in the news on-line, 7-9 Dec. 2013

21:48:01 local time map of china CHINA

* Italy seeks China’s help after deadly factory fire:

Italian officials on Wednesday said they would ask China for help in monitoring immigration to Italy in order to maintain safe and legal work conditions following a deadly fire at a Chinese-owned garment factory over the weekend that exposed a system of exploitation.

“It’s not easy to work with a community that has its own traditions and culture,” said Integration Minister Cécile Kyenge. “We need dialogue, understanding that we have our Constitutional principles.
“The government must strengthen its relationships with the countries that the immigrants come from, including China, in order to ensure legal migration”. Seven people were killed in the early hours of Sunday as 11 workers slept inside the Teresa Moda factory dormitory outside the center of Prato, near Florence, when the blaze sparked by stoves in a makeshift kitchen caused the roof to cave in. Among those sleeping when the fire erupted was a child, described as just a few years old by police.
A business owner and his three managers, all Chinese citizens, are under investigation on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, failing to follow safety procedures, and exploiting undocumented workers, judicial sources said.

With roughly 40,000 textile factories in the area, Prato hosts the largest clothing district in Italy, one whose complicated structure initially slowed down investigators who called the garment district “the Wild West”.
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* China cotton buying for reserves hits three million tonnes in 2013:

China said it bought 417,200 tonnes of domestic cotton for state reserves last week that has taken total purchases in 2013 to more than 3 million tonnes, about 10 percent lower than volumes bought by the same time last year due to quality considerations.

Stockpiling by the world’s top cotton buyer, now in its third year, has hurt Chinese mills by pushing up domestic prices while benefiting overseas suppliers, whose prices are significantly cheaper. To address the mills’ concerns, China has begun a new round of daily sales from its stockpile and last week sold 26,762 tonnes of old fibre, according to data from the China Cotton Information Center.
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21:48:01 local time map of philippines PHILIPPINES

* ‘Labor’ zones for low wages:

Garments manufacturers are proposing that to help typhoon victims rebuild their lives, the government should build “labor zones “ on the affected areas.
Maritess Agoncillo, executive director of the Garments Confederation of Garments Exporters of the Philippines (Congep) said in an interview during the break on the launching of the policy brief on  manufacturing that the Congep, along with the Department of  Trade and Industry, will pilot the project in region 4, possibly in , Batangas in the first quarter of 2014.
Once it reaches critical mass,  that zone alone could easily employ 10,000 , Agoncillo said.
Based on the JFC’s manufacturing policy brief, the menu of supportive and flexible policies needed could include: low-rent standard factory buildings;  low-cost long-term land leases; programs to increase labor productivity;  relaxed polices on hiring and firing;  targeted government training programs;  special or low electricity rates, and the like, in addition to existing  incentives granted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
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* Made in the Philippines:

How can the economy bounce back from and help the victims of recent natural calamities, such as typhoons Labuyo (international code name Utor), Maring (international code name Trami), Santi (international code name Nari) and Yolanda (international code name Haiyan), and the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Bohol and Cebu provinces?

One answer might be to make the revival of manufacturing a central plank of the country’s economic agenda.
The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines urged the government to step up measures, such as granting power and water subsidies, to revive labor-intensive factories and high-value manufacturing that will help create some 4 million new jobs in the next 10 years, particularly in the disaster-stricken areas of the Visayas.

In a policy brief, titled “Manufacturing: Creating Millions of Better Jobs,” the JFC leaders called for the opening of new domestic or export-enterprise zones, relaxed labor policies and increased training for labor requirements of low- and high-value manufacturing jobs.
The JFC said the Philippines should seize the opportunity while manufacturing investors in China are looking to relocate due to the rapid wage inflation there.

The group said Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam are also facing high manufacturing costs that can deter foreign investors.
One of the sectors that could easily create thousands of new jobs is the garments industry.

Maritess Agoncillo, executive director of the Confederation of Garment Exporters of the Philippines, said that prior to the abolition of the quota regime in 2005, the country’s garment industry had been employing 800,000 direct workers with $3-billion steady annual revenues. The figures have since been reduced to $1.3 billion in 2012 and the industry has only 200,000 direct workers today.
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21:48:01 local time map of indonesia INDONESIA

* Roda Vivatex Layoffs Workers on Rupiah Depreciation, Minimum Wages-Hike:

20131206 BIZCOM

Manufacturers of woven fabrics of polyester filament PT Roda Vivatex Tbk (RDTX) plans to reduce the number of employees gradually amid rising labor costs and a weak exchange rate.

