14:18:10 local time VIET NAM
* Footwear sector takes big steps:
Domestic and foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in the leather and footwear sector continue to show impressive growth, making Viet Nam the second largest global exporter of footwear.
The Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), said that in the first six months of the year, the nation’s footwear exports jumped 17.8 per cent year-on-year to US$4.8 billion and the value is expected to surpass $11 billion by this year-end, radio The Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) reported.
The global demand has risen mainly due to the economic recovery in the US and the EU, said the association, and the free trade pacts expected to be signed will give a further impetus to Viet Nam’s leather and footwear exports.
* Vietnam making great strides towards footwear supplier:
Domestic and foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in the leather and footwear sector continue to experience impressive growth, ranking Vietnam the second largest global exporter of footwear, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.
In the first six months of the year, the nation’s footwear exports jumped 17.8 percent year-on-year to 4.8 billion USD, according to the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), and economists are now forecasting them to surpass the 11 billion USD benchmark by the end of the year.
The rebounding economies in the US and the EU are one of the key factors giving rise to the increased global demand. The footwear sector is experiencing but an equally important factor is the free trade pacts that are poised for signature.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA) are likely to be signed later this year or early next year, and the optimism they are generating has touched off tremendous investment into the leather and footwear sector.
* Vietnam making great strides as a footwear supplier:
Domestic and foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in the leather and footwear sector continue to experience impressive growth, ranking Vietnam the second largest global exporter of footwear.
- Positive signs of textile, footwear exports
- Footwear exports aim for US$12 billion in 2014
- Leather, footwear firms set sights on exports
* New cotton plant to boost garments sector:
The Phu Hung cotton plant will officially begin operations in August in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue’s Phu Bai Industrial Park.
With a total investment of VND258 billion (US$12.2 million), the plant invested by the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) is expected to export products to Turkey and Taiwan.
The plant has an annual capacity of 21,600 spools and once completed, will generate jobs for 200 workers and produce 100 per cent cotton yarn with an average output of 240 tonnes per month.
A development strategy for the garment industry was approved by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the Central Region.
to read in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 18/7 (21th item).
14:18:10 local time CAMBODIA
* Employers snub talks over wages:
Management at Ocean Garment factory yesterday flouted a Ministry of Labour invitation to sit at the negotiating table with employees protesting the factory’s refusal to abide by an Arbitration Council decision in their favour.
Nobody from the factory came to the Ministry of Labour, after ministry officials ended a worker roadblock of Russian Boulevard on Wednesday, telling them they would mediate a discussion between the groups.
As Ocean officials drag their feet in paying their entire monthly wage for a planned temporary closure from late May to June 26 – the factory remains closed – the situation has become dire for many employees there, said Houn Vanna, an employee representative.
* Garment Worker Wage Negotiations Break Down:
Garment workers from two factories descended on the Labor Ministry Thursday morning as talks over their separate wage demands began and then broke down within a matter of hours.
About 60 workers from Ocean Garment factory, which suspended operations on May 26 and ignored an Arbitration Council ruling to pay wages during the shutdown period, turned up to the negotiations at 8.30 a.m. but factory representatives were a no-show.
Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union Movement of Workers (CUMW), said that officials from the Ministry of Labor’s department of labor conflict advised workers to take an offer from Ocean Garment of $100 for staff employed for more than six months and $50 for those who have worked for less than six months.
“Some workers have now agreed to take that money because they badly need to pay for living costs such as rent,” he said.
* Union leader’s case dropped:
Ath Thorn has at least one court-related problem he can forget, after a judge yesterday dismissed a corruption case filed against him and two other union leaders.
A Phnom Penh municipal judge dropped corruption charges against Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), along with vice president Kong Athit and secretary-general Ek Sopheakdey.
Former C.CAWDU member Um Visal lodged a complaint against them in April, saying they pocketed more than $93,000 in back wages. Visal asked the judge to temporarily place him in charge of the union until a new president was elected.
Despite the positive verdict, Thorn indicated the case will not be water under the bridge any time soon. “I think this guy . . . tried to destroy my image in public, and that is a bad [offence],” Thorn said yesterday.
Earlier this year, Visal and another official said that they were dismissed by C.CAWDU, a fact Athit says is incorrect. According to C.CAWDU, the two quit, refusing to renew their employment contract.
