09:20:59 local time CHINA
* Model roles:
The world economy is mired in a real global crisis for the first time in the age of globalization. When people worldwide review the crisis, they should not simply conclude that the answer is finding a way to strengthen financial regulation or to balance the global economy.
At a time when major Western economies are performing poorly, the world should begin to seek the root of the crisis in social, economic and political structures. If the crisis stems from structural problems, that means there are problems with the current development models. That is to say, the current crisis is a crisis of development models.
The Anglo-Saxon economic pattern could hardly be absolved from the blame of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, which dragged down the economy of the United States. This pattern has been prevailing since the era of Ronald Reagan, U.S. President from 1981-89, and Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979-90. In the 1980s, the United States and Britain began market-oriented reforms. The reforms of both countries advocated free trade and capital flow by reducing government meddling in the economy, encouraging market competition and deregulation. These measures greatly stimulated market dynamism and creativity, promoted rapid economic growth and helped boost Western prosperity.
* INDECOPI suggests duties on Chinese garments & US cotton:
The National Institute of Defense of Competition and Intellectual Property Protection (INDECOPI) in Peru has suggested imposition of antidumping measures on imports of China’s garments and 10 percent countervailing duty on the imports of US cotton fibre.
The research instigated in 2012, on imports of clothing from China at alleged lower prices, and subsidies provided by the US Government on the import of cotton, indicated that the domestic apparel manufacturers and cotton producers in Peru were adversely affected by the imports.
In a statement, INDECOPI said the investigations on imports of Chinese clothing and cotton fibre from the US were conducted respecting the legal framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
According to the statement, the investigation of both the imports of Chinese clothing and cotton fiber from the US were conducted in a technical manner with full responsibility and observing the applicable legal framework for resolving competition disputes.
09:20:59 local time PHILIPPINES
* CHEAP LABOR: Taiwan firms come to PH:
Investments from Taiwan continue to pour in, with nearly P2 billion fresh infusions the past months and more expected to come in, according to the Manila Economic & Cultural Office (MECO).
“There is no letup in investments even during the impasse,” said MECO chairman Amadeo Perez Jr., referring to the tension between the Philippines and Taiwan following the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman on Philippine waters earlier this year.
Taiwan sanctions imposed during the conflict have now been lifted after successful conciliation meetings.
Part of the reason is the continuing transfer of location of foreign investors in China to other countries. Taiwanese investments in China are coursed through third countries since it does not have diplomatic ties with China.
According to other MECO officials, another Taiwanese company is studying a plan to supply Coach bags with printing materials used in its design and labels. The officials said the Taiwanese firm has operations both in Taiwan and China but is exploring opportunities in the country where two Coach suppliers are making bags for the American brand, Fashion Focus and D’Luxe.
* Labor department reviewing minimum wage:
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is reviewing minimum wages across the country.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz mentioned the review when she went before the House Committee on Appropriations to defend the proposed P10.5-billion budget for her department.
Baldoz said DOLE is in the process of coming up with a formula that would set a minimum wage that is a little over the poverty income threshold but not too close to the average wage.
“We are looking at something that could meet the basic needs of a family of five, as well as promoting productivity-based increase,” she said.
* Business groups against new wage hikes:
Employers and industry associations warned anew of the impact of a new round of wage adjustment in Metro Manila which organized labor is pursuing.
Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Edgardo G. Lacson and lawyer Antonio H. Abad, Jr., ECOP Governor and Chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Labor and Social Policy Issues, said adjusting the minimum wage anew will put the unemployed and new entrants to the labor force at a disadvantage in as much as they will be the ones to suffer the most from the ensuing rise in the cost of goods and services brought about by “non-productivity-based wage increase.” Apart from this, he added that those without work will find it even harder to get a job.
Abad noted that while big establishments may be able to cope with a wage increase, certain industries like footwear and garment, among others, will be pushed to the limit and thus, will have no other recourse but to close shop.
* Philippines applying for EU GSP:
The Philippine government is set to apply for the GSP+ arrangement of the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences Scheme.
The Department of Trade and Industry is spearheading this initiative, working closely with relevant agencies and stakeholders to ensure the country’s successful application under the said Scheme.
The EU GSP+ arrangement is a special incentive scheme for sustainable development and good governance. It is anchored on the effective implementation of 27 international conventions on human and labor rights, environment and governance principles.
“The Manufacturing Industry Roadmap identifies market access as a specific government intervention. The sustainability of the tuna and garments sectors will contribute significantly to the revival of the country’s manufacturing industry since these sectors account for more than 50% of the country’s industry labor force,” Cristobal added.
