18:47:42 local time THAILAND
* Somyos to seek bail for 15th time; Red Siam man may face new charge:
Lese majeste detainee Somyos Prueksakasemsuk will re-apply for bail tomorrow – for the 15th time, his wife Sukanya Prueksakasemsuk has said.
Sukanya said the latest bail request will be, for the first time, accompanied by signatures of members of the public who support the request along with an increased bond to guarantee that her husband will not run away.
Somyos is in the appeal process after receiving an 11-year jail term early this year, although he has been imprisoned since his arrest in April 2011.
Sukanya told The Nation the amount of assets to be put up as a bail guarantee will be increased to Bt3.7 million from the previous sum of Bt2.2 million despite her calculation that a Bt1.1-million bond should normally suffice.
This meant, she said, that if Somyos ran away after being granted bail, property that he and she own worth Bt3.7 million would face confiscation.
18:47:42 local time CAMBODIA
* No back pay, no vote: ex-Pine Great workers:
More than 750 garment workers still waiting for wages owed to them by their Chinese boss, who skipped town in April, might be unable to vote if they’re not paid by Friday, worker representatives said.
The employees of the Pine Great (Cambodia) factory in the capital’s Meanchey district will be unable to afford travel costs to make it to the polls Sunday if they do not receive the money that the factory owes them, worker representative Keo Sokhom said.
A week ago, Social Affairs Ministry officials promised workers they would receive the owed money before the elections. The wages remain unpaid, said Sokhom.
“We need our money on Friday this week because we need to travel to the province for voting on Sunday,” he said. “It is too late if we get [paid] on Saturday.”
* BetterFactories Media Updates 13-22 July 2013, Conditions declining: report :
To read in printed edition The Phnom Penh Post:
2013-07-15 Pro-CPP unions rally en masse
2013-07-16 Workers to get back pay before election
2013-07-19 Conditions declining, report
2013-07-22 Bandith appeals while on the lam
2013-07-22 Nike faces sales hurdles in China
To read in printed edition The Cambodia Daily:
2013-07-15 Real wages in garment sector fell 22% over 10 year period
2013-07-15 Trade union line up behind parties before national election
2013-07-19 ILO says Cambodia’s factories are chronically non complaint
2013-07-22 Bangladesh gets road map to restore benefits
BetterFactories Media Updates Overview here.
19:47:42 local time INDONESIA
* Garment Factory Managers Find Significant Benefits from Improved Social Dialogue in the Workplace:
In order to improve compliance with labour standards and promote competitiveness in global supply chains, the ILO Better Work Indonesia Programme has been supporting many garment enterprises in Indonesia in implementing the ILO core international labour standards and national labour law.
Since 2011, Better Work Indonesia (BWI) programme has been working with more than 70 garment factories which located in the greater area of Jakarta, West Java and Central Java. The ILO BWI Programme released the Better Work Indonesia Impact Assessment Manager Report which assesses the impact of the BWI programme in garment factories in Indonesia , on Thursday, 18 July.
The report focuses on the results from 78 factories reviewed in baseline
and fol low up surveys.
This Report was officially released by Simon Field, Chief Technical
Advisor of Better Work Indonesia.
* BetterWork Indonesia Media Updates:
1. Garment Factory Managers Find Significant Benefits from Improved Social Dialogue in the Workplace. Read the full article here.
2. Employers Association proposes 20 pct increase of minimum wage in 2014.
Read the full article here.
3. Muhaimin Issue Circular Letter on THR Payment and Organized Homecoming for Eid Holiday. Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
Download the Circular Letter here (Circular is in Bahasa Indonesia)
4. BPJS Health Premium Agreed at 5 Percent from Salary.Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
5. Employer have to set aside Severance Fund.Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
6. Adidas Protokol: Companies have to open Trade Union office within the factory.
Read the full article here (Article is in Bahasa Indonesia)
7. China losing shoe orders to Southeast Asia. Read the full article here.
17:47:42 local time BANGLADESH
* Leaders may propose 230pc wage hike for RMG workers:
Leaders of the country’s garment workers are likely to propose up to 230 per cent wage hike in different categories of jobs to the newly formed wage board considering the present cost of living, industry insiders said.
The government on June 07, 2013 formed a new wage board comprising six members for enhancement of wages for the ready-made garment (RMG) workers of the country.
