18:14:09 local time PHILIPPINES
* Foreign firms relocate to PH:
Good governance, industrial peace and comparatively low labor costs are becoming magnets for manufacturing companies in other countries to relocate to the Philippines.
This observation was made CBRE Philippines, a property consultancy firm which said such relocation would help spur demand for property in the industrial zones. CBRE said the transfer would also keep prices steady mainly as a function of meaningful competition in a market driven economy.
The report noted a shift in operations last year of Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese manufacturing and industrial companies from China to the Philippines.
More than a decade ago, two large companies in the Philippines – Standard Electric, then the country’s biggest manufacturer of electric fans and Levi, the world-famous garments maker – moved to China to take advantage of low labor costs and industrial peace. Back then, the average daily wage in many parts of China was $2 a day. The growth of China to become a world economic power left it uncompetitive in wages. read more.
17:14:09 local time LAOS
* Garment industry faces labour shortage:
The Lao garment industry currently witnesses a scarcity of labour, as proven by the failing in meeting the production demand.
President of the Lao Garment Industry Association, Mr. Onesy Boutsivongsack told KPL News on Wednesday that the industry currently needed more than 9,900 workers, only for the existing garment factories, excluding the factories expected to be built in the near future.
Mr. Onesy attributed the lack of labour force in garment industry to the decision of many skilled workers (approximately 600,000) to work abroad. There are currently over 110 garment factories nationwide, most of which located in Vientiane Capital.
Clothes produced in the country fail to meet quantitative demand of overseas markets.
On an annual basis, only 50 million garment items are manufactured generating an income of US$200 million. read more.
17:14:09 local time CAMBODIA
* Death amid the rubble:
Two footwear workers were killed and 11 others were injured yesterday at the Wing Star Shoes Co, Ltd, factory when a storage level that authorities said had been illegally constructed collapsed onto worker
Sim Srey Touch, who according to family members was only 15, and 24-year-old Reung Chak died at the factory, a supplier to Japanese company Asics after the overloaded ceiling gave way at about 7am, sending concrete and metal crashing down on them.
Police and military officers from the prime minister’s Bodyguard Unit pulled survivors from the rubble of the factory, in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisei district.
Mam Narai, director of the construction department at the provincial Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, said the level had been built without approval from authorities.
“They did not ask permission from us,” he said, adding that the level had been nothing more than a thin concrete platform that had no chance of sustaining the weight of what was stored on it. The factory itself, Narai added, had been built only a year ago. read more. & see more (video).
* Company admits ‘negligence’ in factory disaster:
Representatives of Wing Star Shoes Co, Ltd said today that negligence led to the collapse of a storage level that killed two of its workers on Thursday morning.
Chan Kosal, the Kampong Speu factory’s shipping director, said the company, a supplier to Japanese footwear company Asics, deeply regretted the deaths of the two workers.
“It was negligence that caused this unexpected incident to happen,” he said in a press conference. “The company will pay the cost of the two victims’ funerals and the medical bills of those injured.”
Minister of Social Affairs Ith Sam Heng has promised a full investigation into the collapse and reforms across the industry.
Kosal said Wing Star, in Kong Pisei district, was cooperating with government officials investigating the collapse, but no one had been arrested over the deaths.
* Two Killed, Nine Injured in Shoe Factory Collapse:
Two people were killed and nine were hospitalized Thursday when a section of a Taiwanese-owned shoe factory employing some 7,000 workers collapsed.
According to eyewitnesses, shortly after workers had begun their day at 7 a.m., an approximately 9-by-15 meter section of a cement ceiling at Wing Star Shoes Co. Ltd.—which produces running shoes for Japanese sports brand Asics—suddenly collapsed, crushing workers under steel and concrete.
Soldiers and a rescue worker search through rubble on Thursday after a portion of an upper floor at a Taiwanese-owned shoe factory in Kompong Speu province collapsed, killing two workers and injuring nine. (Lauren Crothers/The Cambodia Daily)
The incident has raised concerns over safety standards at the some 400 factories nationwide producing footwear and garments, which account for about 80 percent of Cambodia’s total exports.