President Director of Roda Vivatex Wiriady Widjaja said minimum wage increase in several regions/districts forced the company to reduce production.
“The impact of reduction, we plan to conduct a gradual layoffs,” he said in a disclosure to the Indonesia Stock Exchange, Friday (06/12/2013).
According to him, the textile industry and textile products (TPT) has ordeal barrage this year.
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20:18:01 local time map of myanmar BURMA/MYANMAR

* Shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase:

Over 700 workers of Great Wall Shoe Factory in Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone went on strike on December 6, demanding increase in their wages and labour rights on.

The workers demanded to raise their hourly wages from current Ks 120 (US$0.12) to Ks 150 (US$0.15), overtime wages from Ks 262 (US$0.262) to Ks 300 (US$0.3), and the incentive payments for daily attendance from Ks 7000 (US$7) to Ks 9000 (US$9).

They requested a total of 12 points, including the demand for an increase their salaries two times a year and to close the factory on public holidays.

“I have been working here for three years, but I don’t know even how much the basic salary is. Regarding with our demanded points, we have already done the first-round discussion with the employer. They can agree on only three points. They don’t say anything about wage increase. So, we will continue to go on strike tomorrow,” said a factory worker Myo Zaw Oo.
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* Six foreign companies receive approval for manufacturing and wood factories:

Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has approved six foreign businesses, including the companies from China, India and Singapore, on December 4, to start their operation in the country.

The approved businesses consist of two garment factories, one shoe factory, one sporting accessories manufacturing company and two wood factories.

Chinese firm Kamcaine Manufacturing Ltd obtained approval to establish a wholly-owned garment factory at Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone in Yangon Region. A joint-venture between a Chinese investor and the local company Rawhani Industrial Ltd was also approved to run a garment factory.
The Unity Sports Co Ltd from British Virgin Islands was allowed to set up a wholly-owned manufacturing factory that produces sporting accessories at Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone in Yangon Region.
Another company from British Virgin Islands called Licjin Industrial Co Ltd also got the approval to run a shoe factory at Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone under cutting, making and packing system.
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19:48:01 local time map of bangla_desh BANGLADESH

* Minimum Wage 2013 – An Insight:

The Minimum Wage 2013 is set to be applicable from December 2013 and the first payment as per this law will take place in early January 2014.

The Gazette outlines the basic construction of the Minimum Wage for the Garment Sector (revised for 2013). The new minimum wage comes after two years since the last Minimum Wage set in 2010. It was amidst mass protests and many drama that finally brought this minimum wage into shape.

The minimum wage protests by garment workers continued recently across Bangladesh, with garment factories suffering huge losses due to angry protestors claiming an unfair decision on the minimum wage. Backed by none (not even those who reach stardom globally while claiming to be their leaders/representatives), these protestors included the common garment workers who were waiting patiently for a wage that would at least be close to the expenses that an average worker requires to live. The long running protests saw dozens dead and thousands injured, with factories vandalized and many left without jobs.

The demands of the protestors had been simple:

  1. A minimum wage of 8000BDT, which is according to the calorie intake of workers in the garment sector.
  2. A proportionate increase of the salaries of the other grades of workers i.e. the sewing operators who make up to more than 70% of the work force, and are more than 85% women.
  3. Increase in piece-rate (i.e. they earn according to the number of pieces they make) for the sweater garment factory worker, and introduction of overtime benefits, festival bonuses and leave benefit.

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* Sweater units’ workers demand hike in piece-rate after RMG sector wage raise:

The government has decided to look into the prevailing dispute over hike in the payment for the sweater factory workers, officials said.

The move came following frequent allegations made by the labour leaders that the sweater factory workers are deprived of legal service-benefits and they are unlikely to be benefited by the new wage structure for the garment workers as there is no clear indication of hike in piece-rate.

“We have taken up the sweater factory workers’ wage-related case and are actively considering how to resolve the matter,” Labour Secretary Mikail Shipar told the FE Thursday.

Terming the issue ‘complicated’, he said they would form a committee that would sit with both the sweater factory owners and the workers first to identify the problems and decide on the next course of steps.

