
14:57:12 local time THAILAND
* Survey: Wage hike to hit SMEs:
Small and medium-sized enterprises can expect to be hit hard by higher costs next year, fuelled by a surge in wages of 6.2% against 5.5% in 2012.
“The real impact for Thai entrepreneurs, especially SMEs, will occur in the year to come, as the government’s mandatory 300-baht daily minimum wage becomes effective nationwide and the 15,000-baht monthly starting salary for civil servants with bachelor’s degrees begins,” Wisarut Ruknapapong, managing director of Human Intellectual Management Co, told a seminar held by the Thailand Management Association.
“The labour market and local entrepreneurs should adjust to make sure they employ only capable persons and apply more technology,” said Mr Wisarut.
“Anyone engaged in labour-intensive industry needs to relocate to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, otherwise they will not compete.” read more.
* FTI lines up relief proposals to PM:
The Federation of Thai Industries is meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today to ask the government to delay the Bt300 minimum wage and to offer assistance measure to manufacturers that will be hit with higher costs – like the relief package that the government provided to farmers.
Thaveekit Jaturajerernkul, vice chairman of the FTI, said yesterday the federation and presidents of its chapters in 74 provinces had tried to make an appointment with the prime minister today. The private sector wants to explain more about the impacts of the wage hike to Bt300 per day.
The FTI will submit a five-point proposal to Yingluck. read more.
* Thailand-EU free-trade talks likely early next year:
Thailand hopes to start official bilateral free-trade talks with the European Union early next year, with a view to making the country the EU’s trade and investment hub in Asean as well as compensating for expected lost export privileges under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
After a meeting with Belgium’s ambassador to Thailand, Marc Michielsen, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom yesterday said the government had reaffirmed to Belgium that the Kingdom would be ready in a few months to begin talks with the EU, as the draft negotiating plan would soon be proposed to Parliament.
The Trade Negotiations Depart-ment reported that the Commerce Ministry had already conducted a focus group discussion about a Thailand-EU FTA with seven key sectors. The following broad sectors took part in the consultation: electronics and electrical appliances, automobiles and auto parts, and steel; fashion goods, including textiles and garments, jewellery and ornaments, footwear and leather goods; medicines; banking and finance, tourism and animation; agriculture and foods; alcoholic beverages; and environmental and plant protection. read more.
15:57:12 local time INDONESIA
* New labor policies lose-lose:
The Manpower and Transmigration Ministry is preparing a new decree that will make it difficult for companies to conduct outsourcing practices — a move that will affect 14 million workers and faces challenges from the private sector.
Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said that the government would only allow outsourcing for a small number of jobs, a move that employers said would be a violation of the labor law.
“Companies are not allowed to outsource their core business and outsourcing will be limited to five types of jobs; cleaning services, security, driving and supportive services on mining sites,” he said on Monday, after a meeting with representatives from labor unions that organized a national strike against outsourcing earlier this month.
Muhaimin took the initiative to hold the dialogue with the labor unions following an unsuccessful tripartite meeting over the issues of outsourcing, cheap labor and national social security programs. read more.
* Pan Brothers seeks syndicated loan totaling US$165 million:
Garment producer, PT Pan Brothers Tbk, is eyeing a syndicated loan with limit totaling US$165 million.
Corporate Secretary with Pan Brothers Iswar Deni hopes loan commitment will be acquired in November.
“Pan Brothers is starting road show in Indonesia and overseas in order to gain the facility. The company expects the commitment can be achieved in November 2012,” he said in an information disclosure, on Thursday (10/25).
The company’s plan to seek bank loan is aimed at anticipating sluggish in liquidity of banking sector due to European crisis. In other hand, Pan Brothers (PBRX-coded stock) is working hard to realize production growth by adding production capacity and also planing to develop retail business. read more.
13:57:12 local time BANGLA DESH
* Apparel exports to new markets record rise:
Apparel exports to new destinations registered a robust growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (FY 2012-13), as the manufacturers looked beyond the traditional western markets in the backdrop of the ongoing financial meltdown there.
