09:18:59 local time MONGOLIA
* Minimum monthly wage to rise from September 1:
Following two days of discussions, a decision has been made to raise the minimum monthly wage to 192,000 MNT (=136.90$) from September 1. The decision is pending approval by the Prime Minister, however.
The increase in the minimum monthly wage from the current level of 140,400 MNT to 192,000 MNT represents an increase of 36.75 percent.
With the changes in the minimum monthly wage, the minimum hourly wage will increase to 1,142 MNT.
According to the Labor Law, the minimum monthly wage must be reviewed and increased every two years. The wage was last increased on April 4, 2011. It should therefore have been increased again by April 5, 2013. read more.
08:18:59 local time VIET NAM
* New Labour Code strives to protect employee rights:
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Minh Huan spoke with Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) about the new Labour Code.
What has the ministry done to make the new Labour Code a reality?
After the National Assembly approved the 2012 Labour Code, MOLISA organised several meetings with relevant ministries and sectors to discuss compiling instructions for the code’s implementation.
Now 10 draft decrees and eight circulars are on the Prime Minister’s table waiting for approval.
In addition, we have consulted the National Assembly Standing Committee about our proposal to allow the government to add further details to some of the articles and paragraphs in the code to make it easier to implement. read more.
* Double textile export to U.S. in sight:
Vietnam fetched US$7.7 billion from textile export to the U.S. last year and the value is expected to double once the nation signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with the U.S., said Le Quoc An, consultant of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vinatas).
He was speaking at a seminar on further tapping the U.S. market in HCMC last Friday.
Vietnam until 2001 exported some US$45 million worth of garment to the U.S. annually but the country’s apparel export stateside shot up to nearly US$1 billion a year since 2002 before hitting the record high of US$7.7 billion last year, he remarked. read more.
* FTAs bring greater benefits to Vietnamese garment and textiles:
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will open a wider door for Viet Nam’s exports to penetrate into big markets.
Experts in garments and textiles made the comment during the Viet Nam Saigon Garment and Accessories Machinery Expo 2013 (Saigontex 2013) held by the Viet Nam National Textile-Garment Corporation (Vinatex) in Ho Chi Minh City from April 11-14.
Viet Nam’s garment and textiles sector’s export turnover in 2012 reached US$17.2 billion, with export to the EU and US markets accounting for 60% with US$7.51 billion attained from the US and US$2.45 billion reaped from the EU. read more.
08:18:59 local time THAILAND
* Bangkok aims to become Asean’s apparel wholesale centre:
Small and medium business in the four markets – Chatuchak, Bobae, Pratunam and Sampheng – would be the focus of the department’s drive, Wirit Wisetsin, director of the New Entrepreneurs Creation division of the department said. read more.
* Shippers’ Council lowers export growth to 5.5%:
The Thai National Shippers’ Council has lowered its 2013 export-growth target from 6.9 per cent to 5.5 per cent on a number of negative factors, especially the baht’s appreciation and higher labour costs.
Vallop Vitanakorn, a vice chairman of the TNSC, yesterday said the
These are: the economic slowdown of trading partners; the increase in Thai labour costs; and the strengthening of the baht, which is in contrast with currency movements in neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia.
Moreover, the depreciation of the yen has made Thai exports to Japan more difficult, which is another reason the garments industry will find it tough to achieve higher overall exports than last year, he said. read more.
09:18:59 local time INDONESIA
* Indonesian Workers to Strike Over Subsidized Fuel Price Hike:
Following the government’s plan to raise the price of subsidized gasoline for private vehicle owners, labor unions announced on Wednesday that 10 million workers would strike in August to protest the proposed action.
“The Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions [MPBI] — which consists of more than four million laborers — rejects the plan. We can assure that one million protesters will flood the streets on May 1, and that 10 million workers will go on strike on August 16,” Said Iqbal, the chairman of the MPBI, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
07:18:59 local time BANGLA DESH
* Two taskforces to ensure fire safety at garment factories:
The government yesterday formed two taskforces to improve fire safety standards at garment factories as Bangladesh was slammed for noncompliance at a recent hearing of a US trade negotiator.
The government will also amend the labour law to improve labour standards, an official said.
The taskforces will also look for avenues to expand the garment sector further, Labour and Employment Secretary Mikail Shipar said after a meeting of a committee of ministers at the secretariat.
The 11-member committee was formed in February 2003 to look after the garment sector.
The taskforces, which will submit reports within the next two months, will advise the ministers on how to ease the export procedures of garment items, Shipar said.