Traditionally, the sweater factory workers get their payment on piece-rate basis and they don’t get other service benefits like overtime allowances, festival bonuses and leave benefit, labour leaders claimed.
read more.
FE bd

20131208 * Fire guts two Madaripur mills:

Two mills were gutted by a fire that broke out at Bhurghata Bazar in Kalkini upazila of Madaripur district on Sunday.

Police and fire service sources said the blaze originated at a cotton mills named ‘Shahin Cotton Mills’ at the bazaar around 2pm and soon spread to the nearby rice mills. On information, two firefighting units rushed in and doused the blaze after one hour of frantic efforts. However, the reason behind the fire could not be known yet, according to a news agency.
to read. & to read.

* RMG workers to get trade unionism training:

The program will launch by US Labour Department and BGMEA

US Labour Department and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will launch an awareness and training programme for readymade garment workers on their responsibility and rights in practicing trade union.

Officials told a meeting at the BGMEA building in Dhaka yesterday. The US labour and state departments’ officials and BGMEA and BKMEA leaders were present at the meeting. The US Labour Department will fund the awareness programme, said BGMEA vice president Shahidullah Azim quoting Jeff
Wheeler, International Relations Officer of US Labour Department.

“The delegates told us that the US government has already provided $1.4m for the better work programme aimed at training up RMG workers,” he added.

In reply to a question, Shahidullah Azim told the Dhaka Tribune: “We will welcome trade unionism, if it comes in a constructive way.” BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said: “Allowing trade unions in the RMG sector is not a matter of BGMEA, it’s a matter of owners.”
to read.

*  IMF projects GDP growth to go down to 5.5pc in FY ’14:

Impact of political turmoil, RMG transition

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a 5.5 per cent economic growth for Bangladesh in the current fiscal year (FY), 2013-14, due to impact of the current political turmoil and transition of apparel sector.

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection is 1.7 percentage points lower than the government’s growth target of 7.2 per cent.
The global financial institution has suggested removal of critical infrastructure bottlenecks as well as improvement of business climate for ensuring a sustainable economic growth.
“The real GDP growth is projected to decline further to 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal before strengthening to 7.0 per cent in FY 15, with drivers of growth shifting from net exports to domestic consumption,” according to an IMF statement, released Friday.
The IMF executive directors have also recommended Bangladesh to improve the business climate further by streamlining the trade regime and regulations, including on foreign exchange.

They welcomed the revision in the garment sector’s minimum wage as well as initiatives to strengthen labour and factory safety conditions, and looked forward to continued progress in these areas in consultation with the development partners and private sector.

“Priority should also be given to better targeting social safety net programmes. These reforms, together with prudent macro-economic policies, will help lay the foundations for sustained growth and poverty reduction.”
read more.
FE bd

* The Knowledge Shared by GIZ on the Bangladeshi Garment Sector:

Recently an article published by GIZ on the Bangladeshi Garment Sector outlines its activities towards the improvement of business through training and workers through awareness.

The article claims that since 2005 GIZ has been supporting over 2,000 businesses (supposedly of the garment sector as the article is based on that), with a total of 1.5 million employees, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union. In 2011 and 2012 alone, 350 textile factories markedly improved their social and environmental standards, and 170 factories were certified for at least one international labor standard.

Although such moves if done sincerely enough must always be welcome, and we too would do the same. However, since 2005, beginning with the Spectrum factory collapse, Bangladesh saw factory disasters of grand scales resulting in hundreds of deaths in an increasing order.
Ironically, these factories usually had an international audit where they were certified “acceptable”, however of course denied by the audit firms quite blatantly, often referring to the scope of the certification or expressly denying any certification at all!
A vivid example can be observed by the following picture secured from the “then” Tazreen Factory website which directly contradicts what the global certification body WRAP claims while denying that they gave any certification to the owner of Tazreen Mr. Delwar Hossain (still a free man, often termed as a “mass murderer”) for his “interests…”:
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* Bureau Veritas seminar on fire safety in RMG:

Bureau Veritas Bangladesh Friday organised a seminar in relation to prevention of fire and building collapse in RMG industry, and with a commitment to help the industry acquire more assurance of safety for workers, owners and brands.

The seminar was participated by all the stake-holders, including members of the National Tripartite Committee, The Alliance, The Accord, BGMEA, BKMEA, RAJUK, Fire Department etc.
read more.
FE bd

* Visiting US team gathering info on RMG factories:

A high-profile delegation from US Labour Department, now visiting Bangladesh to gather latest on-the-spot information on the progress made in respect of workplace safety in garment factory, especially after the Rana Plaza building collapse, sources said.