08:20:59 local time VIET NAM
* News Analysis: Imported raw materials the biggest challenge for Vietnam to enter TPP:
Dependence on imported raw materials would be the biggest challenge to the Vietnamese garment industry when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes into force possibly by the end of this year, according to experts here.
The TPP’s rule of origin requires nations to use a TPP member- produced yarn in textiles in order to receive duty-free access.
Vietnam’s garment and textile industry remains reliant on imported raw materials from many countries, which are not TPP members, including China.
According to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) , in 2012 the total import value of raw materials and spare parts in service of the garment sector’s production for domestic consumption and for exports reached 11.3 billion U.S. dollars. Of which, cotton imports cost 875 million U.S. dollars (accounting for 98 percent of the demand); yarns and threads with 1.4 billion U.S. dollars (54 percent); fabrics with over 7 billion U.S. dollars (88 percent); and spare parts with over 2 billion U.S. dollars.
* Vietnam, ILO cooperate to boost decent employment:
The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), held a seminar on the implementation of the ILO-Vietnam Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) in the 2012-16 period.
The seminar aimed at raising the awareness of relevant parties of the DWCP and enhancing the linkage between policy makers and enforcement bodies to boost sustainable employment.
* Hundreds of runaway foreign companies bring Vietnam regulations into question:
In the absence of proper regulations, more than 500 small foreign companies have successfully fled Vietnam after running into financial trouble here.
When reporters of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper visited the headquarters of garment producer Ado Vina in the southern province of Binh Duong on August 13, the entire complex was closed and a bank employee had been sent by the firm’s creditor to guard the assets.
The South Korean-owned firm opened for business in 2009 with a capital of US$1 million, but its owner has fled the country after incurring bank debts of over VND8 billion ($379,600).
He also owed worker salaries and social insurance payments of some hundreds of millions of dong.
* Garments, textiles maintain stable growth:
Vietnam’s garment and textile export turnover in the first seven months of this year surpassed 9.6 billion USD, up 16.3 percent over the same period last year.
During the reviewed period, with a contribution of 13.2 percent to the country’s total export revenue, the sector maintained its high position in the 1 billion USD club, only mobile phones and spare parts stand before it.
The industry is expected to rake in over 8 billion USD in the remaining months of the years, fulfilling the target set by the Government.
read more. & read more. & read more.
08:20:59 local time CAMBODIA
20130816 * No gain for Cambodians in textile-sector boom:
Wages and factory conditions deteriorate as country sees doubling of garment and shoe factories.
Cambodia’s booming garment industry is one of the biggest contributors to its fast growing economy, but it is coming at a price for workers.
While, in less than three years, the number of garment and shoe factories in Cambodia has nearly doubled to 450, wages and factory conditions have deteriorated for workers.
read & see more. (video report.)
20130816 * Fearing Unrest, Garment Workers Abandon Jobs:
Phnom Penh’s garment factories are operating at a greatly reduced capacity as workers return home to the provinces in droves in response to the government’s decision to increase security after the opposition warned they plan to hold mass demonstrations against the election results.
Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the current exodus of workers from factories could “seriously impact” the industry.
20130816 * Sewing up support back home:
Chandy, a 23-year-old garment worker in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district, doesn’t believe the vote she cast for the opposition at last month’s election carried any special significance. After all, it was just one vote out of millions.
But when Chandy made the pilgrimage home to Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdach district for the ballot, her new-found interest in politics, roused by tough working conditions, inspired
others to join her in supporting the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
“The reason I voted for the CNRP was because I knew their seven points of policy would help me,” she said yesterday outside her modest single-room home close to her factory. “And because I’m a garment worker, my parents voted for the CNRP as well – it was to help me.”
The Post spoke to approximately a dozen workers yesterday in Ang Snuol district and nearby Por Sen Chey district in Phnom Penh, where a significant number of the country’s 500-plus factories are situated.
While these interviews can’t be considered representative of the whole industry, answers given suggested workers are politically aware, engaged with issues that affect them and went to the polls genuinely believing the CNRP could improve conditions on the factory floor. But beyond that, they went home and persuaded others.
* BetterFactories Media updates 13-19 August 2013, Number working abroad drops:
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2013-08-13 Factory production sluggish
2013-08-15 Number working abroad drops
2013-08-16 Arbitration centre facing hurdles
2013-08-16 Chamber wants new tax laws
2013-08-16 Sewing up support back home
2013-08-19 Wall collapse kills two construction workers
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
* To read in the printed edition of the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily (Khmer):
07:05:59 local time NEPAL
* Factories in Bara-Parsa still shut:
Industries in the Bara-Parsa industrial corridor, which have remained shut for more than a week, are unlikely to resume operations any time soon as the agitating workers and entrepreneurs have failed to forge consensus despite several rounds of talks.