The labour ministry will place a proposal at the next cabinet meeting to amend the labour law of 2006, he said.
read more. & read more.
* Labour law to be amended:
Bid to ensure GSP crisis in US
The government is contemplating to amend Labour Law 2006, ensuring Generalized System of Preference (GSP) benefits in US and protect rights of garment workers.
The proposed amendment of the law pending for long to get the government nod, will be placed in the next cabinet meeting on April 22.
In a first meeting the cabinet committee on garments sectors took the decision at the labour ministry on Wednesday. The committee chief labour minister Raziuddin Ahmed Razu chaired the meeting.
“We have taken the decision to place the pending draft of the labour law before the cabinet on April 22 to ensure the garments workers rights and increase their benefits, if it is needed,” committee member and textile and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui told reporters in a briefing after the meeting.
He said that the government would ensure the security for the garments industry and carry their goods during the shutdown (hartal). We will take tight security measures to save the industry. Referring to the current political situation Latif Siddiqui said, “It is a political problem. We are trying to resolve the problem under the leadership of the prime minister. We will come out of the problem very soon.”
read more. & read more.
* Funding garments for developing safety measures:
The country’s commercial banks are willing to bring down the lending rate to a single-digit level to enable those garments factories which are yet to upgrade their safety measures against the BGMEA’s earlier request for providing credit to its member-factories for meeting the compliance-related standards.
Nowadays, everyone is conscious about garments safety measures. The IFIC Bank has already responded to this request and I hope that other banks would also come forward in this respect.
Many garment factories are running their businesses under the constant threat of risks due to lack of access to funds at an affordable lending rate to meet various compliance-related matters or issues as per international standards. Funding garments in this respect will help to reduce accidents and thus reduce death toll.
* 91 cotton importers default on payments to suppliers:
Cotton importers’ failure to pay suppliers is blamed on fluctuating prices on the international markets. Photo:amran hossain
The International Cotton Association (ICA) has listed 91 companies from Bangladesh for failing to make payments to suppliers. The country ended up on top of the default list.
The ICA updated its latest list of default companies on Tuesday. Among the South Asian textiles and garment producing nations, India is in the second position with 88 companies while Pakistan has 48 companies on the list.
The Liverpool-based ICA prepares the list on receiving complaints from the cotton supplying companies worldwide.
The companies became defaulters, as the importing companies did not receive shipments for an abnormal price hike of the item in 2010-2011.
Companies from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Greece, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, USA and Vietnam are also on the list. read more.
* Exports to Europe post moderate growth in July-Feb of current FY:
The country’s exports to key destinations like Germany, UK and France posted moderate growth in July-February of the fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 as compared to the same period of the last fiscal (2011-12), reports UNB.
In July-February of the current FY, exports to Germany totaled US$2,556.68 million, which was 14.69 per cent of the country’s total export earnings for the eight-month period. Of the amount, knitwear accounted for $1,386.57 million, woven garments $979.55 million and frozen shrimp $40.89 million, according to the latest Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) figures. read more.
* Sonali Bank urged to take steps on RMG business obstacles:
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGAPMEA) Wednesday urged the Sonali Bank managing director to take measures to immediately solve some difficulties relating to their business with the bank.
A team of BGAPMEA led by its president Rafez Alam Chowdhury made the call at a meeting with the Sonali Bank MD Pradip Kumar Dutta at the bank’s head office.
Mr Chowdhury expressed their apprehension of ‘forcibly’ shutting down some of their industries if their problems are not solved immediately. read more.
* Stop hartal, love the country:
It is unacceptable that the political parties enforced hartal on nine days in March. Hartal is apparently a common phenomenon in our country and its ultimate outcome is ruin. As a result, economic condition is becoming fragile and the present situation of the country is ominous.
During hartals, garments sector is badly affected and the owners face difficulties such as, they cannot shift the goods on time for lack of transport. The owners of vehicles are reluctant to take any risk because vehicles are the main target for the agitators who find delight in torching these.
Foreign investors (buyers) are canceling their orders and moving to other countries like India and Myanmar due to present mayhem in our country. They even seem to place new orders in other regions which is declared red zone by the US and European community. As a result, we will face huge losses.
The garment sector contributes hugely to the economic growth of the country. If this sector collapses, it will be ruin for us. Unemployment crisis will also increase countrywide if the garment workers become jobless. read more.
06:48:59 local time INDIA
* 17 juvenile workers rescued; five arrested:
Seventeen juveniles were rescued from four textile units and one metal gate manufacturing unit by police officials attached to Anti-Human Trafficking Unit and volunteers of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a national-level movement for children, here on Wednesday evening.
