05:13:20 local time CHINA
* China’s textile industry going global:
To implement the “Going Out” strategy mentioned in China’s Twelfth Five Year Plan, the China National Textile and Apparel Council organized a conference, on Friday, in Beijing.
The officials from the relevant government departments, financial institutions and professional associations in the textile and apparel industry explained the policies related to the “Going Out” strategy. The representatives from enterprises in the industry also shared their experience about how they achieve their longstanding goal to go global.
Through the past three decades, China has become the largest producer and exporter in the textile and apparel industry, said Jiang Hui, chairman of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel.
However, problems such as excess capacity, rising costs, inappropriate industrial structure, environmental restrictions, limited resources, weak demand in the domestic market and the appreciation of the yuan, are all becoming bottlenecks that impede the development of the industry, Jiang added.
* Chinese textile sector discusses ‘Going Out’ strategy:
* 18 provinces raised minimum wage in 2013:
The Chinese provinces of Jiangsu, Sichuan and Liaoning have announced that they will raise the average minimum wage on Monday.
The fist-tier regions in Jiangsu increased their monthly minimum wage from 1,320 yuan to 1,480 yuan, according to local governments. The Sichuan government divided its standard into four levels, and the highest level has increased to 1,200 yuan. Liaoning raised the standard from 1,100 yuan to 1,300 yuan.
Since January, 18 Chinese provinces and municipalities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Henan, Shanxi, Gansu, Guizhou and Xinjiang have increased their minimum wage. In addition, Anhui and Fujian will also increase their minimum wage this year.
Shanghai has the highest monthly minimum wage, which reached 1,620 yuan (US$264). While Beijing and Xinjiang have the highest hourly pay, which is 15.2 yuan (US$2.48) per hour.
* The End of Cheap Labour:
China’s working-age population is poised to decline, with big implications for China and the rest of the world
Fast-rising wages, worker activism, and intermittent labor shortages suggest that China, whose economic rise has depended on a vast supply of low-cost labor, is about to enter a period of widespread labor shortages.
As China crosses the line from being an economy with plentiful low-cost labor to one with higher-cost workers, the implications for both China and the global economy could be far reaching.
For China, the transformation will likely mean that its extensive growth model—which relies heavily on increasing the number of workers involved in production (called factor input accumulation)—cannot be sustained.
As a result, the world’s second largest economy will likely change to an intensive growth model that uses resources more efficiently and would rebalance growth away from investment and toward private consumption.
Successful rebalancing in China would, in turn, have significant positive global effects—including increasing output in commodity exporters and in the regional economies that now are part of China’s supply chain. Even advanced economies would benefit (IMF, 2011).
05:13:20 local time PHILIPPINES
* SSS lying to justify premium hike – KMU:
“The SSS is lying to its members and the public in trying to justify a premium hike.”
This was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s statement today as it condemned the Social Security System’s management for claiming that a hike in members’ premium contributions is needed to sustain the fund’s life beyond the year 2039.
While claiming that the fund’s expenses is outpacing its revenue collection and that a premium hike is needed so it can provide pension benefits beyond 2039, SSS president Emilio de Quiros Jr. said that “The SSS is not losing funds; we are actually registering very strong net revenues.”
04:13:20 local time VIET NAM
* Low income earners to benefit from new laws:
Nine laws will come into force on July 1 after being passed by the National Assembly, aiming to streamline Vietnam’s policies and offer support to those who need it most in the wake of ongoing economic difficulties.
Under new tax breaks, pensioners and social welfare beneficiaries are exempt from paying income tax (PIT).
There is also relief for low-income earners, with the threshold for paying income tax rising to 9 million VND (428.5 USD) from the previous 4 million VND (190 USD), while the limit for their dependent jumps to 3.6 million VND (171 USD) from 1.6 million VND (76 USD).
The amendment of the law is also a response to the nation’s programme of administrative reforms to enable taxpayers to exercise their duty.
In the event that the consumer price index (CPI) exceeds 20 percent, the government will ask the National Assembly Standing Committee to adjust the sum given to the dependent to make it relevant to the economic situation.