The delegation, headed by Jeffry Wheeler, International Relation Officer of US Labour Department, will hold meeting today (Sunday) with the leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

“The delegation is likely to discuss the workplace safety, labour rights and the generalized system of preferences,” BKMEA vice president Md Hatem told the FE.

The meeting is also expected to discuss the new wage structure for garment workers, amended labour law and other safety related issues, he added. The delegation that arrived last week on about a week-long tour, had already held meeting with the officials of ministry of labour and employment on November 03, when they discussed the development of the training project aided by the US, sources said.
read more.
FE bd

20131206 * Apparel makers demand special law against destructive acts:

‘Steps needed to inspire 2nd generation to come into RMG sector’

Considering the recent arson attack on Standard Group an attack on the country’s RMG’s success story, apparel makers now seek a special law against such destructive acts to ensure exemplary punishment of perpetrators in a tribunal.

“A special law against such destructive acts must be enacted,” President of the Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh (EAB) Abdus Salam Murshedy told UNB over phone.

He said they have already talked to the Prime Minister about the formulation of such a law and also setting up of a tribunal.
“I believe, the BGMEA will come up with a formal proposal soon,” said Salam Murshedy, also a BGMEA former President.
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20131206 * Business leaders to join human chain tomorrow in front of BGMEA office:

In a rare move, top business leaders will join tomorrow a ‘Human Chain’ in front of Karwan Bazar office of BGMEA at 11 am, calling the country’s politicians to end the conflicting politics to save the economy.

“We’ll give a strong signal to our politicians that you (politicians) do politics but you cannot do it (politics) destroying us,” M Atiqul Islam, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told BSS today.
He said the businessmen will wear funeral cloths inscribed with the theme ‘Protect the Industry to save Country and Economy’ in the human chain.
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BSS Ittefaq BD new age INDEPENDENT

20131207 * Resolve stalemate without wasting anymore moments: BGMEA:

Keep apparel sector out of political purview, says the exporters

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Atiqul Islam urged the political leaders of the major two parties to resolve the political stalemate without spoiling anymore moments.

The apparel factory owners’ association on Saturday also raised five-point demands during a human chain protest that included keeping apparel business out of political activities’ purview.
read more.
BD new age

20131207 * Businessmen threaten to besiege Ganabhaban:

Apparel makers, businessmen threatens to besiege the prime ministerial residence with millions of garment workers

Businessmen threatened to besiege Ganabhaban, residence of the prime minister, with garment workers if no steps are taken to resolve the prevailing political deadlock.

The threat was made from a human chain programme at BGMEA premises in Kawran Bazar on Saturday. They called for a political consensus.
“We will besiege the Ganabhaban with our workers if a consensus is not reached and violence is not stopped,” former BGMEA President Anwarul Alam Chowdhury Pervez said.
“If political leaders do not take any steps in three to four days, we will protest along with our 4m workers,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam said.
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DHAKATRIBUNE daily star bd UNB INDEPENDENT FE bd   banglachroniclenewstodayBD BD new age

20131208 * Businessmen warn Hasina and Khaleda:

A human chain programme organised by the BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA in front of the BGMEA premises in the capital’s Kawran Bazar

The Country’s businessmen had threatened to besiege the offices of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia if they did not take appropriate steps soon to resolve the country’s prevailing political gridlock.

From a human chain programme organised by the BGMEA, BKMEA and BTMA in front of the BGMEA premises in the capital’s Kawran Bazar yesterday, the warning was made. The programme was organised with an aim to put pressure on political parties to come to a consensus in resolving the ongoing political crisis.

Meanwhile, the FBCCI is scheduled to hold a flag demonstration bearing “white flag” with participations of the country’s businessmen on December 15.
“If the political leaders do not take any steps within 3-4 days, we will protest along with our four million workers,” BGMEA President M Atiqul Islam warned.

“If the political crisis continues, we will not be able to pay workers’ salary and over times, banks loans, LCs payment, insurance premiums,” Islam said.
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20131208 *  Business leaders threaten tougher actions:

Industry leaders give 5-day ultimatum to political parties to resolve crisis

Garment makers have warned of ‘tough programmes’ if the two main political parties do not reach a consensus over the next 4-5 days to put an end to the ongoing instability sapping the economy.