On Thursday, government officials promised to perform building safety inspections at all factories following the incident, which comes on the heels of a massive factory collapse in Bangladesh where more than 1,100 garment workers were killed.
The bodies of Sim Srey Touch, 22, and Rim Saroeun, 22, were pulled from the rubble soon after the collapse, while district police chief Kim Sophannara said nine injured workers were taken to Calmette Hospital while two others were treated for minor injuries at the district health center. read more.
* Victims of collapsed ceiling to be compensated:
Representatives of the Taiwanese-owned Wing Star Shoe factory said they will compensate the victims in the ceiling collapse of their footwear factory in Kompong Speu.
They made their announcement in a news conference Friday morning at the Phnom Penh Hotel.
The accident happened in their footwear factory in Kampong Speu’s Kong Pisey district on Thursday, killing three workers and injuring 11 others, spurring a government outcry to inspect all garment plants and to heighten the safety and security of workers.
He said the compensation will be handled by the Social Security National Fund because it was a labor disaster.
Factory representatives said yesterday after the accident that the collapse was caused due to an overloaded upper floor. read more.
* After Collapse, Questions Mount Over ILO Monitoring:
Labor rights activists and a government official accused the International Labor Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program of ineffectiveness in its monitoring of factory conditions following a deadly ceiling collapse on Thursday at a shoe factory in Kompong Speu province.
Moeun Tola, labor program head of the Community Legal Education Center, a labor rights group, said that Better Factories Cambodia had failed workers by not disclosing the names of factories that flout the country’s laws on factory health and safety. read more.
* ILO Better Factories Held Responsible in Shoe Factory Collapse:
The Cambodia Daily reports that labour rights activists and a government official have accused the International Labour Organisation’s Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme of culpability in the collapse.
Penh Pal isn’t sure if this was because the BFC inspectors were all standing at the time on the mezzanine section above the factory floor when it collapsed under their weight?
The labour programme head of the Community Legal Education Centre, Moeun Tola, blamed the BFC for ineffectiveness by failing to disclose the names of factories that have flouted the nation’s laws on health and safety in factories. The director of the Ministry of Labour’s occupational safety and health department echoed these sentiments.
However Jill Tucker, technical advisor for the BFC countered that the factory in question was not part of the monitoring programme as it had only recently started to cover shoe factories. So far, it has only managed to bring nine of the 45 footwear factories currently exporting from Cambodia on board. read more.
* CCC calls for action after another deadly collapse:
Clean Clothes Campaign is calling for immediate action from all international brands following today’s collapse of the Wing Star Shoes factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The collapse of the ceiling cost the lives of at least two people, and injured seven. The workers were stitching sneakers for sportsbrand Asics when the ceiling caved in on top of them.
Tola Moeun from the Community Legal Education Center in Cambodia: ‘These worker deaths shed crude light again on the global crisis in health and safety in the global garment industry. It is clearer than ever that workers in Cambodia and globally, and not only in Bangladesh, are in fear of their lives when they go to work, due to poor fire safety and dangerous building construction. The industry needs to change the way they do business before more people die.’
CCC calls on Asics and all brands sourcing form the Wing Star Shoes factory to immediately ensure compensation for the families of the deceased and the injured. To prevent further tragedies and ensure worker safety, it is crucial that brands directly engage with unions and labour groups and ensure sustainable health and safety measures. Brands cannot let tragedies such as Rana Plaza happen again.
18:14:09 local time INDONESIA
* Textile Producer Sritex Next Local Firm to Go Public:
Integrated textile producer Sri Rejeki Isman is the latest local firm attempting to raise funds through the sale of shares, as bullish sentiment on the local bourse entices more Indonesian companies to undertake initial public offerings.
The company known as Sritex plans to sell 5.6 billion new shares, or 30.12 percent of its total equity, through an IPO next month, the company said in a prospectus published in Investor Daily on Thursday.
15:59:09 local time NEPAL
* CPN-Maoist union gives ultimatum:
A day after employers and employees in the Birgunj corridor agreed not to strike and maintain industrial harmony, a trade union affiliated to CPN-Maoist — a breakaway faction of UCPN-Maoist — today threatened to close all industries across the country from May 24, if their demands are not met.