The other laws include:
* Project on workers rights kick-started:
The Institute for European Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in conjunction with the Naples University L’Orientale kick-started the project “Strengthening workers’ right and representation in Vietnam” on July 1 in Hanoi.
The scheme is a continuation of the project “Strengthening the role of workers and trade unions” which was implemented from 2009-2011 by the Institute for European Studies and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) with assistance from the European Union.
04:13:20 local time CAMBODIA
* Nike calls for inquiry into factory dispute in Cambodia:
Nike has called for an inquiry by the Cambodian government into a protest last month at a factory it sources form which resulted in a clash between the police and thousands of garment workers.
The protest took place at the Sabrina Garment factory in Kampong Spue province and among the people injured during the clash was a pregnant woman.
“We are deeply concerned with the treatment of factory workers,” a Nike spokesperson said in an interview with just-style on Monday.
“We also reached out to the Cambodian government with a request to address the need for worker safety while allowing them to exercise their freedom of association rights to protest,” the spokesperson added.
Around 300 workers were fired after the incident.
05:13:20 local time MALAYSIA
* No more deferment of minimum salary: minister:
The human resources ministry will not allow any company to defer the application of minimum salary which ended yesterday.
Minister Datuk Richard Riot said as of yesterday, a total of 743 deferred applications were being processed, and expected to be completed in the near future.
“After Jan 1, next year, the ministry will not allow exemption to any company requiring to pay minimum salary of RM800 per month in Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan; and RM900 (per month) in Peninsular Malaysia, in accordance with the Minimum Salary Order 2012 for private sector,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
05:13:20 local time INDONESIA
* Rp4 Million is the Ideal Minimum Wage, Ahok Says:
Deputy Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama says the ideal minimum wage in Jakarta should be Rp4 million (US$402).
“With that amount, families will be able to have decent living conditions,” he said at Jakarta City Hall yesterday.
Ahok said this amount would accommodate families with only one breadwinner and does not include insurance and education fees.
Ahok also made the statement in response to previous media outlets quoting that he wished to pay thugs a salary of Rp4 million per person. He said their quote was out of context because he was actually talking about the minimum wage of parking attendants who are mostly thugs. Ahok believes they do not earn enough for their service.
03:13:20 local time BANGLADESH
* Full freedom for trade unionism:
Govt moves to amend labour law to win back GSP from US
In a desperate bid to regain a duty waiver from the US, the government has decided to give workers full freedom to run trade unions in factories.
Parliament, amid pressure from the US and the European Union, two main export destinations for Bangladesh, is likely to pass the amended labour law on July 14.
It will be the government’s first visible step to regain a trade privilege scheme known as the generalised system of preferences (GSP) that the Obama administration scrapped on June 27, citing “serious shortcomings” in safety and labour standards.
The cabinet approved the proposed labour law on May 13.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, minister for expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment, said, “The main purpose of the amending the law is to establish a warm relationship between workers and owners through trade unions.”
But the workers must maintain discipline in factories, said Mosharraf, also chairman of a parliamentary sub-committee on labour law reforms.
* BGMEA president shocked as 200 workers fell sick again:
More than 200 workers of The Rose Dresses Ltd at Jamgora area in Ashulia industrial belt fell sick after allegedly drinking water supplied by the factory Tuesday morning, witnesses said.
Some 6,000 seamstresses work in the factory. Senior officials said they also drank the same water but had found no trouble.
‘I also drank the same supplied water. But I am ok,’ said Md Julhas, a sewing supervisor of the factory.
This is the third consecutive incident in the same factory in the last 5 days. The factory authority, on the other hand, quoting ICDDR,B test result, insisted that the water was safe.
Atiqul Islam, owner of the factory and president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told New Age that the sample of supplied water was sent to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), where they found no microorganism that should make people sick.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* Psychogenic illness hits garment workers:
Bangladesh’s garment workers have fallen ill en masse in recent weeks due to a type of ‘mass psychogenic illness, not due to water or food contamination’, government’s disease monitoring arm says.
The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) termed it a ‘temporary’ mental problem that responds to simple treatment.