The police said that the raids were conducted at the units following a tip-off.
The owners of the five units, Senthil Kumar (30), Badri Alam (39), M. Vinod (27), G. Durai (30) and Fahid Khan (33) were arrested under Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act and Indian Penal Code 374 (forceful labour), sources added. read more.
* Workers observe fast:
Members of the CITU-affiliated Baniyan and General Workers Union observed a fast here on Wednesday to press their demands for expeditious execution of the proposed 100-bed multi-specialty hospital by Employees State Insurance Corporation and government-built hostels for textile workers.
C. Moorthy, general secretary of the Union, said it was a pity that the hospital project of ESIC had not taken off yet though the project was first conceptualized eight years ago.
“Because of the delay, the textile workers enrolled themselves under the ESI medical scheme in Tirupur knitwear cluster are forced to travel as far as to Coimbatore to get advanced medical care,” he pointed out. read more.
* ‘Chance to increase apparel exports to Japan’:
Indian garment exporters should significantly improve their fashion sense, pricing of products, quality and delivery schedule if they have to increase the market share in Japan which is abysmal at the moment, according to Yoshiaki Kamiyama, senior researcher, Japan Textile Exporters/Importers Association.
“Of the US $ 26 billion worth of garments imported per annum in Japan, the share of Indian products presently stands at an extremely meagre 0.9 per cent. China is the market leader contributing to around 85 per cent of the total value of apparel imports into Japan,” Mr. Kamiyama told The Hindu on the sidelines of the inaugural of the 36th India Knit fair here on Wednesday. read more.
* Meeting on minimum wages:
The committee constituted by the State Government to recommend minimum wages for textile mill workers will visit units in Annur, Somanur and Palladam on Thursday (April 18) and those in Mettupalayam on Friday (April 19).
The committee will discuss the issue of minimum wages with trade union representatives from Coimbatore and Tirupur at a meeting that is to be held at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Labour here on Friday afternoon. to read.
* Exporters likely to get Rs 2k-cr stimulus package today:
Exporters are expected to get a hefty stimulus package tomorrow when the government unveils the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014. The package, expected to be worth Rs 1,500–2,000 crore, will have special incentives for engineering, textiles, leather exports and special economic zones, among others.
During the first 11 months of FY13, merchandise exports declined four per cent at $265.94 billion, against $277.12 billion in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. Total imports for the period stood at $448.03 billion, registering a marginal increase of 0.25 per cent from $446.93 billion from the previous financial year. This has resulted in an unprecedented widening of the trade deficit to $18.20 billion, up from $169.81 billion in the previous year. The current account deficit (CAD) as a percentage of GDP stood at 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of FY13.
* Cotton Advisory Board sees lower kharif sowing:
After three years of a bumper cotton crop, cotton sowing is expected to be affected next season, as farmers are looking for higher realisation from other crops, such as sugarcane.
In its meeting held on Wednesday at the Textile Commissioner’s office here the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) projected lower cotton sowing next kharif season. The board however, could not provide any indications of the likely fall in acreage.
Textile Commissioner A B Joshi, after the CAB meeting, said, “Even internationally, the cotton crop is expected to fall next year.” According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee, in 2012-13 (July to June) cotton crop is estimated at 26.01 million tonnes globally, while in 2013-14 the crop is estimated lower at 23.47 million tonnes. read more.
06:48:59 local time SRI LANKA
* China lauds efforts to boost handloom textile industry:
China’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao lauded the Economic Development Ministry’s efforts to uplift the living conditions of about 1000 handloom textile weavers in Upper Madampella, Divulapitiya. This village is well-known for the handloom textile industry.
Ambassador Jianghao said this when he addressed a ceremony held in connection with the distribution of handlooms among 57 weavers who completed their training at the Upper Madampella Liya Abhiman Handloom Textile Designing Development and Service Centre yesterday.
They were the second batch to be trained by the centre. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa presided over the event. The Chinese Ambassador expressed his appreciation of the Minister’s contribution to strengthen to historic ties between China and Sri Lanka.
Having noted the immense difficulties traditional handloom textile weavers in Upper Madampella faced several years ago in the past, Minister Basil Rajapaksa launched a special program jointly with the Liya Abhiman organisation to motivate and encourage them in building up the industry. read more. & read more.
06:18:59 local time PAKISTAN
* ‘APTMA will not observe gas, electricity load management plan’:
Disheartened with the caretaker government’s inability to manage and distribute energy, especially discrimination towards Punjab, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has threatened the government that it will not observe any gas or electricity load management plan from Monday.