In response to a request of the wage board after its first meeting, 34 association leaders jointly prepared the proposal and submitted it to Mr Sirajul Islam Rony who is representing them in the wage board. It is expected that the proposal will be submitted to the board chairman on 18th of next month.
According to the proposal, an apprentice worker (helper) under grade-7 would get at least Tk 8,000. The break-up is-basic pay Tk 5,250, 40 per cent house rent and Tk 650 (fixed) medical allowance.
* Workers boycott factories on non-payment of wages, arrears in Ashulia:
Workers of three different readymade garment factories in Ashulia industrial belt stopped performing Monday as the managements did not pay arrears.
The factories are: R.B Style and Fashion and Anmoy garment at Palashbari and N.V Knit Composite in Gazirchat.
Workers said at least 10 of their colleagues were injured following a clash between two groups—one that denied production and the other that forced workers to join.
Industrial police said the management of Anmoy garment earlier declared to pay Monday morning the arrears for the month June.
However, the management later did not pay.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Fire breaks out at Feni jute mill:
A fire broke out at a jute mill at BSCIC Industrial area in the district town early Tuesday.
Fire Brigade officials said the fire originated at one of the two units of ‘Quality Jute Mills’ from an electric short circuit around 4am and it soon raged through the other unit and the godown.
On information, seven firefighting units from Sadar upazila and other upazila headquarters of the district and nearby Noakhali rushed in to douse the fire.
However, the fire could not be brought under control as of filing this report 9am.
to read. & read more. & read more.
* Apparel makers assure workers of paying wages, bonus by Aug 6:
Apparel manufacturers assured workers’ representatives that all kinds of payments, including wages and festival bonuses, of workers will be cleared within August 6 as instructed by the government.
They made the assurance at the Crisis Management Core Committee meeting at labour ministry where labour leaders called upon the garment owners to clear the payments by August 3 to remove payment-related tension of the workers.
* RMG task force members remain absent at meetings:
Nine out of 23 attend a meet
A good number of the members of different task forces on the apparel industry are reportedly showing reluctance to attend important meetings, though the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) sector has continued to draw global attention due to ‘non-compliance’.
They even remain absent at the meetings without having permission from the head of the concerned committee. This is causing slow progress about the activities of the task forces, the sources said.
At a meeting of the Task Force on Labour Welfare and Occupational Safety in RMG sector late last month, out of 23 members, only nine were present.
Chairman of the committee Faizur Rahman, a joint secretary of the ministry of labour and employment, expressed resentment over the absence of a sizeable number of members at the meeting.
Even the representatives from the ministry of industries, local government division, ministry of home affairs, ministry of textile and jute, ministry of environment and forest, ministry of labour and employment, and export promotion bureau were absent from the fifth meeting of the task force.
* Trade union in EPZs from next January:
Dhaka commits to EU to protect GSP facility
Dhaka has committed to the European Union to withdraw restriction on trade union activities in the country’s export processing zones from next January to protect its trade preference for export items in the EU countries.
The commerce ministry officials said the restriction should be removed in a way that the factory workers in EPZs, if necessary, may call strikes to protect their rights.
Dhaka has also committed to scrap the ‘blacklisting’ system through which factory owners in consultation with the EPZ officials identified workers allegedly damaged working environment.
However, Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority member Syed Nurul Islam told New Age on Monday that they were not aware of the move. He said the government was yet to inform them its commitments to the EU.
He said the EPZ workers enjoyed labour rights as per government rules adopted in 2010.
Labour secretary Mikhail Shiper said the act will remain valid until the end of this year. The government has to adopt new rules, he said.
* New Bangladesh labour law well short of global standards:
New amendments to Bangladesh’s Labour Act fall well short of international standards and could put workers’ lives at risk, international unions have warned.
The amendments, which were passed last week, fail to protect workers’ rights to freedom of association which could make it increasingly difficult to negotiate for higher wages and safer, fairer working conditions.
Labour leaders say the absence of unions in the vast majority of Bangladeshi workplaces has kept wages at poverty levels for decades and has fostered dangerous, even deadly working conditions.