“Our backs are against the wall now,” Atiqul Islam, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said yesterday at a demonstration to protest the volatile political situation.
He said the garment owners and workers will together take to the streets if there is no agreement in the next five days. The garment owners also threatened to stop salary payment of the workers as well.
read more.
daily star bd

* Factory blazed, not confidence:

The fire could blaze our factory building only, but it could not blaze our confidence,” a self-assured Moshrraf Hossain told Banglanews.

Educated as an engineer, but businessman in profession Mr. Moshrraf Hossain is the managing director Standard Group. Atiqur Rahman, a bosom friend of Mosharraf, is the chairman of the group of industries.
They were class-mate and room-mate in the dormitory of the University of Bangladesh Engineering and Technology- BUET. Now they are friends for 50 years and business partners for 45 years.

Banglanews team talked to Engineer Mosharraf Hossain at their office where they share the same room. It is rare that both the Chairman and the Managing director of a major industrial group share one room as their office. But they do because they are special.
When Moshrraf Hossain welcomed the Banglanews team, Atiqur Rahman was busy with papers on his table.
“Mosharraf will talk, I have authorized him,” Atiqur threw a single sentence from his table.
“We keep no wall between us,” Moshrraf began. “And due to that we have been maintaining the 50 years of friendship and 45 years of business partnership.”
Discussion got a quick flow as the issue of fire was raised.
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20131208 * Standard Group to get $50m including $25m from BB’s EDF as loan to start production: BB:

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will give owner of Standard Group US$25 million in loan from its low-cost Export Development Fund (EDF) to start production of the group’s apparel factory that was completely razed in a fire recently.

Besides, three foreign banks will also provide another US$25 million to the group.
The decision was taken at a joint meeting of Bangladesh Bank, BGMEA, Standard Group and five banks that finance the  group held at the central bank today.
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bss  UNB BANGLA NEWS24 FE bd banglachronicleprimenews

20131209 * Standard Group eligible to get $25m BB loan under its EDF:

The central bank announced a rescue plan Sunday for helping the fire-ravaged Standard Group revive its business activities.

In accordance with the plan, the group is allowed to receive $25 million in loan from Bangladesh Bank (BB) under its export development fund (EDF) scheme with 1.0 per cent lower interest rate through commercial banks.
The plan was adopted at a tripartite – involving top management of the Standard Group, chief executives and senior officers of five commercial banks and central bankers – meeting held at Bangladesh Bank Sunday with its Governor Atiur Rahman in the chair.

The banks are Prime Bank Limited, Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, generally known as HSBC, and Citibank N.A

Besides, the three foreign commercial banks will provide the group with another $25 million loan for facilitating its capital machinery imports, according to BB officials.
read more.
FE bd

20131209 * $50m loan package to rescue fire-ravaged Standard Group:

Bangladesh Bank and five commercial banks on Sunday agreed to give a rescue package including $50-million loans in easy terms for restoring the business activities of the fire-ravaged Standard Group.||

Buyers would prefer a source if the latter maintains quality and offer competitive price for its goods. Bangladesh with its low labour cost emerged as an attractive source for the buyers, mainly coming from the USA and Europe.

That was not all. Yet another development— rising labour costs in major apparel exporting countries — in recent years proved to be a boon to Bangladesh RMG. Rising labour cost has forced China to concentrate primarily on high-end apparel items moving out from low-end products. In fact, the Bangladesh apparel industry got an added impetus during the past few years. In the process, the much-cherished social as well as economic transformation continued to be strengthened further.
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FE bd

20131209 *  $50m loan package to rescue fire-ravaged Standard Group:

20131209 DAILYSTAR Standard-Group
By Daily Star

Bangladesh Bank and five commercial banks on Sunday agreed to give a rescue package including $50-million loans in easy terms for restoring the business activities of the fire-ravaged Standard Group.