Manufacturers said they had started diversifying the markets in the face of the falling demand for local items during the global recession in 2007 and then in 2008.
The cash incentive offered to the exporters by the government also encouraged the manufacturers to explore the new destinations, they said. read more.
* Apparel is future of BD for next 10-15 yrs:
There is little possibility of emerging a new export sector like readymade garments (RMG) in next 10 to 15 years, thus the country needs to pay more attention to its further expansion, a senior government official said.
“We now need to go in next stage of development in apparel business for which intra-industry diversification is necessary. Still the RMG is future of Bangladesh for next 10 to 15 years,” the immediate past commerce secretary M Ghulam Hossain told the FE in an exclusive interview. read more.
* Hall-Mark shuts all Savar units:
The scam-hit Hall-Mark Group shut all its factories in Savar on Tuesday following days of unrest by workers demanding disbursal of festival allowance and overtime.
Authorities of the Group put up a notice at the main gate of the common premises of the factories announcing the closure in the wee hours, Savar Industrial Police Inspector Abdul Baten Khan told bdnews24.com. read more.
13:27:12 local time INDIA
* US moves WTO accusing India of giving fresh export subsidies to textile industry:
The US has accused India of wrongfully giving fresh export subsidies to its textile industry instead of phasing them out as mandated by the World Trade Organisation. It has also complained to the multilateral body about the country ignoring its requests for bilateral discussions on the issue.
Turkey, too, has expressed its unhappiness at the alleged rise in textile exports from India and its industry being pitted against subsidised Indian products.
New Delhi, however, has rejected the allegations.
“India has not flouted any norms in textiles and is yet to have clarity on its obligations to phase out subsidies,” a government official told ET. “However, it has no problems with bilateral discussions with any country and has made this clear at a recent meeting of the WTO committee on subsidies and countervailing measures in Geneva.” read more.
* AEPC’s Source Zone Fair to help Indian garment makers:
After the overwhelming success of the very first edition of the Source Zone Fair the Second Source Zone Fair 2012, will be inaugurated by Dr. A Sakthivel, Chairman Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), at Apparel House Gurgaon on 5thNovember 2012. AEPC is once again ready to provide an opportunity and platform where the textile value chain comes together to network, source and propel the entire range of textiles materials for garmenting.
The Source Zone 2012 will from 5th to 7th November at Gurgaon Apparel House. AEPC will be hosting the fair which would provide an opportunity for buyers to analyze the widest spectrum of existing and emerging products and services at the best rates. It would be providing access to more than 10,000 buyers of fabric, accessories and services (ready-made garment manufacturers/ exporters). One to one interaction with the biggest garment manufacturers and exporters. read more.
* Mill consortium to buy $557mn cotton in current season:
A consortium made up of textile mills in the state of Tamil Nadu in India will purchase around 2.5 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) cotton amounting to Rs 30 billion or about US $557 million (1 USD = Rs 53.84) in the current cotton season 2012-13.
Towards that end, a public limited company – Cotton Sourcing Company Ltd (COSCO) has been set up which will act as a central hub for sourcing cotton on behalf of member mills and transport the same through the cheapest and most efficient mode. read more.
* Soon, a hygiene lab for labourers:
The labour department of Haryana will be setting up a first-of-its-kind industrial hygiene lab in Gurgaon, which will monitor health and environmental hazards caused by industrial units. The facility will hold regular medical checks for workers employed in the various industrial units, with the objective of providing a disease-free and healthy working environment.
Industrial hygiene labs, present in several other states, provide helpful indicators of the extent to which health and safety norms are being followed at an industrial unit. More specifically, these labs help establish the link between the health of a worker and the work-environment he operates in. “Apart from medical examinations, this lab would let us detect the presence of noxious substances in the working environment, which could pose hazard to the health of the workers,” a labour department official said.
