15:19:54 local time CHINA
* Chinese incomes see rapid growth:
Chinese incomes grew quite rapidly from 2002 to 2011. Last year, per capita disposable income for China’s urban residents reached more than 21,000 yuan, an 180 percent increase over 2002. On average, each urban Chinese resident has seen his or her disposable income rose over 10,000 yuan in last decade.
Meanwhile, per capita net income of Chinese rural residents in 2011 exceeded 6,900 yuan, growing 160 percent from 10 years ago. The growth in the incomes of rural residents has outpaced their urban counterparts for two years straight. By the end of 2011, more than 20 million urban residents and over 50 million rural residents received subsistence allowances issued by the government. to read.
* High prices, weak demand weigh on cotton industry:
Cotton Council International, the export promotion unit of the National Cotton Council of America, said it remains “cautious” about making predictions concerning Chinese demand for US cotton in the coming year.
China’s textile industry is struggling amid the current high price of domestic cotton and weak demand.
“China has lost some competitiveness as a garment exporter,” said Karin Malmstrom, CCI China director.
She said the high price of domestic cotton and an increase in labor costs have pressed a number of Chinese textile companies to scale back their production or move their production bases to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam. read more.
14:19:54 local time VIET NAM
* Top minds in cotton & MMF sectors speak at ITMF conference:
The eyes of the textile universe were focused on Vietnam as the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) held its traditional Annual Conference from Nov. 4 – 6, 2012. In the highly anticipated Fiber Session on Nov. 4, attendees packed the Grand Ballroom in Hanoi’s Melia Hotel to listen to presentations from some of the top minds in both the cotton and Man-Made fiber (MMF) industries.
The cotton-oriented portion of the Fiber Session focused on various aspects of sustainability, from its growing role in retail marketing, to the focus and meaning of the Better Cotton Initiative, to the mutiple challenges the industry faces in developing a sustainable supply chain.
The ability to offer ‘green’ products is a critical success factor at the retail level these days,” Antoshak said. “If retailers can label their products as being environmentally friendly, they have an undeniable advantage among consumers in the marketplace.
People can debate all day long about what “being green” actually means, but in the end, it doesn’t matter because perception is reality. “Buyers believe in ‘green,’ and it doesn’t really matter whether they’re right or not,” he concluded. “It’s what they’re going to demand.” read more.
* Textile confab shows trust:
Chairman of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX) Vu Duc Giang spoke to the media about the progress of garment exports on the sidelines of the International Textile Manufactures Federation (ITMF) annual conference, themed “Challenges for the Textile Industry – Present and Future” held recently in Ha Noi.
Viet Nam hosted the ITMF annual conference this year. How important is the the conference to the development of the domestic garment industry?
Large international businesses have trust in Viet Nam due to its political stability and this has encouraged investments which are revolutionising the garment industry.
The shift from performing outwork to free-on-board (FOB) practice and reducing the nation’s raw material imports from 100 per cent to 60-65 per cent has also brought opportunities to expand co-operation with foreign partners.
As a result of these achievements, ITMF chose Viet Nam to host this year’s annual meeting. It is considered a triumph for the domestic garment and textile sector in particular, and Vietnamese industry in general.
What measures are being pushed to attract foreign direct investment into the supportive industries?
* Flexcom staff end week-long strike:
The majority of Garment Flexcom Viet Nam workers who went on strike two weeks ago seeking better working conditions have returned to work, said Bui Van Khuoc, vice-chairman of the city trade union.
However, about a dozen workers are still refusing to work because they are not satisfied with the company’s solutions, he added.
On October 23, 1,400 employees of Flexcom Viet Nam, based in Dinh Ke commune in the northern province of Bac Giang, staged a walk-out, demanding better salaries and other allowances linked to their seniority, mileage and overtime work.
A post-strike discussion was held with the workers by the city’s trade union, the department of labour, invalids and social affairs and the company leaders.
Flexcom Viet Nam said it could not increase salaries immediately because of current economic difficulties, but they promised to ensure wages meet the State regulated minimum salary by January 2013.
The company promised to keep working time limited to eight hours per day, while those working overtime will be paid 150 per cent on weekdays, 200 per cent on Sundays and 300 per cent on national holidays.
Free meals will be provided to those working more than 4 hours overtime in a day.
The company pledged that anyone who quits their job will promptly receive their insurance book, while also promising to be nicer to the workers. to read.
* With exports to EU falling, textile makers are hurting:
Export orders from European Union (EU) countries are on a downward trend that worried many local garment makers.