Giving a week-long ultimatum today, All Nepal Revolutionary Federation of Trade Union coordinator Ramdeep Acharya said that industries across the country will be forcefully closed, if the government does not fulfil their 25-point demand. “We will start massive campaigning and pamphleteering from tomorrow for a week,” he said, adding that on May 22 and 23, we will hoist black flags at all the industries across the country.
Since the government did not take our 25-point demand — including a minimum salary of Rs 15,000 and Rs 700 per day wage — handed over to it on March 24, we are compelled to take this step, Acharya added. read more.
16:14:09 local time BANGLADESH
* All Ashulia garments reopen Friday:
Thousands of workers will start working again in hundreds of readymade garments factories in Asulia area under Savar from Friday as per decision of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The apex body took the decision in a meeting with Home Minister MK Alamgir, Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and other high officials on Thursday afternoon.
In the meeting, MK Alamgir assured the owners and leaders of hundred percent security measures.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Garment factories in Ashulia to start work on Friday:
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) decided to reopen ready made garment factories in Ashulia on Friday after a three-day shutdown following a labour unrest.
“We will reopen the factories on Friday on the government’s assurance that it will provide us with security,” Reaz Bin Mahmood, vice-president of BGMEA.
The decision was taken after a team of garment factory owners met with Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at the ministry Thursday, 16 May 2013.
On May 13, garment makers decided to close around 300 factories in Ashulia for an indefinite period due to continued labour unrest over minimum wage.
It is widely speculated that the factory owners displayed a show of strength in closing down the factories, causing widespread worker discontent and huge economic pressure over the administration. This action came at a time when the workers were pressing for better working conditions on with the momentum of the recent worker rights movement renewed after the Savar Rana Plaza Collapse.
* Ashulia factories reopen after three days:
RMG workers joined their works in Ashulia on Friday, three days after the closure of apparel factories in the wake of unrest over Rana Plaza collapse.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Atiqul Islam on Thursday said BGMEA took the decision to reopen the factories at Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital at the request of Labour and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju.
Sources said the workers joined their works in their respective factories peacefully.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* Questions over changes to labour law:
Trade union leaders say new rules won’t help workers much
Most of the amendments to the labour law approved by the cabinet on Monday go against workers, especially in the garment sector, trade union leaders said yesterday.
The amendment, in many cases, does not comply with the standards of the International Labour Organisation, particularly on workers’ right to union, they said.
At least 30 percent representation of workers of a factory will be required to form a trade union, said Mojibur Rahman Bhuiyan, general secretary of Bangladesh Mukto Shramik Federation.
“Some factories have upwards of 40,000 workers — it would be almost impossible to assemble that many workers in one place to take their consent on trade union.” Besides, workers within the factory will only be eligible for the position of union leaders, he said.
“These provisions — all of which prevent formation of union freely — go against ILO Convention 87,” said Bhuiyan, also the vice-chairman of Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies, an apex body of labour unions.
Bhuiyan’s comments came at a press briefing organised by Sramik Karmochari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) at the JSD office in the city. read more.
* Global union lobby hails Bangladesh textile deal:
Labour umbrella groups Industrial Global Union and UNI Global Union on Thursday praised top retailers for joining their drive to make Bangladesh’s garment factories safer, after 1,127 people died in a factory collapse last month.
“This accord is a turning point. We are putting in place rules that mark the end of the race to the bottom in the global supply chain,” Philip Jennings, UNI Global Union’s general secretary, said in a statement.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* US retailers eye new plan vs Bangladesh:
North American retailers on Tuesday discussed forging their own Bangladesh safety agreement, an alternative to a legally binding accord that many European retailers have signed on to, though details of any alternative accord were still unclear.
The discussions on Tuesday were the latest in a series of talks convened by large retail trade organizations and including retailers such as Macy’s Inc, JC Penney Co Inc, and Sears Holdings Corp, to develop a response to fatal fires and a factory collapse in Bangladesh last month that killed more than 1,000 people.
The National Retail Federation (NRF), one of the largest U.S. retail trade associations, spoke on Tuesday afternoon with other trade associations and with its member companies about a possible accord among North American retailers. Details from those calls are not yet available. read more.