* Labour Act lacks global standards:
Labour leaders say the absence of unions in the vast majority of Bangladeshi workplaces has kept wages at poverty levels for decades and has fostered dangerous, even deadly working conditions
* ILO for further steps to fulfil obligations:
The amendments to the Bangladesh labour law have fallen short of several important steps called for by the International Labour Organization (ILO) supervisory system for bringing the law into conformity with ratified international labour standards, the ILO said Monday.
In a statement, the ILO also called on the government of Bangladesh to take the further steps necessary to fulfil its obligations under ratified conventions, as well as its commitments to labour law reforms made at the organisation’s International Labour Conference in June and commitments made in the Sustainability Compact agreed with the EU on July 8.
“An initial review suggests that the amendments did address some of the ILO’s specific concerns, while falling short of several important steps called for by the ILO supervisory system to bring the law into conformity with ratified international labour standards,” said the ILO.
read more. & read more.
* ILO on new BD labour law- It falls short of int’l standard:
The United Nations labour agency said that amendments to the Bangladesh Labour Act “will hopefully prove to be a first step” in addressing workers’ rights and boosting occupational safety and health, but urged the Government to advance the reforms to more comprehensively protect workers.
“The ILO calls on the Government of Bangladesh to take the further steps necessary to fulfil its obligations under ratified conventions, as well as its commitments on labour law reform made at the Organization’s International Labour Conference in June and commitments made in the Sustainability Compact agreed with the EU on July 8,” the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a statement on Monday.
“Important additional labour reforms will be required to fulfil the Government’s commitments and obligation and these should be undertaken as a matter of urgency,” the Geneva-based agency said, reiterating its willingness to develop and adopt further legislative proposals to address the conclusions and recommendations of the ILO supervisory bodies.
“The ILO also offers to work with urgency on the regulations required to implement the amendments and to build the capacity of the labour inspectorate to assume its new responsibilities,” the UN agency said.
* Bd-EU Sustainability Compact and the new Labour Law:
The agreement dubbed ‘Sustainability Compact’ between the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh, announced recently following a multi-stakeholder meeting in Geneva, is a political accord, although it traces its links to actions that should assume legal obligations on the part of Bangladesh.
Going by the conditions set out in the accord, it seems there will be the need to amend the Labour Law 2013, if not enact fresh laws, to ensure compliance. Curiously, the much-discussed compliance issue, so long tagged to the factory owners as their sole responsibility, has now shifted on to the state machinery as a clear means of guaranteeing implementation.
The Compact was announced in Geneva weeks after the US decision to suspend Bangladesh’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for alleged failure to exercise standard international practices on worker’s rights and workplace conditions. Following the US move, many in the international community wondered if the EU would soon follow suit, or if it would pursue a different approach toward spurring policy changes by the Bangladesh government.
* Labour law amendment very important, says EU envoy:
The European Union (EU) ambassador to Dhaka, William Hanna, has described the passage of the amended labour law in Parliament as very important, but laid emphasis on the implementation of the law for addressing the problems in the country’s readymade garments (RMG) sector.
“I think it is very important that Parliament has approved the labour law. Passing the laws is one thing but of course implementation is the key. The key part is important for us,” he told The Independent and two private TV channels on Sunday at his office in Gulshan.
The first thing was to pass the labour law in July and that has been done. The second thing is to implement it and to show that it is in place,” said the ambassador.
On the issue of safety, he said the government had committed to recruit 800 inspectors, of whom 200 would be appointed by the end of this year.
There was also a provision for setting up a database for all the inspections of the factories, he added.
Asked about the stipulation of some timeframes at the meeting in Geneva, the envoy said, “In the Compact, there are dates. Yes. It has made it more specific. The first date was that the legislation should be passed in July. Then there are number of dates towards the end of the year, recruitment of 200 inspectors by the end of the year. There are other dates in 2014.” A lot of the work on assessing progress will be carried out by the ILO, he added.
* Safe RMG plan ready:
Eleven inspection teams which were formed to recommend ways to improve working atmosphere in the country’s garment sectors are expected the submit their reports to the government before Eid.
The teams headed by a Joint Secretary visited their respective areas in and around the capital and finalized their reports, official source said.
Team number one inspected the garments of Bandar, Fatulla, Siddhirganj and Sonargaon. Similarly the teams number two and three inspected the garments under Ashulia and Savar areas.