In 2012, orders for exports to the EU of Luc Nam Garment Factory, under Bac Giang Garment Joint Stock Company, dropped by 10 per cent compared to 2011. Nguyen Van Thien, director of the factory, said that the company had been deprived of $300,000-400,000 due to the decline in export orders from the EU market.
Vietnam’s garment export companies have longtime customers in the EU market, but they have all been hard hit by the economic crisis in the European region.
This situation lasted from early 2012 to now, and tended to decline further in recent months.
Textile and garment orders from the EU in September 2012 fell by 8 per cent against August.
Based on statistics by the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), exports turnover of textile and garment to the EU in the past 10 months totalled to $2.1 billion, down 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2011. This has not only affected the completion of the export target for 2012, but also threatened enterprises over the possibility of a further decline in the number of orders in 2013.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/11 (13th item).
* Two unknown substances in Chinese bras defined:
The test of a Chinese bra at a laboratory in Da Nang shows that the substances in the bra include the polymer sheath and another substance inside, which is commonly used in cosmetics, revealed an officer of the Da Nang Department of Health.
The official also said the active ingredient in the bras is said to be toxic. However, the department has not received official documents from the Ministry of Health so it could not confirm this toxicity.
The testing result in Da Nang has been transferred to relevant agencies but it has not been made public yet.
Mr. Lu Bang, Head of the Da Nang Market Management Bureau, said the test results must be sent to the Da Nang Department of Health to determine the effects of the “strange matter” for human health, before it is made public.
More than two weeks ago, consumers in Da Nang discovered unknown liquid solution and tablets in Chinese bras. The market management forces have checked and seized tens of thousands of bras of this kind. read more.
* Mineral oil found in Chinese bras, toxicity debated:
The unknown liquid found in the Chinese bras that has turned into a headache for local consumers over the last two weeks is in fact mineral oil, initial tests from quality centers have determined, while producing varied information about the toxicity of the chemical.
Chinese bras have recently been boycotted in Vietnam after several sets of products were found containing two packs of liquid and round, solid white balls said to be a kind of drug.
But tests conducted by the Quality Assurance and Testing Center 2 (Quatest 2) have identified that the packs are made of polysterene, and the liquid is in fact a kind of mineral oil, said Nguyen Uy, deputy head of the Da Nang Department of Health, citing results from the center. read more.
14:19:54 local time CAMBODIA
* Court of Appeal hears case involving murder of union leader:
The Court of Appeal heard Wednesday a case involving two men convicted for murdering Free Trade Union of Workers President Chea Vichea, who was shot dead at a newspaper kiosk in 2004.
The two accused, Ban Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, have been sentenced to 20 years but have been on bail for four years. to read.
* Pair get long-awaited day in court:
Nearly eight years after Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were arrested for the high-profile slaying of unionist Chea Vichea, the two men, widely believed to have been wrongfully convicted, yesterday took a tentative final step toward clearing their names.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday re-tried their case, after stalling for years following a 2008 Supreme Court order that provisionally released the men from prison and called for a new investigation.
In a perfunctory three-hour hearing, the court heard from prepared witness statements and the two defendants.
Much of the testimony followed a narrative that, after numerous hearings, investigations and public statements, is by now familiar.
In January 2004, a week after the Free Trade Union (FTU) president was gunned down in broad daylight on a street in Phnom Penh, the men were arrested and charged with the murder. read more.
15:19:54 local time INDONESIA
* Businesses vow to lock out workers:
Rather than ensuring that the police take firm action against violent or prolonged labor protests, top government officials are content to issue vague promises to calm angry executives, an industry lobby has said.
The Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) has warned the government that its members will temporarily close their doors if they do not receive assurances from the government that it would enforce the law and uphold their rights to a legal certainty, which Apindo says has been put to the test by prolonged and often chaotic worker protests.
One top official has acknowledged Apindo’s concerns. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said that Indonesia was facing a serious task to prove to the international community that it was competent enough to simultaneously protect the rights of workers and investors.
Hatta, however, offered no concrete solutions, save encouraging both sides to meet to discuss contentious issues such as outsourcing and the minimum wage so as to find common ground. read more.
* Action Needed on Workers’ Protest to Curb Investment Loss, Union Says:
While workers taking to the streets for higher wages is legal, their demonstrations might result in millions of dollars in potential losses for companies and that won’t be good for foreign investors, who as a consequence might relocate their businesses outside Indonesia, an official at a union said.
Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Union (KSPSI) are set to take tough action should the government and the police continue to ignore the spate of uncontrolled labor demonstrations that are hurting Indonesia’s investment climate.
Sofjan Wanandi, Apindo’s chairman, said on Wednesday that business owners were planning to perform a lockdown should law enforcement fail to act.
“There are at least 100 companies from 23 different business associations that are said to participate in the lockdown,” he said, during a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesay. read more.
* Global protest swamps adidas’ facebook page:
Thousands of people from across the globe are leaving messages on adidas originals’ Facebook page about adidas’ failure to pay Indonesian workers US$1.8million severance pay.
The 2,800 workers produced goods for the sports brand until their factory, PT Kizone, closed down in April 2011.
Every adidas’ post is swamped with comments relating to the severance pay issue. The protest marks the start of a global week of action, bringing together labour rights groups such as Clean Clothes Campaign, Labour Behind The Label, People and Planet, SumOfUs, United Students Against Sweatshop, War on Want and many more.
Supporters are asked to join a different action each day. Mirjam van Heugten from the CCC says: ‘This is just the start. It’s time for adidas to change its long-held policy
on severance and pay the workers, who have been forced into debt.
adidas should show it is the global leader it positions itself as, follow its competitors and pay up.’ read more.
13:19:54 local time BANGLA DESH
* BD among countries suspected of using kids in production sectors:
Bangladesh textile, leather and footwear sectors were included as being suspected of producing items with child labour, the US Bureau of International Labour Affairs (ILAB) recently reported.
The report titled “The Departments of Labours 2011 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour” released at the end of last month, said Bangladeshi goods especially in textile, leather and footwear sectors were suspected of using child or forced labour.
However, although leather, footwear and textile sectors were included as being suspected of using child labour, the country’s main export earner readymade garments (RMG) and frozen foods have been excluded from the list.
The list, prepared with the US Department of Labour, includes a list of goods from countries that ILAB has reasons to believe are producing those with child labour or forced labour, in violation of international standards, Hilda L. Solis, US Secretary of Labour said in the footnote of the report. read more.
* Hall-Mark chief shown arrested in 6 corruption cases:
Group Chairperson Jasmine Islam was shown arrested yesterday in six of the 11 corruption casesfiled by the ACC for alleged corruption about loan scam.Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Hasibul Haque passed theorder after investigation officers (IO) submitted separate petitions to showher arrested in the cases.
Deputy Assistant Director of theAnti-Corruption Commission SMM Akhter Hamid Bhuiyan, IO of one of the sixcases, also submitted a seven-day remand prayer for quizzing Jasmine. The courtin response fixed tomorrow for hearing the remand petition.
According to a Bangladesh Bankinvestigation, Hall-Mark in collaboration with some bank officials swindled outmore than Tk 2,600 crore out of the Ruposhi Bangla branch of Sonali Bankagainst forged document. read more.
* RMG exports at a cross-roads:
Bangladesh is almost poised to become world’s number one exporter of RMG (Ready-Made Garments) products, overtaking China. Almost but not quite and that is why the news has to be greeted with cautious optimism.
At present Bangladesh accounts for 5.0 per cent of world RMG export while China’s share is 30 per cent. But China is slipping from its top position, losing 5.0 per cent of its contribution annually due to labour shortage and high labour costs. Most of the lower end RMG products may have already been captured by Bangladesh.
* Bangladeshi garment producer willing to expand in Dubai:
Multinational Technical Service LLC, a well-known and acknowledged company in Dubai merged with Global Fashion Sources (GFS), a well-established garment manufacturing company in Bangladesh to expand the horizon of UAE garments buyers.
Multinational Technical Service LLC has started to play their part through working together to share efforts and serve UAE garments buyers. It has proven itself worthy previously and is willing to now gain outstanding reputation in the garments sector.
To gain the reputation, Multinational Technical Service LLC has designed and gone through a number of successful and effective projects in the fields of the Man power sector.
Due to their proven success in the Man power sector, they are expanding their business and starting to work in the Garments sector and bringing new technology with them. They are joining with GFS, an autonomous authority in garment manufacturing in Bangladesh. GFS started their operation as a manufacturer and supplier in 2009 in Bangladesh. read more.
* Another Garment Factory Fire in Bangladesh:
By Laura Gutierrez
On October 29, 2012 a fire broke out in another garment factory in Bangladesh. The factory, Eurotex Knitwear Limited, sits outside of the country’s capital in the area of Narayanganj. The fire began at 2 a.m., just two days after the region’s Eid-ul-adha festivals, and lasted until 8:30 a.m.