Besides, the BB also relaxed the regulations of the loan rescheduling, export retention quota and opening tenure of the letters of credit for the industrial raw materials and the capital machineries against the group.
Of the $50-million (around Tk 400 crore) loan facility, Standard Group will receive $25 million from the BB’s export development fund with a lower rate of interest and remaining fund will come from the three foreign commercial banks.
The decisions came from a meeting presided over by BB governor Atiur Rahman at the central bank headquarters in the capital while Standard Group managing director Mosharraf Hussain, BGMEA chairman Md Atiqul Islam and senior officials of the five commercial banks, which are operating business with the group, attended.
The five banks are: Prime Bank, Shahjalal Islami Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Citibank NA.
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BD new age INDEPENDENT daily star bd

* Political unrest, financial crunch hit jute sector:

4 private-owned jute mills closed down

The country’s jute industries, specially the private sector jute mills, are passing through a crucial juncture mainly due to frequent hartal, blockade and political instability which are seriously affecting productions in mills and factories.

According to industry sources, about four private jute mills have already closed down their operations and declared “lay-off” during the first three months (July-September) of current fiscal and many others are running following the same path. Already hit hard by financial crisis and drastic fall in export, the efficiency of the industry has come down substantially in recent days because of the fresh spell of political programme that affects the production seriously, halts transportation of goods and shipments.
Finished products, industry sources said, are stockpiled in many of the mills but they failed make any shipment due to the frequent and non- stop strike and blockade programmes.
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* Revival of jute sector in the making:

State-run Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) buys a significant portion of local jute every year.

Such purchase by the state entity helps growers a lot to bargain with the middlemen who hardly miss any opportunity to collect jute from the local market at a throwaway price.

However, falling victim to mismanagement, corruption and irregularities, the state-owned entity, is yet to come out of losses and needs to borrow the money required to buy jute from the government on a regular basis. Even after getting downsized under successive governments that pursued wrong policies prescribed mainly by various international lending agencies over the past few decades, the corporation is still playing a commendable role in protecting the interests of the jute growers.
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FE bd

* Exports still growing:

November sees 5% growth despite political unrest, RMG industry setbacks

The country’s export earnings rose to US$12bn in July-November period of the current fiscal year, posting over 18% growth over the same period last year.

Bangladesh fetched $2.22bn in November, which is over 5% higher than the previous month’s export earnings of $2.11bn, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released yesterday.
“The July-November exports stood at $12bn, which was $10bn in the same period last year. But it would have been better had there been no political unrest,” said an EPB official, who requested not to be named.
He said shipment of RMG sector, the highest foreign currency earner, was severely affected. “It is astonishing that export earnings showed positive trend in November despite having political unrest that almost collapsed the supply chain.”
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* Families of 159 get Tk 24,000 each:

Rana Plaza Deceased

Families of 159 deceased Rana Plaza victims were provided Tk 24,000 each as financial assistance under the supervision of Bangladesh Army’s 9th infantry division in Morning Glory School at Savar Cantonment yesterday.

The assistance came from donations individuals and organisations deposited with a private bank account opened by Bangladesh Army and Dhaka District Administration for the victims.
The 159 and another 102 deceased victims, all of whose identities

Bangladesh Army confirmed by cross checking with family members, are among 329 persons who had been listed as missing.
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daily star bd

19:18:01 local time map of india INDIA

* Minister assures to restore export sops for cotton yarn:

The Textile Ministry will try to get export incentives restored for cotton yarn , said Union Textiles Minister K.S. Rao .

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade had in September revoked incentives – a duty credit of 2.5 per cent of Free On Board value for shipments to select countries under the Focus Market Scheme – for the export of cotton yarn on the ground that giving export incentives for a commodity that has export curbs is conflicting.
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Return to frontpage

* Load-shedding cripples Tirupur’s knitwear industry:

The Rs 13,000-crore at in Tamil Nadu is faced with a peculiar problem.

The export-based industry has been witnessing an uptick in enquiries and orders, but it is unable to accept all orders. Reason: unprecedented of eight to 10 hours a day.

With the industry reeling under the frequent power cuts, most of which is unscheduled, almost all units have been forced to run on gen-sets. This is a costly proposition for the units because gen-sets cost Rs 18-19 for a unit of power, compared with the Grid’s Rs 6.5, industry sources said. Some units that could not afford to hire or buy gen-sets have downed shutters, they added.
This tiny city, which accounts for 60-70 per cent of India’s knitwear industry, is situated on the banks of the river Noyyal.
For decades, Tirupur has been the hub for the knitwear industry providing employment to over 500,000 workers.
Still, at any point of time, there is a shortage of about 20,000 workers.
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* 1000 delegates attend Indian Cotton Conference:

Aligned with the theme “Growing Together” India seemed to be participating cohesively at the Leela Kempinski, Gurgaon during Indian Cotton Conference 2013 organized by The Northern India Cotton Association Limited (NICAL).