Rampura, Khilgaon, Motijheel and Sabujbagh, Shyampur, Demra, Jatrabari, Kadamtali and Sutrapur, Mohammadpur, Hazaribagh and Tejgaon, Mirpur, Kafrul, Pallabi and Kazipara, Rupganj, Kaliakoir, Mirzapur and western parts of Gazipur and Tongi, Sreepur and eastern parts of Gazipur, were also covered by the rest teams.
Some teams also visited the garments under Chittagong.
* Govt to step up factory watch:
Appointment of 23 factory inspectors is underway as part of the roadmap for regaining the GSP status in the US market.
The move followed the Obama administration’s suspension of the trade benefit on June 27 over poor labour rights and working conditions.
The labour and employment ministry has already appointed four inspectors to fulfil the US government’s conditions for reinstatement of the privilege. The conditions were published on Friday by the USTR (United States Trade Representative).
At the moment, only 51 inspectors are tasked with overseeing more than 2 lakh factories across the country.
The labour and employment ministry has already requested the Public Service Commission to start recruiting inspectors against the existing 39 vacant posts, said the Bangladesh government’s action plan.
* The larger context of the GSP suspension :
The Heritage Foundation Symposium on Bangladesh
In a recent symposium organised jointly by the Bangladesh Embassy in the United States and the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington DC, there was a good discussion on the recent economic and political developments in Bangladesh.
The programme was attended by a mix of academics and researchers, members of the Bangladeshi Diaspora in Washington, government officials and policymakers. The Bangladesh Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Akramul Quader, presented the keynote speech highlighting progress Bangladesh has made in recent years on the economic and political front.
As part of the panel on economic developments with emphasis on the garment industry, I started with a brief history lesson, reminding everyone of the context for these recent gains. The nation won its independence on December 16, 1971 under extremely difficult circumstance with much destruction and disruption. A terrible famine followed taking perhaps 1.5 million lives. I touched on the pessimism expressed by many, including US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on the economic future of the new nation.
* RMG and GSP:
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has finally issued a roadmap on do’s and don’ts for Bangladesh, mostly in readymade garment (RMG) sector, for restoration of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) ironically on items that are not RMG-related.
Can we assume that the USTR, by giving the latest guidelines, might be ready to accord the major export item of Bangladesh duty and quota-free access in the US market. Otherwise, the US roadmap will be like penalising ‘A’ for lapses of ‘B’.
The US is an important trading partner of Bangladesh, but RMG was never considered by the USTR for getting the GSP. Bangladesh businesses pay very high duties to export RMG to the US.
* TICFA: Implications and opportunities:
There are many speculations as to how much benefits Bangladesh will reap by signing the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TIFCA) with the United States.
The US had been pressing for the signing of the treaty for quite some time. Prior to TIFCA, the US wanted Bangladesh sign the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
There are usually a lot of debates for and against any regional or bilateral agreement, and the TICFA is no exception. Every agreement is based on certain geographic and political objectives. An agreement might seem to promote trade and investment only, but eventually political considerations and military issues also emerge. The moment foreign direct investment (FDI) starts to flow in, the issue of protecting investments also arises.
* Ticfa likely to be signed in few weeks, hopes Mozena:
US to help B’desh to become No 1 RMG brand in world, he says….
The much-talked-about Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (Ticfa) between Bangladesh and the USA is likely to be signed within the next few weeks, aiming to boost bilateral trade and investment.
US Ambassador in Dhaka came up with the updates while talking to reporters after a meeting with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque at the Foreign Ministry.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Japan can be a prospective RMG market: BKMEA:
Japan, a Far East country, is likely to be a huge potential market for Bangladesh as a growing number of Japanese consumers are choosing Readymade Garment (RMG) products from Bangladesh because of low price and high quality.
A BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association) delegation, who attended a three-day International Fashion Fair in Japan, expressed the view urging government to take due care to explore the new emerging market.
“We received very enthusiastic response from buyers,” said BKMEA senior Vice President Mohammad Hatem who led the delegation to the event, Japan’s largest fashion business trade show, held from July 17 to19 at the Tokyo Big Sight.
* Five factories fined Tk 2cr for polluting environment:
The Department of Environment (DoE) has fined five factories in Dhaka and its adjoining areas Tk 2 crore for polluting the environment.
Of the factories, two each are located in Savar and Tongi, while the rest in Ashulia.