Fakrul Alam Majumder, the company’s marketing director, believes high-voltage tube lights initiated the fire. He expects that, left on through the night, the lights ignited near-by polythene and cloth and set fire to the rest of the dying/finishing section.
The fire, which destroyed 500,000 ready-made pieces, has stopped production in only the damaged section of the factory while others resumed operation as usual after the holiday on November 3.
No one was inside the factory at the time of the fire, presumably because of the holiday and because it occurred during the night. Soon after the fire began, however, people from the neighborhood came to the factory and attempted to put out the fire with water.
It was then that a person, “who simply got too close to the flames,” was injured, says Majumder. The victim, who is not an employee of the factory, suffered from burns on his arm and leg. It is unknown if he received any medical attention or compensation for his injuries.
he dying/finishing section is expected to reopen on Saturday, November 10th. Until then, 60 to 70 of the nearly 200 workers of the damaged section are now working in other sections of the factory on an irregular basis.
The rest of the workers were informed they would work on a stand-by basis, meaning they could be called at any moment to return to work. Despite the unpredictable scheduling, all workers are expected to receive their monthly payment.
While good timing kept the 1700 to 1800 regularly employed Eurotex workers from facing a destructive fire, no one should rely only on good timing or good luck when it comes to their safety at work.
The frequency of factory fires in Bangladeshi proves the urgency for change in companies’ approach to fire safety.
This incident, in addition to the deadly fires in other factories, should act as a serious wake-up call to every garment-buying company. Help us urge companies to be more proactive about fire safety to ensure that no more fires injure or jeopardize the work of Bangladeshi workers!
Three brothers own Eurotex Knitwear Limited, a company that includes three RMG factories. The Factory is currently supplying to V.F. Corporation, Pierre Cardin, and NKD.
The following companies have also been linked to Eurotex Knitwear Limited:
Takko, Auchan, Orchestra, Earnesting Family, Suncity, Zolla, Lidl, V&D, Rannier (Brazil), Vegotex , Primark, JBC, Li & Fung, Disney, Hello Kitty, Hea Net, Mark One, Mark & Spencer, C&A, Inter Sports, Wal-Mart, Target, Nike. read more.
12:49:54 local time INDIA
* Surat’s textile industry may face acute labor shortage:
* Alteration job bails them out:
On the elevated footpath in the narrow lane of Ameerpet, the small team of tailors is busy. Its festival season and they remain mobbed by customers who wait to customise their newly acquired readymade apparel.
The readymade wear coming into popularity had robbed the livelihood of many tailors and forcing several to shut their shops and move out. But sensing an opportunity in alteration works, some shifted their base close to readymade stores and remain busy.
Whether it is shirt hands, trouser length or waist size, most of the readymade wear need to be altered to fit and charges for the job depend upon the job, says O. Rajaiah, one of the tailor-turned-alteration worker here. Their work and earning depend on the shopping for readymade apparel. “The more readymade wear bought mean more work for us in the form of required alterations,” he says. to read.
* Cotton seen down in second half of November:
Cotton spot prices in India, the world’s second largest producer, are likely to extend losses over the next two weeks as harvesting gathers pace after holidays, but buying by yarn makers to meet overseas demand could limit the downtrend.
Trading is likely to be subdued as Diwali holidays and celebrations run through the first half of November.
Once those holidays are over, harvesting should start in earnest and rising supplies will combine with weak export demand to depress prices, traders said.
“Farmers are likely to accelerate harvesting of Cotton after Diwali, as they have to clear fields for planting winter crops,” said Ritesh Agrawal, owner of Wisdom Cotton, a Kolkata-based trading firm. read more.
* Textile industry offers job generation potential: Sukhbir Badal:
The governments of Punjab, both in India and Pakistan, will work towards strengthening the ties of the textile industry. Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who is on a visit to Lahore, stressed on the need for a big push to the textile industry as it offered vast employment generation potential.
Speaking at a function organized by all Pakistan Textile Manufacturer’s Association held in Lahore, Sukhbir said the textile industry of eastern and western Punjab should join hands and supplement each others strength.
Textile industry is far developed in Pakistan and constitutes more than 70% export of the country. “Punjab is coming up with a textile park in Malwa region. Textile manufacturers of both the Punjabs should explore the possibility of joint venture to excel in the competitive goods,” he said. read more.