* Sears won`t sign Bangladesh safety accord:
Sears, an American multinational mid-range department store chain, said it does not plan to sign a fire and building safety agreement backed by some of Europe`s biggest apparel brands aimed at trying to prevent another disaster like the one in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers.
Instead, the Hoffman Estates-based retailer that operates Sears and Kmart stores said in a statement it is in “preliminary” discussions about an alternative proposal with retail trade associations in North America. “Meanwhile, we will continue ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with other brands and retailers to improve working conditions in Bangladesh,” the statement said. read more.
* Accord divides US, Europe retailers:
H&M and other European retailers have signed a building and fire safety accord meant to improve conditions in Bangladesh garment factories in the wake of last month’s deadly collapse. But major US companies, including the Gap and Wal-Mart, have not signed on.
The Bangladesh factory collapse – the worst industrial accident in almost three decades – has galvanized concern about the safety of local garment workers, but it’s driving a wedge between US and European retailers in terms of a response. Thus far, Europe stores are coming off smelling a little sweeter than American ones.
]However, the North American retailers on Tuesday discussed forging their own Bangladesh safety agreement-an alternative to a legally binding accord that many European retailers have signed on to-though details of any alternative accord were still unclear, Reuters says in a report.
The discussions Tuesday were the latest in a series of talks, some convened by large retail trade organizations and others by major retailers such as Macy’s I(M.N) JC Penney Co Inc(JCP.N), and Sears Holdings Corp(SHLD.O), to develop a response to fatal fires and a factory collapse in Bangladesh last month that killed more than 1,000 people.
The National Retail Federation (NRF), one of the largest U.S. retail trade associations, spoke on Tuesday afternoon with other trade associations and with its member companies about a possible accord among North American retailers. Details from those calls are not yet available.
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* After Bangladesh, seeking new sources:
Bennett Model helped pioneer the exporting of garments from China in 1975, the year before Mao Zedong died, and ever since, his New York fashion company has searched for other countries, from Guatemala to Vietnam to Indonesia, capable of supplying top retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
The relentless search for new locations has taken on more urgency after the deadliest industrial accident in the global garment industry’s history, a multistory factory collapse in Bangladesh that left 1,127 people dead. Buying from Bangladesh, said Mr. Model, “has been politically incorrect ever since problems started there, so a lot of major players had already been looking for alternatives.”
When a senior executive from one of the largest American mass-market retailers called him last week with worries about suppliers in Bangladesh and plans for a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia to seek alternatives, Mr. Model was ready with advice: “I told him to add a stop in Indonesia.”
Many Western executives are taking such trips this spring. A lethal factory fire in Bangladesh last November, 33 regional or national strikes there since January, hundreds of deaths in factional street fighting there since February, and the Rana Plaza collapse in late April have left multinational corporations scrambling for other options.
* H&M head urges Dhaka to revise minimum wage yearly:
The head of Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Karl—Johan Persson, has urged Bangladesh to allow raises to its minimum wage amid worker unrest following the world’s worst single garment industry disaster, which killed more than 1,100 people.
“I want the salaries to be revised yearly, as in most other countries. So we’re definitely willing to pay more but we have to find a good, sustainable way for the workers and for the country as well,” Persson told the Financial Times in an interview.
The chief executive of the world’s second biggest clothing retailer added: “I would happily sit around a table and talk to all the other big buyers from Bangladesh.”
* Abercrombie & Fitch Signs Bangladesh Safety Plan:
Abercrombie & Fitch said that it had signed on to a landmark plan to improve factory safety in Bangladesh, becoming just the second American company to join an accord that more than two dozen European retailers and brands have embraced.
The only other American signatory is PVH Corporation, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.
Under the legally enforceable plan, retailers and apparel companies have committed to having rigorous, independent factory inspections, and to helping underwrite any fire safety and building repairs needed to correct violations.
“We are committed to Bangladesh and support industrywide efforts to improve safety standards,” said Kim Harr, director of sustainability at Abercrombie, which had $4.5 billion in revenue last year. “We believe this is the right thing to do to bring about sustainable, effective change.” read more.