“Counselling (in factories) and friendly atmosphere around them can prevent new outbreaks,” said the Director of the institute, which has been studying such illness since its first outbreak in a school in 2006.
“This year, we found it in garment factories for the first time,” Prof Mahmudur Rahman told bdnews24.com. He said the workers might be ‘mentally down’ after the devastating Rana Plaza collapse that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers.
He said this illness could be triggered by mental distress.
read more. & read more.
* RMG sector getting boost as small houses bag new buyers:
The country’s small and medium-sized buying houses are bringing new buyers, both from conventional and non-conventional markets, creating a new hope of business for the trouble-torn garment industry, insiders said.
Many small-sized ready-made garment (RMG) factories, which were largely dependent on sub-contracting, are now busy in supplying orders of those new buyers, they added.
Industry leaders said the trend has boost up the sector’s export earning significantly in the recent years and helped create many new entrepreneurs.
These buying houses are mostly fetching small and medium-sized buyers from the unconventional markets, like – Scandinavia, South America, Australia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Russia etc.
* Kmart pledges to stand by BD apparel makers:
Discount retailer Kmart has vowed to stick to its Bangladeshi clothing supplier, saying it is offering people a chance to get out of poverty, a Herald Sun report said on Tuesday.
But Kmart managing director Guy Russo said the chain store had severed ties with 20 factories earlier this year after an internal review detected that they were in “high-risk environments”.
Quoting Mr Russo, the report said Kmart would continue working with 30 garment makers which employed thousands of people.
read more. & read more.
* Raw jute export falls by 30pc in three years:
Cold ties with Pakistan blamed
The country’s raw jute export witnessed lowest export in FY2013 compared to the last three years as the shipment (in value) was reduced by 30 per cent.
Cold bilateral relations with one of the key export destinations Pakistan was the main reason behind the fall as export to the country was reduced by 0.2 million bales (per bale= 180 kg) during the period.
* Jute cultivation falls in Magura:
Farmers said they were losing interest in jute cultivation for its low price, increased production cost, scarcity of quality seeds and lack of water in water bodies
* Canada to work with B’desh to improve RMG compliances: Baird:
Canada will work together with Bangladesh to improve compliance in the RMG sector, including through corporate social responsibility, said Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.
“Canada doesn’t believe workers in the sector should be punished through any kind of trade restrictions,” John Baird at a meeting with Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni in Bandar Seri Begawan on Tuesday.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
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* TICFA signing to go ahead despite GSP suspension:
The suspension of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is unlikely to impede the move to sign Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) between Bangladesh and the United States, a senior government official said.
“I do not think that the GSP suspension will harm our move to sign the TICFA. We are not thinking in that way,” Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed told the FE.
* EU engagement is welcome:
It is welcome news that the EU has recommended Bangladesh’s trade status be maintained when it comes up for renewal at the end of 2013.
Bangladesh’s RMG industry benefits from the EU’s Everything but Arms (EBA) scheme for developing countries under the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) rules. Were a domino effect from the recent US decision to suspend GSP benefits to spread to EU trade rules, this would have severe consequences, as Bangladesh’s RMG exports to the EU hit $11bn last year.
The US decision is regrettable because it paradoxically penalises Bangladesh’s non-garment exporters to the US, in the name of improving labour standards within Bangladesh’s garment sector. The EU approach and decision has more logic as it actively seeks to move forward dialogue and engagement between buyers, producers and workers, to help improve conditions for RMG workers.
* Begum Khaleda Zia alone responsible for suspension of GSP:Dr Hasan:
Environment and Forest Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud today said the Opposition Leader and BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia alone responsible for suspension of the GSP.
“Begum Khaleda Zia wrote letters to the USA and some other countries to cancel the GSP. She also wrote for canceling visas and stop giving assistance to Bangladesh and thus way she has engaged herself in conspiracy against the state,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a discussion here.
* Khaleda joins hands with int’l clique to ruin garment industry: Inu:
Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu said there are local and foreign conspiracies behind the suspension of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) on Bangladesh products to the Unites States market.