* Sukhbir for joint venture with Pakistan in textile trade:
Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday underlined the need for giving a big push to the textile industry as it had great potential for employment generation.
Speaking at a function organised by the All-Pakistan Textile Manufacturers’ Association (APTMA) at Lahore, Sukhbir said the textile industry of both Punjabs should join hands and complement each other.
He said the textile industry was quite developed in Pakistan as it constituted more than 70% of the country’s exports, adding that the Akali-BJP government in Punjab was actively pursuing the initiative of a textile park in the Malwa region.
Inviting an APTMA delegation to Punjab, Sukhbir said textile manufacturers of both Punjabs should explore the possibility of a joint venture to excel in competitive goods. He said the APTMA delegation should visit Punjab and discuss the opportunities available in the textile sector. read more.
12:49:54 local time SRI LANKA
* Protest march for higher pay:
Over 40 Trade Unions representing government, semi-government and the private sector will stage a protest march opposite the Fort Railway Station today, demanding a salary increase through the upcoming budget.
The trade unions are demanding a Rs 10, 000 salary increase, a Rs 280 increase in the cost of living allowance and the removal of all pension anomalies. Chairman of the Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA), Saman Ratnapriya, said a salary increment is very much required for all employees in the country as the cost of living is high and warned if the government does not respond positively to their demands through the upcoming annual budget, they will engage in further trade union action. read more.
* 40 workers affected by food poisoning:
At least 40 employees of a garment factory at Katunayake suffered from food poisoning this morning and six of them were admitted to the Negombo Hospital for further treatment, hospital sources said.
They had complained of vomiting, nausea, headache and diarrhea. to read.
12:19:54 local time PAKISTAN
* ‘Cotton growers being exploited by ginners, spinners’:
Reacting to the news report in the newspaper captioned “Farmers rally against low price of their produce”, M Jawed Bilwani, Central Chairman, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) asserted that the value added textile sector had always been saying that a great injustice is meted out to the cotton growers by the ginners and spinners rendering all efforts to grow good quality cotton in vain.
He said that the crop of raw cotton was purchased by the ginner at cheapest prices while the cotton was sold at highest a price which was a travesty of justice. The ginners and spinners are out to make a fast buck, purchase raw cotton from the cotton grower which is hoarded and sold at international prices.
He added that the cotton growers were being exploited while the government did nothing for the betterment of the growers. Jawed Bilwani stated that it is most unfortunate that in utter frustration 1000 farmers on 6th November, 2012 set fire to cotton in protest that they were not supported by the government while the Chinese government offers full support to the cotton growers which is evident from the Chinese press report wherein it has been informed that “this is the second year the government has implemented the policy to guarantee the livelihoods of cotton growers and to stabilise prices for the commodity with the purchase 1 million tons as of October 24, 2012 – 150 times the amount bought up last year”. read more.
* Textile industry: SNGPL drastically reduces gas supply:
Textile industry is likely to face a worsening situation in the coming days, as the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has reduced gas supply to the industry to four days a week, it is learnt.
Government has set textile exports’ target at $16 billion for the current year 2012-13, however due to the ongoing energy crisis it is difficult to realise the target and the exports would be no more than $12.5 billion, informed sources in the Textile industry told Business Recorder.
About 80 percent textile industry is based on Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and due to cut in gas supply, the production capacity would decline by 20-30 percent, the sources maintained, adding that large-scale closures/bankruptcies and massive lays off in the textile industry are feared. They further said that without issuing notices to these industries, gas supply has been cut on the plea of gas shortage. read more.
* Textile millers in a hurry to import cotton:
Textile millers seemed to be in a hurry to enter into cotton import agreements with Brazil, Greece, West Africa and India. DESIGN: CREATIVE COMMONS
Textile millers are scrambling to strike import deals with cotton-producing countries following a steady increase in prices of cotton in the domestic market.
According to market people, in the last two days, the price of cotton has jumped Rs200 to Rs6,200 per maund in the local market and raw cotton (phutti) has become dearer by Rs300 to Rs3,000 per maund.
“It is expected that this upward trend in cotton prices will continue for the next few days,” a dealer said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association’s former executive member Ihsan-ul-Haq said the textile millers seemed to be in a hurry to enter into cotton import agreements with Brazil, Greece, West Africa and India following a continuous rise in cotton prices in the domestic market.
Reports of lower-than-expected cotton crop in Pakistan and India, a rise in the value of dollar against Pakistani rupee and Chinese intention to buy cotton yarn from Pakistan in a big way have positively impacted cotton prices in the local market.