Entrepreneurs have blamed the worker unions for not being flexible, whereas the Joint Trade Union Coordination Committee has accused the industrialists of not being interested in addressing their demands.
According to entrepreneurs, the coordination committee’s proposition to seek level-wise solution has further added confusion. Though several rounds of dialogues have been held between the agitating worker unions and the entrepreneurs in coordination with the Birgunj chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, they are yet to reach an agreement.
General manager of Triveni Textile Kailash Mishra said that the union leaders have unnecessarily provoked workers, polluting the conducive working environment.
* Garment factories unite against all forms of unsafe migration:
Garment factories will join hands to conduct a campaign against all forms of unsafe migration and human trafficking, according to a UNDP report last Friday.
The Secretariat of the National Steering Committee of Anti Human Trafficking; Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) and Anti-Human Trafficking Department (ATD) together with international partners; IOM, UNIAP, AFESIP, World Vision Lao and the Association of the Lao Garment Industry engaged 56 garment entrepreneurs and managers in Vientiane Capital to conduct the campaign against all forms of unsafe migration and human trafficking in the garment industry.
The campaign consisted of a one day orientation workshop on basic knowledge of unsafe migration, human trafficking and its impact on garment factories. This was followed by training on human trafficking communication campaigns in the garment industry.
As a result of the training, garment factory owners supported government and international partners in setting up a communication plan and campaign against all forms of unsafe migration and human trafficking within their factories.
07:20:59 local time BANGLADESH
* Benetton and Mango: come to Bangladesh, and pay compensation!:
Recently, we asked you to call on Benetton and Mango to go to the Tazreen and Rana Plaza compensation meetings in Bangladesh because the right to fair compensation ‘unites all people’.
Both brands are getting the message; thousands of supporters are posting their concerns on their Facebook pages.
Benetton and Mango have not yet agreed to attend the meetings. These are well-known European brands. They can afford to make sure these families don’t continue to suffer.
Unfortunately, due to sudden ill health of IndustriALL’s Bangladesh representative, the meetings scheduled for August 11 and 12 have been postponed until September. This doesn’t mean we let the brands off the hook. Keep pushing Benetton and Mango to attend the meetings and pay compensation. If you have a Twitter account, click here and leave your message automatically. You can of course also leave your own message at @mango and @benetton.
United colours, united responsibility! @Benetton and @Mango, pay full #compensation now!
* DAY IN A LIFE: A Bangladesh garment worker:
Parul Begum was anxious as she sloshed through puddles towards the six-story factory with flaking plaster walls. It was almost 8 a.m. and she couldn’t afford to be late. Late three times, they dock a day’s pay.
Inside, almost 2,000 workers, mostly women, were making shirts – stitching, ironing, packaging. On each floor, they worked in 19 lanes, more than 100 to a lane. The air was dusty with lint so they all wore masks.
Welcome to the Aplus clothing factory in Dhaka, one of countless operations supplying garments for big brand names in the West. This factory makes shirts for men and women for major discount retail chains in Europe and the United States, though the owner declined to say which ones.
read & see more. (video).
20130818 * BGMEA Bhaban besieged:
Hundreds of agitated readymade garments workers besieged the office of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in capital’s Karwanbazar area on Sunday protesting the illogical job cut.
Voyager Garment’s owner Shahadat Hossain sits with the Garment owners and the workers to tackle the situation.
The agitated workers said Before Eid-ul-Fitr, around 40 workers were fired for raising demand of their salary and Eid bonus while 17 more workers were fired on Saturday.
Workers alleged that they got ill paid in the name of Eid bonus after several request.
read more. & read more.
20130818 * RMG workers stage demo:
A number of RMG workers of Cristal Martin BD Limited in Gazipur staged demonstration and observed work abstention protesting termination of some fellow workers.
They also put barricade on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway for one hour on Sunday creating a long tailback on the busy highway. Assistant Sub-inspector of Gazipur industrial police, Mosharaf Hossain said, the authority of Cristal Martin BD Limited situated in Telepara area under Gazipur Sadar upazila issued show cause notice on August 5 against five workers and decided to terminate them on accusation of their misbehavior.
It sparked dissatisfaction among the workers of the factory and they protested the decision on Saturday, the first working day after Eid vacation. The workers staged demonstration. Following the incident, the authority closed the factory for that day. But the workers continued their programme on Sunday morning and observed work abstention. At one stage, they brought out procession and put barricade on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at around 10 am.