“Those who are hatching conspiracies with the country’s garment industry cannot be treated as friends of the country, its people and industrialisation,” he said.
The Minister said opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia has been pursuing a politics of conspiracy and she has been trying to topple the government from power over the past four years or so.
As part of the conspiracy, Inu said Khaleda Zia has joined hands with the international clique to ruin the country’s garment industry, which is very unfortunate for Bangladesh.
The Minister called upon the opposition leader to seek apology to the people confessing her faults by refraining from unnecessary plea.
* Ask Washington Times to clarify Khaleda article:
Treasury bench member Saber Hossain Chowdhury on Tuesday asked speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury to seek a clarification from the Washington Times how they had printed on January 30 a signed article of the opposition leader which she disowned in the house on June 29.
Saber also asked the speaker to take steps to realise compensation from the newspaper besides serving a legal notice on behalf of the house as the article tarnished the image of the institution of the leader of the opposition.
‘The opposition leader denied in the house having written the article and we have accepted her statement since the opposition leader is not just an individual, rather an institution,’ said Saber.
* No doubt about article by Khaleda:
The Washington Times yesterday confirmed publishing an article by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on January 30, which called upon western leaders to save the country’s democracy by putting pressure on the government.
The confirmation came hard on the heels of Khaleda’s denial in parliament on June 29 of sending any write-up to the US newspaper.
Contacted by The Daily Star yesterday, The Washington Times Executive Editor David S Jackson in an email said his newspaper did carry an article by Khaleda titled “ZIA: The thankless role in saving democracy in Bangladesh.”
* US decision defies logic:
The Obama Administration has finally found a nation it’s willing to punish — mighty Bangladesh.
The US suspended tariff-free access to the US market for a small portion of Bangladesh’s exports last week.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the goal is “to see Bangladeshi workers in safe, appropriate work situations.”
But the real effect will be to hurt those workers and hand the AFL-CIO a protectionist victory.
Big Labour has petitioned since 2007 to strip Bangladesh of its privileges under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which allows lower tariffs for goods from developing countries. The collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory building in April killed more than 1,100 people, while giving the Administration a political excuse to do the bidding of the AFL-CIO and its allies in Congress.
The decision defies economic or moral logic. First, the US GSP programme doesn’t include textiles, the industry that has attracted the labour movement’s ire. Garments account for more than 90 percent of Bangladesh’s exports to the US, and these goods will continue to pay an average tariff of 15 percent. Tariffs on clothes didn’t encourage better safety standards in the textile industry, and higher tariffs on other products will squeeze those factories’ profit margins and possibly force them to cut corners on safety.
Textile tariffs merely slow the ability of Bangladesh and similar countries to get on the first rung of the development ladder. Sewing work is well suited to migrants from the countryside with few skills, and because it requires dexterity rather than strength, it gives opportunities to women.
* Textile stocks shake off gloom after GSP cuts:
The suspension of the generalised system of preferences has hardly affected textile stocks as the sector yesterday was the highest gainer with a 6.86 percent rise.
Textiles generated the highest gain as investors are not worried about GSP suspension, said Md Moniruzzaman, managing director of IDLC Investments.
Investors were at first spooked by the suspension of the duty-waiver by the United States, but they later realised that it was an opportunity for Bangladesh to develop its working environment and worker rights, he said.
The European Union’s assurance of not revoking its GSP privileges also boosted investors’ confidence,
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* US offers help in DNA testing for Rana Plaza victims:
About 550 people await the DNA test results
File photo of the collapsed Rana Plaza
The US Federal Bureau of Intelligence will provide Bangladesh with the Combined DNA Index System (Codis) free of cost to identify bodies of Savar’s Rana Plaza fatalities.
The software programme will help establish the identities of 321 bodies of unidentified garment workers who died in the building collapse.
A source at the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs said the FBI would also provide technical and vocational support to experts at the DNA Laboratory in the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) where the software will be placed.
02:43:20 local time INDIA
* Hike in diesel price upsets knitwear manufacturers:
Frequent increases in diesel prices have started upsetting the knitwear manufacturers as the transportation costs subsequently are getting escalated proportionately.