* “Stop the Race to the Bottom for All Time”:
Commerce unions from all continents are here at UNI HQ today to thrash out plans for a new world of retail in the wake of the Bangladesh Factory Safety Deal. With news of an overnight Cambodian shoe factory collapse, union leaders are determined to reach a safe garment supply chain everywhere.
IndustriALL and UNI Global Union in a powerful pact with leading NGOs, Clean Clothes Campaign and Workers Rights Consortium, have signed up leading global retailers to a legally-binding agreement to improve safety in Bangladesh.
During an emergency meeting of Global Commerce unions at UNI headquarters in Nyon today, UNI Global Union General Secretary, Philip Jennings said, “The race to the bottom stops here. The tragic events in Cambodia overnight confirm that we need a new era of responsible retailing and we are here to see it gets done. The Bangladesh Accord has laid down a marker in the sand.”
* Garment owners must face challenges of change:
A coalition of global brands has taken an initiative to bring reforms to the country’s garment industry at a time when it is facing threats of being abandoned by many following the Rana Plaza collapse.
The country is facing a new challenge this time to save the garment sector in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse which has left over 1200 garment workers dead and twice as many injured.
Meanwhile, the ramifications of the collapse of the building where five garment factories were at work appear too big in the domestic front and in the global market. Bangladesh is facing the worst image crisis now identifying itself as a nation using workers in garment factories as slaves.
In this background, however global clothiers such as H&M, Primark, Inditex and C&A have put their names on Monday on a five-year pledge under which they will continue buying the apparels however, under strong safety inspections.
They will not abandon the Bangladesh garment industry but rather demand more transparency and compliance of better
work place standard to improve the lot of the workers. They have also agreed to pay for regular repairs and maintenance at Bangladeshi factories, the absence of which is blamed for repeated disaster at garment factories.
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* The Orphans of Savar:
Around 1200 deaths and 1000 missing are reported over a disaster known as “The Savar Tragedy”, which happened early in the morning of 24 April 2013. A 9 storied building constructed illegally on a land grabbed by a local muscleman collapsed within seconds, with around 4 thousand workers trapped inside it, and tens of thousands of their dependents trapped outside of it.
Apart from the amputated, terminally injured and the traumatized, we have a long term wound which is the greatest challenge for Bangladesh in its coming years. The Orphaned children of the Rana Plaza workers who now have lost their hope of proper meals along with loosing their earning parent.
These were the children for whose very survival their mothers and father agreed to go into the jaws of death in a cracked and crumbling building. The owners do not even spare the visibly pregnant, their greed is inspired by those who do not pay regards to the rights of the most important members of the supply chain – those who make the cloth.
Its time the Brands realized that more actions are needed, and an expression of good faith can be signing the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. Garment is sourced cheapest from Bangladesh right now, and it is vital for the country’s economy. However these workers are no less human than the people who will wear their cloths. They do not ask for too much but a safe workplace so that they can return home to their children to buy them some food. read more.
* “How will we survive?” Testimonies of injured workers of Bangladesh Rana Plaza Collapse:
Jasmine Sultana, sewing machine operator, New Wave Style
I am 20 years old. I worked for over a year at New Wave Style on the 6th floor as a sewing machine operator. I am single and live with my co-worker in this tiny room. I come from the Jessore District in the south-western part of Bangladesh.
On the 24th of April I was working on the sewing machine. An hour after starting time, the factory building came crashing in. Like other colleagues, I was trying to get out using the stairs. But I fell down. An iron bar hit my back hard. I could not move. I fell in the dark.
I was in the pitch dark for nine hours without water and food. Some of my co-workers were screaming out for help and water. Volunteers pulled me out of the wreckage at 6.00 p.m. and I was sent to the Enam Medical College Hospital in Savar for treatment.
The iron bar that hit my back broke the tissue and muscle. I was released from the hospital on April 30, but I still can’t walk straight as I feel pain in my back. I need further medical care. My parents live in the countryside. I have one sister who also works in a garment factory. I wonder if I will be able to lead a normal life.
* Victims demand speedy disposal of cases:
Survivors, families of the people killed in the Rana Plaza collapse and labour leaders on Thursday demanded that the government should ensure speedy disposal of the cases filed in connection with the world’s deadliest building collapse that left 1,127 people dead, nearly 2,000 injured, and many more missing.