20130818 * Workers of two RMG factories abstain from work in Savar, Gazipur:
Several hundred garment workers of a factory at Khagan in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital, abstained from work and demonstrated yesterday protesting termination of 64 workers.
Meanwhile, workers of another RMG factory at Telipara area in Gazipur city observed work abstention yesterday as the factory authorities issued show cause notices on 16 workers asking them to explain for violation of rules.
Our Savar correspondent reports, Kajol Apparels Village Ltd Managing Director Azizul Islam Kajol said the 64 workers were sacked as they allegedly violated the factory disciplines.
Denying the allegation, the workers said they did not defy the factory rules but demonstrated for their salaries and Eid bonuses before Eid-ul-Fitr.
* RMG leaders set to propose a raft of hikes in wage board allowances:
Leaders of the country’s ready-made garment (RMG) workers are set to place a number of proposals relating to festival, transport and attendance allowances, along with annual increments, for inclusion in the proposed wage board for the sector.
They have also decided to propose a minimum Tk 8,100 in monthly wages for a garment worker in the new wage board, according to labour leaders.
Sirajul Islam Rony, who is representing the workers in the wage board, and president of Bangladesh National Garment Sramik Karmocari League, will place the proposals before the meeting of the newly formed wage board scheduled to be held on Sunday.
In June last, the government formed the new wage board, comprising six members, for enhancement of wages for the country’s garment industry following bouts of unrest over wage hike.
The first meeting of the wage board asked the workers’ leaders to prepare their proposals.
“We have made the proposals in line with the recommendations and opinions of more than 40 federations and organisations of workers,” Mr Rony told the FE.
20130818 * Garment workers demand salary hike:
A platform of garment workers’ associations yesterday demanded a minimum wage of Tk 8,000 at entry level, up from Tk 3,000 now, against the backdrop of rising price of essentials and house rents.
Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad, the platform of eight garment workers’ rights bodies, also demanded 10 percent salary increment annually and a month’s salary as bonus before every festival.
The government formed a wage board in June to revise the wages of the garment workers.
“We want 166 percent pay hike to Tk 8,000 at the beginning level for a worker to maintain a healthy life,” said Rafiqul Islam Pathik, coordinator of the platform, at a press conference at Nirmal Sen auditorium in the city.
“If calorie needed for a human being is taken into consideration, a garment worker must have Tk 8,000 per month to meet the demand.”
read more. & read more.
20130819 * RMG workers demand Tk 8000 as minimum pay:
Different garment worker organisations on Sunday handed over their proposals to the wage board for re-fixing the minimum wage and a new wage-structure for the apparel workers.
Garments Sramik Sangram Parishad, a combine of eight garment worker organisations, demanded Tk 8,000 as the minimum monthly wage for a garment worker, while Garment Sramik Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha, a combine of 14 garment worker organisations, Tk 5,000 as the minimum basic wage in their proposals.
The government has formed the six-member wage board to re-fix the wages of the garment workers, who now get Tk 3,000 per month as the minimum wage.
20130819 * Laws need to be updated to handle man-made disasters:
The whole nation has been after Rana due to his irresponsible act of constructing a ‘defective’ building with permission from the Savar municipality and allowing owners to run their garment factories there, despite cracks in the building, just with a ‘certificate’ from the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) that the building is safe.
The UNO has been ‘transferred’ and the municipality chairman has been suspended. The nation is now demanding capital punishment to Rana for such a manmade disaster. The architect, contractor and engineer engaged by the builder are not yet considered responsible for the accident and the office of the Chief Inspector of Shop and Establishment is still enjoying immunity despite their negligence to prevent the disaster. They got the immunity citing the excuse of manpower shortage.
20130818 * US buyers arrive in mid-Sept to prepare safety framework:
A team of North American buyers who formed Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative is likely to visit Bangladesh in mid September to prepare the detailed framework of the safety programme in the RMG factories under a five-year plan.
Before visiting Bangladesh the Alliance executive committee is going to hold a meeting in Chicago on August 20 to discuss the technical aspects of their action plan.
‘We have been informed that the North American Alliance is going to begin implementation of their action plan for factory inspection and renovation in Bangladesh through the Chicago meeting,’ Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim told New Age on Saturday.
He said that the Alliance would set a final draft on their next steps in Bangladesh and then come here to discuss with the sector people and government officials concerned.
20130819 * Recruitment of factory inspectors unlikely by Oct 15:
The recruitment of 200 factory inspectors, mandatory for reinstatement of trade benefits to the US, might take long due to bureaucracy, the labour and employment secretary said yesterday.