Apart from that, the knitwear producers in Tirupur cluster are dependent on diesel-run generators during the time of load shedding and power cuts.
Tirupur Exporters and Manufacturers Association (TEAMA) president M.P. Muthurathinam told The Hindu that the transportation cost remains one of the vital financial parameters in deciding the price of the end products.
* Global cotton prices will moderate during 2013-20: Report:
The global Production of cotton will substantially support the global Mill Use consumption from 2012 through 2020. The share of Production in the Mill Use will hover around 97.82 percent and 98.12 percent during the projection period. The demand to supply share will increase from 75.16 percent in 2012 to 86.75 percent in 2020. The share of Mill Use in the Total Supply will decrease from 68.38 percent in 2012 to 64.91 percent in 2020 and the share of Exports in the Total Supply will decrease from 16.86 percent in 2012 to 16.47 percent in 2020.The estimated global production of cotton in 2020 will reach to a level of 133.93 million bales from the current level of 116.90 million bales. The total global supply will increase by around 45 million bales in 2020 from the current level of 223.79 million bales. The estimated global demand for cotton in mill sector in 2020 will reach to a level of 131.01 million bales from the current level of 106.48 million bales. The total global exports will reach to the level of 44.71 million bales from the current level of 37.73 million bales.
read more. & read more.
* Scientists in Talod develop new BT hybrid variety of cotton:
Scientists at government agriculture research station at Talod in Sabarkantha have developed a new BT hybrid variety of cotton. The seeds of this new variety have been sent to genetic engineering approval committee (GEAC) of Union ministry of environment for approval.
Sources said the new variety of long staple having a length up to 29mm has been developed after a two-year-long research. Multi location trials have also been carried out in places like Talod, Surat and Junagadh and the variety has been found to grow successfully in all the three regions of the state.
* India on track for higher cotton output, exports:
India, the world’s second-largest cotton grower, could increase output in 2013/14 as hefty monsoon this year encourages farmers to plant more acres and extra moisture swells yields, industry experts said.
A higher output could boost India’s exports of cotton and yarn to major markets, which include the world’s biggest importer, China, as well as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“Sowing operations have picked up on ample rains. Area under cotton will increase or remain the same as last year. Production would rise because of higher yields,” said DK Nair, secretary general of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry.
India produced 34 million bales of cotton in 2012/13 and experts had been forecasting the area sown with the crop would fall by five percent this year as higher prices for alternative crops such as guar, used in shale gas production, and soybean, swung farmers to plant them instead.
02:43:20 local time SRI LANKA
* JAAF eager to clothe China after President’s overtures:
The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has expressed delight on the announcement that consequent to the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to China, a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed to improve and strengthen bi-lateral economic relations between the two countries, particular on trade investment and tourism.
In a media statement issued by the office of the Secretary-General of JAAF Tuli Cooray, it was stated that the JAAF has been advocating in the past two years on the need to negotiate market access instruments with new and emerging markets particularly with China.
The statement referred to China as the priority market due to its enormous potential the country offers, Cooray points out.
Besides China being a top exporter of apparels to the global markets, it also has its own domestic demands and in the year 2012 alone China had imported apparels to the tune of US$4Billion, he said.
Last year Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to China were in the region of US$15Million. A new market need was emerging for top quality Chinese local brands with high level of GDP growth and rising per capita income have widened the middle class in China, he added.
02:13:20 local time PAKISTAN
* GSP-Plus & textile industry:
The eighth largest exporter of textile products in Asia and the fourth largest cotton producer in the world, Pakistan is a country whose fibre potential remains untapped even today.
While the sector is inarguably indispensable to the economy – employing some 30 percent of the countrys 49 million workforce – the sectors overall performances over the last five years continue to leave a bad taste in ones mouth.
Despite the fact that Pakistan has the third largest spinning capacity in Asia, its total exports of ready-made garments – which sit at the top of the value-added chain – still hover around the billion dollar mark, making up less than 10 percent of the countrys total textile exports.