If the government did not come up with a plan to ensure zero percent load shedding and at least five days gas supply to textile industry, APTMA has announced to get registered FIRs against the pubic officials if they tried to stop gas supply or observe any load shedding because courts have given them stay orders against illegal load shedding. read more. & read more. & read more.
* Threat: Mills to disregard outages plan:
Aptma Group Leader Gohar Ejaz told the media that they would not let their mills close at any cost. PHOTO: FILE
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) has warned that they will not follow any power and gas load management plan from next week if the government does not come up with a strategy to end power outages and ensure gas supply for at least five days a week.
Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, Aptma officials announced that they would register FIRs against government officials if they tried to stop gas supply or resort to load-shedding as courts had given stay orders against ‘unjustified’ outages.
Aptma Group Leader Gohar Ejaz told the media that they would not let their mills close at any cost and if any outages were enforced on the industry from Monday, they would take to streets and call for countrywide sit-ins. to read.
* Textile sector – where is the value addition:
Cloaked by the protectionist policies extended regime after regime, Pakistans textile industry is a coddled child. And the outgoing government has done more than its share to fuel the industrys incompetency during its reign.
Despite the fact that the government provided a helping hand to the textile industry on everything from agricultural inputs to the provision of gas at the cost of holding other industries hostage, the sectors inherent inefficiencies coupled with the energy crises debacle and double-digit inflation have pushed up the prices of Pakistani textiles to uncompetitive highs.
The last five years have consequently seen softening external demand for the countrys textiles, making closures and dwindling capacity utilisation the norm.
* Pakistan PM stresses on promotion of textile trade:
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has said the country needs to increase its exports of textiles and garments to earn more foreign exchange.
During his meeting with Minister for Commerce and Textile Maqbool HH Rahmatoola, the Prime Minister said Pakistani textiles were among the best and support should be provided to exporters so they can earn additional revenue for the country.
The Prime Minister said the available resources must be efficiently utilized to boost the exports of textiles and garments, according to APP.
The Minister apprised the Prime Minister on the steps being taken to enhance textile trade with other countries. read more.
* After exports, Sadaqat Ltd turns attention to domestic market:
As many manufacturing units associated with the textile industry have been grappling with power and gas shortages in Punjab for the past few years, there are some which have successfully beat the bad times by relying on their big size and a smooth cash flow.
Among these is Sadaqat Limited, a textile conglomerate in Faisalabad that is making significant strides and has been expanding its business every year. Though the company has hitherto exclusively focused on the international market, it has now enhanced its manufacturing capacity to cater to the domestic market as well.
This year, its exports surged 62% to reach $105 million, which comes at a time when some other manufacturers are struggling for their survival. read more.
* Exports to US can rise under ‘GSP’:
Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative Bill Jackson has said that Pakistan has opportunity to expand its exports to the United States substantially under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
Bill Jackson, during a presentation at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told participants, “Pakistan can grow its duty-free exports to the United States even more. Pakistan exported $3.6 billion worth of goods to the United States in 2012, yet only 5.7pc of that amount took advantage of the duty-free treatment available under the GSP programme.
Pakistan therefore has the opportunity to expand its exports to the United States substantially under GSP. Senior US officials stated US imports from Pakistan under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme, which offers duty-free market access to the United States, surged by 49% in 2012, reaching $195 million that represents one of the largest increases among all major GSP beneficiary countries. read more. & read more.
06:18:59 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Tell Nike: Don’t Support Forced Labor in Uzbekistan:
Nike claims to be a champion of human rights, but if that is true, why is Nike doing business with Daewoo International, a company that is knowingly profiting from forced labor in Uzbekistan?
Every year, during the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan, over a million children and adults – including teachers, nurses and doctors – are forced to work in the cotton fields and meet daily picking quotas enforced by the Uzbek Government.
Over 130 apparel companies (including Nike) have taken a stand against forced labor in Uzbekistan by pledging to not buy forced labor cotton from Uzbekistan. Now, Uzbek human rights activists are calling on apparel companies to completely cut ties with companies, like Daewoo, that are profiting from Uzbek cotton.
Unfortunately, Nike, which sources synthetics from Daewoo, is refusing to end its relationship with the South Korean company in spite of the fact that several other companies, including H&M, The Limited, C&A, and Michael Kors, have moved to cut ties with Daewoo. Nike’s decision to protect Daewoo sends a dangerous message to other companies and damages the efforts of Uzbek citizens who have risked their lives to bring justice to Uzbekistan’s cotton fields. read more and please sign!