Dr. KS Rao said that everybody in the cotton industry, whether farmers, weavers, spinners, ginners, mill owners, traders or exporters are working for individual benefits wherein the country today needs integrated approach towards sustainability and growth. Self-centred approach is hampering the overall growth and we are thus far from our efficiency in increasing per acre yield.

He insisted on not focusing too much on raw cotton exports but to focus on adding value through each steps of finished goods production. Dr. Rao invited the foreign investors to set up manufacturing facilities ensuring full government support. KS Rao said that all the stakeholders in individual capacities should invest in research and developments and anybody can reach the textile ministry for up to 50% government aid.
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18:48:01 local time map of pakistan PAKISTAN

* Delay in cargoes’ shipment: transporters’ strike inflicts $300 million loss on value-added textile sector:

The recent goods transporters’ strike has caused financial loss of around $300 million to the value-added textile sector, as a long delay in cargoes’ shipment hampers showcasing of the key products at the US markets ahead of annual Christmas and New Year events.

Exporters said on Friday that the delay in reaching the shipments at the US market will lead to financial stress especially for the small and medium enterprises, as it will ultimately delay payments by the western importers. “It is expected around $300 million of payments will be cleared after 60 days instead of immediate disbursement by the US importers because of the delay of shipments to reach US markets ahead of the major sales season,” they said.
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Chinese giant acquires half of Masood Textil

With several Chinese firms in queue to buy Pakistani textile units Chinese textile giant, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co Limited, has made a prudent move by acquiring 52 percent share of Masood Textile Mills Limited (MTM), the most technologically advance enterprise in Pakistan, said market sources.

Textile players said that Chinese have been actively seeking Pakistani partners during the last six months.
Even the largest of the Pakistani composite units is too small to fulfill the demand of textiles of the big Chinese exporters, said a textile entrepreneur.

He said the Chinese are losing competitive edge in their home country because of very high wages. He said per capita income in China has now exceeded $6,500, which is almost five times higher than the per capita income in Pakistan.
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map of Asia


* Italy seeks China’s help after deadly factory fire
* China cotton buying for reserves hits three million tonnes in 2013

* ‘Labor’ zones for low wages
* Made in the Philippines

* Roda Vivatex Layoffs Workers on Rupiah Depreciation, Minimum Wages-Hike

* Shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase
* Six foreign companies receive approval for manufacturing and wood factories

* Minimum Wage 2013 – An Insight
* Sweater units’ workers demand hike in piece-rate after RMG sector wage raise:
* Fire guts two Madaripur mills
* RMG workers to get trade unionism training
* IMF projects GDP growth to go down to 5.5pc in FY ’14
* The Knowledge Shared by GIZ on the Bangladeshi Garment Sector
* Bureau Veritas seminar on fire safety in RMG
* Visiting US team gathering info on RMG factories
* Apparel makers demand special law against destructive acts
* Business leaders to join human chain tomorrow in front of BGMEA office
* Resolve stalemate without wasting anymore moments: BGMEA
* Businessmen threaten to besiege Ganabhaban
* Businessmen warn Hasina and Khaleda
* Business leaders threaten tougher actions
* Factory blazed, not confidence
* Standard Group to get $50m including $25m from BB’s EDF as loan to start production: BB
* Standard Group eligible to get $25m BB loan under its EDF
* $50m loan package to rescue fire-ravaged Standard Group
* $50m loan package to rescue fire-ravaged Standard Group
* Political unrest, financial crunch hit jute sector
* Revival of jute sector in the making
* Exports still growing
* Families of 159 get Tk 24,000 each

* Minister assures to restore export sops for cotton yarn
* Load-shedding cripples Tirupur’s knitwear industry
* 1000 delegates attend Indian Cotton Conference

* Delay in cargoes’ shipment: transporters’ strike inflicts $300 million loss on value-added textile sector
* Chinese giant acquires half of Masood Textil

latest tweets (& news)

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask
    David Crosby

I wonder who they are
The people who are buying these clothes
I'd like to know what they've paid for it
How much the makers have paid for this
Fairer income is not an awful lot to ask
Better working conditions is not an awful lot to ask
    A. Searcher

For more and other (labour) news you can follow on twitter: @asearcher2