DoE sources said two factories — Pakiza Dying and Printing Industries Ltd and ZK Fabrics in Savar were fined Tk 1.52 crore and Tk five lakh respectively on Monday for polluting the environment.
Besides, Lotus Kamal Knitwear Ltd in Ashulia, Admiral Denim Washing Ltd and FGS Laundry Ltd in Tongi were fined Tk nine lakh, eight lakh and three lakh respectively for the same offence.
DoE director (monitoring and enforcement) M Alamgir summoned representatives of the factories and fined them on hearing their statements.
* Private jute mills creating job opportunities in Bogra:
About 50,000 jobs created in the last eight years
According to an estimate of Bangladesh Jute Miles Corporation (BJMC), at least 50 jute miles were established in 16 northern districts, including Bogra, in the last few years – with the investment totalling Tk10b.
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* Artificial legs for victims by Sep:
Some one hundred victims who lost their legs in Rana Plaza Tragedy will get artificial legs by September this year.
A medical expert team from Thailand will come to Dhaka to replace the legs.
The expert team will make artificial legs setting up makeshift factory at Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital from September 19 to 28.
Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque made the disclosure at a press conference at his Secretariat office Monday.
Dr AFM Ruhal Haque said, “The collapse victims, who lost legs, have to register their names at Orthopedic Hospital from August 18 to 22 if they want replacement of their legs.”
* Foreign help for Savar’s maimed: Ruhal Haque:
Savar’s devastating building collapse maimed 36 people, the Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque has said, adding that experts from India and Thailand would be in Dhaka to treat them, reports bdnews24.com.
The worst-ever factory building collapse in April this year killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers and shook the burgeoning garment industry.
Of the 36, two died after battling for life, nine have been paralysed and 25 lost their limbs, some of whom, doctors say can return to work with artificial limbs.
read more. & read more. & read more.
17:17:42 local time INDIA
* 39 children rescued from garment factories:
Just a week after 27 children were rescued from zari units in the city’s Garhi area by Delhi Police officials and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) activists, another 36 children were rescued late Saturday night.
These children, who had reportedly been trafficked from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, had been employed in garment manufacturing units in Seelampur and Usmanpur.
“We were made to work for nearly 16-17 hours every day. I hated doing it. Whenever I made some error, I used to be beaten up by the employer,” said Saleem (name changed), 9, from Katihar district of Bihar.
While the children were rescued under provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, they will be entitled for rehabilitation under various government schemes. The rescued children were rehabilitated at Mukti Ashram on orders of the Child Welfare Committee.
* Children rescued from leather unit:
Barely 48 hours after 10 minor girls were rescued from a circus in Kengeri police limits, labour officials with the help of Makkala Sahaya Vani and the city police, rescued at least 12 boys who were employed in a bag-making unit in Shivajinagar on Monday. Some of them worked in a nearby garage.
Members of the rescue team said the boys — aged between 12 and 18 years — were found in a leather unit, working in unhygienic conditions without proper facilities.
Seven of them are believed to be from Nepal, one from Karnataka and others from Bihar. They were produced in front of the Child Welfare Committee and taken to the Balakara Bala Mandira. The factory is owned by one Nayar Jamal.
* Weavers apprise Muttemwar of their plight:
Weavers from the region, who were once renowned for their craft, are an unhappy lot now. Their troubles have been multiplying despite the several schemes floated by the state and Central governments for their betterment.
Several members from the community met MP Vilas Muttemwar to discuss solutions for issues troubling them.
The meeting was also attended by the officials of the ministry of textiles, including additional commissioner Bala Raju, deputy director Naresh Kumar, technical officer BN Amru and Jaysen Choudhari. Muttemwar expressed concern over welfare schemes not reaching the weavers as they are not advertised properly. He has also requested central textile minister KS Rao and the state textile minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan to come to Nagpur and discuss the issues with the weavers on July 31.
* Panel on Indian textiles sector to soon submit its report:
* Second phase of revival of New Bhopal Textile Mills initiated:
New Bhopal Textile Mills of National Textile Corporation (NTC) in Bhopal received another tranche of Rs 81 crore for its facelift today
New Bhopal Textile Mills of National Textile Corporation (NTC) in Bhopal received another tranche of Rs 81 crore for its facelift today. Of the total package of Rs 107 crore, Rs 27 crore has already been invested in the mill. However, surplus staff will be given retirement.