The GSP review committee headed by Commerce Minister GM Quader on August 5 asked the labour and employment ministry to recruit the factory inspectors by October 15, ahead of the scheduled review of duty status by the Obama administration in December.
“It will not be possible by this stipulated timeframe, given the lengthy recruitment process for government jobs. All we can manage by October is the advertisement for the positions,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told The Daily Star yesterday.
“My ministry sought permission from the public administration ministry in February for creation of 2,200 posts. We are yet to hear back—this is what I mean by the lengthy recruitment process.”
However, from the onset, Quader asked the labour ministry to recruit the inspectors under a special arrangement to circumvent the lengthy selection process for government positions.
Of the 2,200 posts sought, 800 were for factory inspectors, Shipar said. “However, there is a meeting scheduled for August 21 at the public administration ministry. Some of the posts might be approved then.”
* No more lobbyists to revive GSP:
‘It’s just a waste of millions of dollars and nothing else’
Apparel exporters have decided not to appoint lobbyists anymore to try reinstating GSP privilege in the US market as Dhaka is preparing to participate a hearing in December.
“This time we have no plan to appoint any lobbyist,” said Reaz-Bin-Mahmood, Vice President (Finance) of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). “It’s just a waste of millions of dollars and nothing else.”
Recalling the past experience, he termed the previous appointments of lobbyists were just failures.
* BD likely to get back GSP facility:
The United States (US) is likely to reinstate the GSP (generalised system of preferences) facility for Bangladesh, when the US parliament approves a bill renewing GSP facilities for 127 poor countries in September, informed sources said on Sunday.
The GSP programme for the developing countries expired on July 31, and the US parliament is likely to renew the trade facilities when the Congress resumes session early next month.
However, before expiry of the facility, the administration of President Barack Obama suspended it for Bangladesh on June 27, following the collapse of the Rana Plaza at Savar in Dhaka that killed more than 1,130 workers and maimed many on April 24 last.
* TICFA deals should be signed:
Trade and Investment Cooperation forum agreement (TICFA ) proposal, there are 16 proposals and 7 sections. In the treaty they proposed for transparency.
Geo-Political and socio-economic policies are related to this treaty. Assumption is widespread regarding how much recipient Bangladesh will be by signing of Trade and Investment Cooperation forum agreement (TICFA) with the United States in order to increase trade and investment.
Being a development partner of Bangladesh, United States have been pressuring Bangladesh sign this treaty for quite some time now. As a matter of fact they had repeatedly requested Bangladesh to sign the TIFA agreement, much prior to TICFA. Usually there are a lot of debates in favor or against any regional or bilateral agreement, and TICFA is no different. Therefore it is imperative to evaluate the pros and cons of the agreement before entering into such agreements.
20130818 * Bangladesh to seek duty waiver for garment exports to US:
Bangladesh will press for duty privileges for garment exports to the US market, at a WTO meeting in Indonesia in December.
The US allowed duty free access to 97 percent of Bangladeshi products in line with the WTO decision taken at the fifth ministerial meeting held in Hong Kong in 2005, except garments, which is the biggest export item.
Bangladesh will now demand duty waiver for garments at the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for December 3-6 in Bali.
* Global recession eats into home textile exports:
Export Promotion Bureau data showed Bangladesh fetched $791.52m in the last fiscal year, which was 12.64% down from the previous year’s value
The country’s export earnings from home textile declined to US$791m in the last fiscal year, a 12.64% fall compared to the previous year’s (2011-12) value of $906m due to global economic slowdown.
Export Promotion Bureau data showed Bangladesh fetched $791.52m in the last fiscal year, which was 12.64% down from the previous year’s value. While the sector earned $68.15m, down by 16.76% compared to July 2012 of $81.87m.
Meanwhile, the exports grew 24% to $3bn in July as compared to $2.4bn of the same month previous fiscal (2011-12), according to EPB data. The government had set an export target of $30.5bn for the current financial year.
* Dhaka-Delhi to sign ‘pact on cooperation’ in textiles Aug 19:
Bangladesh and India will sign a ‘pact on cooperation’ in textiles sector during the visit of Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui to New Delhi on August 19.
Latif Siddiqui will visit Delhi at the invitation of Indian Textiles Minister Dr KS Rao and during the visit, the two Ministers would hold extensive talks on various issues involving the textile and jute sectors of the two countries.
“A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be signed between the two governments to promote bilateral cooperation in this area,” said a media release of Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Friday.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more. & read more.