They expressed the fear that trial of the cases would be delayed and justice
denied as the general elections were approaching.
‘I even want the man who had asked the workers to stay in the factory to be tried,’ Sharif Uddin, father of Shantona Akhter of Dinajpur who had died in the incident, told New Age.
The nine-storey Rana Plaza owned by local Juba League leader Sohel Rana that housed five garment factories, a shopping mall, and a bank branch collapsed on the morning of April 24. Three cases filed with a court and the Savar police are now under investigation while 11 other cases were lodged with the labour court, officials said. read more.
* Families of 100 Savar victims get cheques from PM in first phase:
The Prime Minister today in the first phase has disbursed cheques of financial assistance to the families of 100 garment workers died in building collapse incident in Savar on April 24.
The Prime Minister distributed the cheques among 116 family members of 100 victims at a function at her office here today.
In her brief speech on the occasion, the Prime Minister said her government would continue efforts to support the families of the Savar victims.
“I have no word to console the bereaved families. But we will make our continuous efforts to help them so that they don’t live in economic hardship after loosing their earning family members,” the prime minister said.
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* Banks’ donation for Rana Plaza victims:
The country’s private banks have recently donated Tk 80 crore for the victims of Rana Plaza that collapsed on April 24 killing 1,127 garment workers.
They handed the funds to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund through Bangladesh Association of Banks, a platform of bank owners.
Md Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of the association, presented the amount through a cheque to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a ceremony at her office on Tuesday, the association said in a statement.
All members of the association, including three new banks, contributed to the fund.
read more and see the overview.
MORE AND OTHER NEWS:
* Govt committed to improving RMG factory condition: Dipu:
The government of Bangladesh is fully committed to improving factory condition and has engaged all stakeholders of the garment sector in ensuring a safer working environment for all workers, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni in Washington, reports UNB.
The Foreign Minister said this during a meeting with Congressman Joseph Crowley, the co-chair of Bangladesh Caucus in the US Congress, in Washington on Wednesday, according to a message received here on Thursday.
Dipu Moni said the Cabinet has approved the amendments to the 2006 labour law which is expected to be passed in the upcoming session of Parliament.
She said an ethical pricing and responsible role of the buyers are extremely critical for advancing factory safety and labour welfare.
read more. & read more.
* BB asks banks to bring RMG workers under mobile banking :
The central bank has asked the commercial banks for taking necessary measures to make mobile phone numbers of garment workers as their bank accounts for strengthening the ongoing financial inclusion programme in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) gave the instruction at a meeting of bankers, held in the central bank Thursday with its Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair.
“We’ve asked the banks, which have already started mobile banking services, to provide such services to the readymade garment (RMG) workers,” Deputy Governor of the BB S K Sur Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.
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* Jeanologia to open training center in Bangladesh:
The Spanish company Jeanologia world leader in the development of sustainable technologies for garment finishing will open a training center in Bangladesh specialized in laser and ozone technology to improve the conditions of workers thus showing its social commitment to the more than 3 million people who are dedicated to the manufacture of Jean in this country.
In its commitment to an ethical and responsible industry, this initiative will introduce friendly technologies in the country with the health of workers and the environment in the country.
The headquarters, which will open next September in Dhaka, will be a demo and training center of laser and ozone technologies, where workers will learn through these technologies, how to process jeans, ensuring health conditions and workers safety, maintaining quality and the most competitive price, respecting those involved in the process and the environment. read more.
15:14:09 local time PAKISTAN
* APTMA floats five key recommendations for revival of industry:
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has made five key recommendations to the government for revival of textile industry-the major export earner of the country.
Talking to Business Recorder, APTMA chairman Ahsan Bashir said that currently textile industry has come to a standstill due to energy crisis, which not only resulted in missing the export target but also deprived millions of their livelihood.
He further said that textile industry is hopeful that the economic managers of the new government would help in making the industry fully operational. He proposed that government should resolve energy crisis at the earliest, so that industry could function properly. The government should cut down the interest rate from current 9.5 percent to 7 percent as is applicable in other regional countries. The government should create a level-playing field for all industries to boost exports and industry should be given duty free market access to enable it to compete with other regional countries. read more.