The Union Minister of Textiles Dr K Sambasiva Rao today initiated the second phase of revival here, and said the mill would soon attain double of its existing capacity. Besides New Bhopal Textile Mills, Tapti Mills in Burhanpur will also be revived.
17:17:42 local time SRI LANKA
* Reliance on GSP will make economy vulnerable – PBJ:
Sri Lanka’s macro challenges have changed. And asking for export concessions only leaves the country as a subsistence economy.
“The biggest block we had for our development, the war, is over. In post-conflict era, the biggest beneficiary is the private sector. And today’s challenges are different. New challenges are wage rate hikes, worker unrest and even lack of workers. Also, we will not ask for GSP. We should not grow markets on the basis of subsidies. Then the country will become vulnerable,” said Dr PB Jayasundara, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning on July 16, in Colombo.
* 3000 factory workers outside Ampara:
* South Asian women meet next month to discuss health, conflict issues:
Health, environment, peace and conflict resolution are among the issues that would be discussed at the 5th annual conference of the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) to be held in Colombo on 23 and 24 August.
16:47:42 local time PAKISTAN
* Textile industry pins high hopes on Prime Minister’s address:
The Punjab-based textile industry has pinned high hopes with Prime Minister’s address with regard to the energy crisis, saying that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would definitely resolve their problem.
The Punjab-based textile industry is presently exposed to 10 hours a day electricity load shedding. Not only this, the SNGPL has also reduced gas supply to the Captive Power Plants to two and a half days from earlier five days a week.
The industry is expecting a solution to its energy problem in the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, delayed for another a day or so. Earlier, it was planned to be aired on Monday.
However, the press reports suggest that the PM was advised to delay it until the holding of the Council of Common Interest meeting where a nod would be taken from all the four chief ministers. According to the industry circles, they are eager to see what the PM is going to offer in his address. They said the PM has himself hinted at ensuring seven days a week gas supply to the industry with certain terms and conditions.
* Textile processing sector: weekly gas quota to be allocated to Faisalabad region:
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources and Managing Director Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) have assured that weekly gas quota would be allocated to the export-oriented textile processing sector of Faisalabad.
In continuation of the meetings with Minister P&NR and MDSNGPL regarding gas supply quota, a textile sector delegation’s meeting was held at SNGPL local office with GM, SNGPL to finalise the plan.
The delegation was led Asghar Ali, Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA). Ali said that in meeting GM SNGPL gave the assurance that the gas quota would be allocated from next week as per curtailment weekly plan capacity to the textile processing industry in Faisalabad region for 7 days a week. Chairman PTEA said that a delegation met with the MD in Lahore on gas outages in the region last week. The delegation briefed the MD SNGPL on the rapidly eroding competitiveness of the textile industry due to short supply of gas and that both investment and industry viability were at stake.
* Textile exports up 6% in 2012-13:
Despite challenges of energy shortage, the textile sector of the country performed well during the fiscal year 2012-13 as its exports increased by 5.90 percent when compared to the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
The textile exports during July-June (2012-13) were recorded at $13.064 billion against the exports of $12.336 billion in July-June (2011-12), according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The textile products that contributed in positive growth included cotton yarn, exports of which increased from $1.809 billion to $2.243 billion, witnessing increase of 23.97 percent.
* Asia Driving the World- Visions of Asia’s future:
Top business leaders reveal opportunities and the challenges for a global economy driven by Asia
Asian business leaders attending a recent forum voiced their belief that Asia will drive the global economy of the future, with the 2015 launch of theEconomic Community (AEC) expected to present huge economic opportunities for businesses both within the group’s 10 member countries and beyond.
However, with so many diverse cultures, rules and regulations, a number of obstacles will have to be overcome if the region’s economies are to be integrated into a single market, they said. In particular, social inequality, local administration, governance and a number of other key issues will have to be addressed.
To mark the 43rd anniversary of the Nation Group, the country’s leading multimedia conglomerate last week organised a forum in Bangkok titled “Asia Driving the World: How leadingCEOs see the future of the fastest-growing region and beyond”.
During the morning session, “Business Visions 2020”, high-profile executives from all over the region shared their ideas on business perspectives, trends and the opportunities that lie head once the