* Apparel products facing tough competition in India:
A delegation of Bangladeshi exporters and businessmen will meet the Indian importers on September 13 in Bombay when they will urge Indian importers to take measures for withdrawal of the countervailing duty
Bangladeshi apparel items are facing tough competition with Indian local products due to 12% counter-vailing duty India imposes on imported products, local garments manufacturers and exporters said.
Although Bangladeshi exporters achieved highest ever exports to India last year with over 13% growth, but now they are facing tough competition as the Indian local products became cheaper due to the fresh duty, said one of them.
The additional duty, also known as countervailing duty or C.V.D, is equal to excise duty imposed on a like product manufactured or produced in India. It is implemented under the Section 3 (1) of the Indian Custom Tariff Act.
* Govt moves to raise export of RMG, other goods to non-traditional mkts:
The government has initiated a move to increase export of ready made garment (RMG) and other goods to the non-traditional markets.
Bangladeshi products have been facing different types non tariff barriers like high duties and anomalies in banking transaction with the non-traditional countries like Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Ukraine, Uzbekistan Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and others.
Local exporters said they have to pay up to 40 per cent duty to enter into South Africa, Brazil, Russia and some other non-traditional markets.
* All BTMC mills to be run under PPP:
The Bangladesh Textile Mills Corporation (BTMC) has planned to run all its mills under public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement with a view to making the debt-burdened organisation again a financially viable one, an official said.
The BTMC recently made a set of proposals to the government in this respect.
According to the proposals, all the mills either individually or in a group can be put under separate and ‘limited company structure’ where the BTMC has either majority or minority stakes depending on its portion of investment.
* Handloom industry gasping for breath:
The handloom industry of Pabna district has been gasping for breathe for quite a long time.
As a result, scores of people connected with the industry are in distress. Once upon a time Pabna district had been famous for handloom industry. But now the industry is facing threat of extinction due to lack of patronage, shortage of funds and abnormally high prices of yarn and other raw materials.
There are about 8,000 weaver families in nine upazilas of Pabna district. They are in Iswardi, Sujanagar, Bera, Santhia and Sadar upazilas. According to official estimate, about 35,000 people are directly dependent on the industry.
The number of weaver families came down to 4,000 who are still clinging to the profession for their survival, while the others switched over to other professions. Smuggled Indian cotton, saris and bed-sheets are causing serious damage to the industry.
Many weavers have been forced to quit their ancestral profession, said an ageing weaver, Kanu Das Babu, of Puspoara village in Sadar upazila. He added that the handloom industry of the district had a glorious past. Now the industry is facing scores of problems as machinery and other accessories of the industry have become expensive.
* Tannery Industrial Estate to start functioning next year: minister :
The long-awaited shifting of Hazaribagh’s leather industries to Savar is likely to start next year as the government took a fresh move to keep the Tannery Industrial Estate, Dhaka, ready by 2014.
“We have identified hurdles in shifting .we will now fix timeframe to start shifting process of leather industries and I hope we will be able to keep the estate ready by next year,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua told BSS today.
Barua said the contractor of the project will now start construction of the Central Effluent treatment Plant (CETP) and damping ground.
He said the project cost has already been increased due to change in value of dollar and delay in setting up the park and other necessary facilities.
read more. & read more. & read more.
* Delay, inclusion of new components soar tannery relocation cost:
The cost for the relocation of tanneries to Savar from Hazaribagh in the capital and setting up central effluent treatment plant (CETP) there has mounted sharply due to delay in implementation and inclusion of new components in the project.
The project that took off in 2003 with an approximate cost of Tk 175.75 crore for completion by 2005 will now be implemented by June 2016 with the revised project cost of Tk 1078.71 crore.
“Legal complexities related to establishing CETP and Dumping Yard apart from tender related complexities have delayed the relocation process pushing the project cost to rise. Dollar price hike also contributed to the project cost,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua said at a press conference at Shilpa Bhaban in the city on Sunday.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
* Jute farmers in great trouble due to river erosion:
Jute growers in Kurigram are in great trouble as they are forced to harvest their produce earlier than usual this time due to flood and river erosion, reports UNB.
The farmers are harvesting their immature jute because of flood in the Brahmaputra-Tista-Dharala river basin and erosion by the rivers and selling it at prices much lower than they expected.
Besides, an uncertainly about timely retting of jute for scarcity of water in the local water bodies caused by lack of rain has gripped the cultivators of the golden fibre.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Kurigram sources said the production target of jute was set at 21,277 hectares of land in the district his season, including the indigenous variety on 842 hectares and ‘tosa’ variety on 20,435 hectares.