A separate child-labour and bonded-labour cell has also been set up at the state level, and is being headed by the joint labour commissioner. In Gurgaon and other districts of Haryana, the labour department has formed vigilance committees under the Bonded Labour System Abolition Act. “Regular monthly meetings of these committees are being conducted in all places. To make these committees more active, we are organizing seminars and other events every year,” said another official. read more.
13:27:12 local time SRI LANKA
* Sri Lanka: From tailor-shop to own brands:
The launch of a local brand of clothing is not much to talk about particularly when there are many other brands in the market. However the launch of MAS Holdings brand- amant�-, a range of intimate wear or lingerie, last week in Colombo is a time to reflect on the progress of the garment industry over the years. amante’ was first launched in India and just now in Sri Lanka.
Some years ago when large manufacturers were asked as to when Sri Lanka will migrate to becoming makers of its own brand of clothes from being a mere tailoring shop, producers were not too confident in making their own label. “How can we (Sri Lankans) break into an international market that has top brands like Nike, Next or Marks & Spencer and compete with such brands? That’s a tall order,” said one big manufacturer. That negative approach and lack of confidence is rapidly changing and at least three companies – MAS, Timex & Ferguson Group and Hameedia – have gone into international markets across the world with their own brands.
With Sri Lanka’s ‘tailor-shops’ emerging as producers of their very own labels in a highly competitive international marketplace, one hopes this positive development will pave the way for a smoother relationship between workers and owners. Workers should also share in the success of Sri Lanka’s own international labels. read more.
12:57:12 local time PAKISTAN
* Garment exports rise 26%, but exporters displeased:
While exports of readymade garments in September increased by 26.5% in dollar terms compared to the corresponding month last year, the quantity of readymade garments that Pakistan sold overseas remained almost flat with a growth of only 2.3%.
According to data recently released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Pakistan exported readymade garments worth $140.5 million in September, which is more than one quarter higher than $111.1 million that the country earned in September 2011.
“Our major roadblock is that few customers are willing to visit Pakistan now. Their reluctance to come to Pakistan has resulted in almost no new customers,” said Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Zonal Chairman Atiq A Kochra while speaking to The Express Tribune.
* Qadirpur Gas Field: annual turnaround adds to textile industry’s production losses:
The annual turnaround of Qadirpur Gas Field during the Eid holidays brought the textile industry operations to halt and even the exemption from loadshedding by the Discos in Punjab proved futile, as a large number of mills remained closed. However, those running on independent feeders continued with their operations in Punjab.
But a cut in gas supply to the mills resulted into partial closures. Supply cut to the Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and the Small Power Plants (SPPs) of textile industry deprived the mills of cheap energy against the Wapda-fed electricity. read more.
* Exports of bedwear on decline:
The export of Pakistan’s flag ship primary textile exports, bed wear, is constantly on decline owing to multiple causes, mainly crippling energy shortages, high rate of interest and imprudent government policies, value added textile industry sources told Business Recorder. They said that export of bed wear dropped quantity wise and value in dollar in September 2012 8 percent as compared to September of 2011.
Pakistan exported bed wear weighting 20,580 kilogram in September this year against 22,217 KGs of September last year. Pakistan fetched 144.9 million dollars in foreign exchange under this head as against 157.36 million dollars of September 2011. read more.
12:57:12 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Help End Child Labor Cotton Crimes in Uzbekistan:
Anti-Slavery International’s campaign calling on the European Parliament to stop being complicit in the use of forced labour of adults and children in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields scored a major victory when MEPs rejected a resolution to extend the bilateral trade agreement between the European Union and Uzbekistan. This was due in no small part to the 14,000 supporters who signed our petition and wrote to their MEPs.
However the European Commission continues to allow Uzbekistan to benefit from preferential import duties for its cotton exports to the EU. We therefore need EU Member States, including the UK, to call on the European Commission to remove these trade preferences, known as the Generalised System of Preferences [GSP] for Uzbekistan, to help end slavery in the fields.
We therefore ask that you email Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, to put the removal of GSP for cotton from Uzbekistan on the agenda of the Trade Policy Ministerial on 29th November 2012.