* The burden of loss-making jute mills :
The government has assumed past liabilities of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) amounting to Tk 23.96 billion (2,396 crores).
The government will take steps to make the BJMC profitable. They hope that the BJMC will turn out to be a profitable entity in future. The government has also agreed to pay Tk 3.64 billion (364 crores) for arrear bills, wages, electricity, gas and retirement benefits up to June 2010.
The Finance Minister hopes that jute sector will regain its lost glory. The government has also paid Tk 2.0 billion (200 crores) for buying jute and Tk 5.0 billion (500 crores) for refinancing. The BJMC incurred losses during the last 40 years. It borrowed Tk 22.09 billion (2,209 crores) from Sonali, Rupali, Agrani and Janata banks for running the mills.
* Bangladeshi scientists decode genome of jute variety: PM:
Bangladeshi scientists have decoded the genome sequence of local variety of jute, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced here today.
“Complete information about the genome sequence of jute is in our hand,” the Prime Minister told a press conference at Ganobhaban here this afternoon with the lead scientist, Prof Maqsudul Alam, sitting beside her.
“Earlier, our scientists successfully decoded the genome sequence of ‘Tossa’ (high-yielding variety) jute and devastating crop-killer fungal. Today, I proudly announce that our scientists also revealed the genome sequence of local variety of jute,” she said.
read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more. & read more.
& read more.
THE SAVAR BUILDING COLLAPSE
* Bangladesh factory collapse victims seek help:
Orphans of workers killed in April disaster wait for compensation, as injured struggle to support their families.
In the wake of Bangladesh’s deadly garment factory collapse in April, the workers who were injured and family members of those killed, including orphans, were promised compensation.
But four months on, many of the victims and their relatives continue to struggle without work or a means to support themselves.
read & see more. (video report).
06:50:59 local time INDIA
* China buys 140 million-kg yarn from India in two months, crisis-ridden textile industry cheers:
Prospects for India’s crises-ridden textiles industry, a labour-intensive sector that contributes 4 per cent to GDP, have brightened for the first time in many years, cheering hitherto wary lenders who could now consider lending more.
A major reason for the change in fortunes of the sector, which in recent years has hurtled from one crisis to another, is the huge appetite that China is showing for overseas yarn.
In the past two months alone, China has bought 140 million kg of yarn from India, about 75 per cent more than usual, says K Selvaraj, secretary general of the Coimbatore-based industry body Southern India Mills Association.
India’s neighbour is becoming uncompetitive in yarnmaking with the currency appreciation and high labour costs there. R Rajendran, director of finance at textile machinery maker LMW, says the China factor isn’t an aberration.
* Textile sector creates most jobs: Survey:
Amidst sluggish economic conditions, export-oriented sectors have taken the lead in job generation —with a little help from a depreciating rupee.
Traditional industries such as textiles and leather have in recent quarters overtaken favourites IT/BPO and automobiles in boosting employment, thanks to
a steady growth in exports. Employment figures from the central labour bureau’s quarterly surveys show that the textile industry accounts for the maximum number of jobs created in the four quarters between April 2012 and March 2013. Textile companies added 140,000 jobs in this period, of which more
than three-fourths — 113,000 — were in export-oriented units. IT/BPO came second adding 119,000 jobs and metals third with 39,000 jobs.
“Last 4-5 months have been good for us with 14%-15% growth in exports. Ours is a job-intensive industry and a lot of women are employed. When exports go up, employment grows automatically,” said A Sakthivel, chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council ( AEPC).
* Falling rupee a big blow for knitwear exporters:
Rupee tumbled yet again and stocks fell steeply, all happened in tandem on Friday. These unstable monetary situations, along with the huge current account deficit (CAD), are causing huge concerns to the knitwear exporters.
On Friday, the rupee breached the psychological 62-mark against the dollar on the intra-day after opening the day on 61.36 against the dollar. In the equity markets, all stock indices fell sharply with even normally-steadier Bank Nifty went down by almost 5.5 per cent.
The falling rupee is a big blow for knitwear export clusters like Tirupur because the exporters here are also importers of huge quantities of accessories, embellishments and machinery to attain the desired export performances.
06:50:59 local time SRI LANKA
* The Cry For Water At Weliweriya:
Sri Lanka is legally bound by international human rights treaties to respect and protect the right to life and provide effective remedy when this right is violated. However, questions are being raised as to whether the government is abiding by these laws or whether they are limited only to paper.
Following the August 1 mayhem at Weliweriya which killed three people and severely injured more than 40 villagers reportadly, residents of Weliweriya and its neighbouring villages are pointing their fingers at the government for sending barrels of live ammunition instead of barrels of drinking water.
It is alleged by Rathupaswela villagers that the government had taken steps to safeguard the interest of Dipped Products PLC, a subsidiary of Hayleys Group of Companies.
When the villagers of Weliweriya and 12 neighouring villages reportedly came to know that their natural water resources have been contaminated due to untreated waste chemicals discharged by Dipped Products PLC- Vinigros Pvt Ltd, they made an appeal to the government to shut the factory and provide them with clean drinking water.
Meanwhile, the villagers were reportadly aware that there are containers of hard toxic chemicals within the Venigros Factory premises and wanted the authorities concerned to carry out a check to ascertain whether it is these chemicals that have contaminated their natural water sources. As a result the Ven. Therippahe Siri Dhamma Thero from the Galoluwa Temple commenced a fast unto death in front of Vinigros Ltd.
06:20:59 local time PAKISTAN
20130816 * Substantial drop in domestic demand: Punjab textile industry continues to face power shortage:
The textile industry in Punjab is deprived of electricity supply for 10 hours a day despite a substantial drop in domestic demand due to rainy weather.
According to the NTDC sources, the loadshedding has come to a negligible level during the current week, as it is not more than 1,000 MW since last two days due to low demand. However, the industry circles have mentioned that a drop in demand has also led the government to reduce power generation accordingly to 11,600 MW.
The industry circles said it was right time to divert additional electricity to industry but the government has opted for otherwise and avoided to provide any relief to the industry despite low domestic demand. Resultantly, the textile industry in Punjab is yet facing 10 hours a day loadshedding, pushing more and more industrial units to abysmal situation with every passing day.
20130816 * PTEA criticises recent power tariff hike:
Recent power tariff hike has put Punjab industry at a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis industry in other parts of the country and manufacturing would remain uncompetitive due to gas shortage and high cost of electricity.
Criticising the recent hike in power prices, Asghar Ali, Chairman and Muhammad Asif, Vice Chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) said that manufacturing would remain competitive in the areas where industrial units are using captive power and electricity is being produced through gas, while it would be uncompetitive particularly in Punjab due to gas shortage and high cost of electricity.
* Manufactures of polypropylene fiber: ‘serious discriminatory treatment meted out!’
A serious discriminatory treatment has been meted out to the manufactures of polypropylene fiber and bulk continuous filament yarn through SRO.1125(1)2013 in sales tax regime, as their main input ie polypropylene chips is subjected to standard sales tax rate, disallowing refund of input tax on import of input goods.
Experts told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the major input goods of industry ie polypropylene chips (98 percent) is subjected to standard rate of sales tax, but refund of input tax paid on import of the aforesaid goods against taxable local supplies, has been disallowed.
20130818 * APTMA terms increase in electricity tariff as a ‘draconian step’:
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab has rejected outright increase in electricity tariff for textile industry, dubbing it unprecedented and apprehending a complete collapse sooner than later.
APTMA Punjab spokesman has said that increase in electricity tariff from Rs 9.18 per kilowatt hour (KWh) at present to Rs 14.82 per KWh under the new energy policy is rendering the Punjab-based textile industry inefficient; as Rs 5.63 per KWh (61.32 percent) effective from August 2013 in one go is a draconian measure against industry.
According to him, an average electricity tariff for textile industry in the South Asia region is below 10 cents against 14.4 cents in Pakistan.
In actual, he said, tariff cost in China, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is 8.5 cents, 11.3 cents, 7.3 cents and 9.2 cents, respectively against 14.75 cents in Pakistan. Not only this, he added, Pakistan is also far ahead of the regional competitors in the interest rate benchmark, charging 9.0 percent against 7.25 percent in India, 6.0 percent in China and 7.75 percent in Bangladesh.
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* Demand drive: Yarn production increases to cater to rising demand:
After twenty-three years of existence, Hassan Limited Faisalabad, along with other producers in the yarn industry, has decided to go global after witnessing early signs of an improving energy crisis and increasing demand of yarn in the international market.
The public limited company plans to invest Rs1.2 billion to install new units in Faisalabad to meet the increasing demand of yarn in the international market. As China is gradually moving away from yarn production, global buyers have started shifting to Pakistan.
The steps taken by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) government to resolve the energy crisis has encouraged industrialists to expand businesses, said the company’s Chief Executive Officer Umar Nazar Shah while giving an interview to The Express Tribune.
Steps like clearing circular debt have sent positive signals to international buyers, who were earlier shied away due to delay in meeting their orders, to come to Pakistan, said Shah.
He said industrialists who deal in the local market are now entering the international market and investing billions of rupees.