* BetterFactories Media updates 11-18 July 2014, Garment worker wage negotiations break down after talks:
* To read in the printed edition of the Phnom Penh Post:
2014-07-11 Factory wage rallies heat up
2014-07-14 Getting on the same page
2014-07-14 Ocean flight looks to the government
2014-07-15 Unions to stick with push for $160 wage
2014-07-16 Workers block airport road
2014-07-17 Arbitration group weighs in
2014-07-18 Employers snub talks over wages
2014-07-18 Taiwan set to open trade office
2014-07-18 Union leaders’ case dropped
* To read in the printed edition of the Cambodia Daily:
2014-07-11 Garment factory donates rice to workers
2014-07-11 Workers protest after factory ignores arbitrator
2014-07-12-13 Global brands linked to latest shamed garment factory
2014-07-15 Trade unions approve minimum wage, draft law proposals
2014-07-16 Garment workers block road in protest over unpaid wages
2014-07-17 Shoe factory workers strike for seven demands
2014-07-17 Workers end blockade, agree to negotiations
2014-07-18 Garment worker wage negotiations break down after talks
Betterfactories Media update overview here.
* Taiwan set to open trade office:
In a bid to increase trade and investment between Taiwan and Cambodia, the Taiwanese Business Center will officially open in Phnom Penh next month, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has announced.
Speaking to Taiwanese media on Wednesday, TAITRA chairman Wang Chih-kang said the business centre is another step towards encouraging Taiwanese businesses to invest in Cambodia and strengthen supply chains across the region.
“Establishment of relations with ASEAN members helps boost Taiwan’s chances of joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” he told a Taiwanese media outlet on Wednesday, referring to a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and six countries with which it has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand).
Last year Lin Zhi Long, president of the Taiwan Commercial Association of Cambodia (TCAC) estimated that Taiwanese firms made up a quarter of the country’s entire garment sector.
Long said that more than 3,000 Taiwanese firms were operating in Cambodia as at June 21, 2013.
Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia was optimistic that the new trade centre would further enhance Taiwan’s interest in Cambodia’s garment sector.
“It will help to attract more Taiwanese investment to Cambodia,” he said.
* Hun Sen says no Taiwan trade center allowed in Cambodia:
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Friday that his country will not allow China’s Taiwan to open any representative office in the territory, noting that Taiwan is just a China’s province.
“We would like to officially stress that our foreign policy is supporting one-China policy,” he said during a weekly cabinet meeting. “We cannot allow Taiwan to open any representative office in Cambodia at any cost.” “Taiwan is only a province of China,” the prime minister said. “This is our official policy.”
14:18:10 local time THAILAND
* Wage policy flaws ‘need careful study’:
Flaws in the last minimum wage increase mean careful studies must be conducted before any similar policy is introduced in the future, according to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).
The 300-baht minimum wage policy, launched by the previous Yingluck Shinawatra government, did not improve workers’ financial status, said Yongyuth Chalamwong, a research director of the TDRI’s labour development unit.
Many workers did not benefit from the policy because the pay rate did not match the cost of living, Mr Yongyuth said.
Workers were able to save less money each month despite the wage hike, which was implemented in April last year.
In 2011, each worker on average had 1,838 baht left in their savings at the end of the month, according to the National Statistical Office.
Last year, workers’ savings dropped to 1,341 baht per month.
13:18:10 local time BANGLADESH
* More action needed from Bangladesh Government:
The Bangladesh government must dramatically increase efforts to create a safe and sustainable garment industry, says IndustriALL Global Union in the wake of a damning evaluation of the Sustainability Compact.
The Compact was signed a year ago between the ILO, EU and Bangladesh government after the Rana Plaza disaster that killed over 1,100 factory workers. With it, Bangladesh committed to widespread reforms on protection of labour rights, fire and building safety and corporate responsibility.
A joint evaluation of the Compact by IndustriALL, UNI Global Union and ITUC has found the Bangladesh Government has largely failed to implement the Compact, despite substantial financial and technical support from a number of foreign governments and the ILO.
IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:
“We remain determined to make this industry safe and sustainable but we need to see more action from the government, with the rights to freedom of association upheld.”
The evaluation found that the inability of workers to organize and bargain collectively over the terms and conditions of work meant that gains in building and fire safety would not be sustainable, leading to further tragedies.
Alarmingly, the attitude of the government towards unions seems to be only deteriorating.
In June 2014, IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, wrote to the Bangladesh Prime Minister criticizing incendiary remarks made by his Commerce Minister, Tofail Ahmed. The minister had attacked trade union leaders for allegedly providing foreign governments with information criticizing the labour situation in Bangladesh, and threatened to take steps against them.
“Such a threat of retaliation by a spokesperson of the Bangladeshi government is shocking behaviour, particularly in the current context in Bangladesh where violent acts of retaliation against trade unionists continue. In specifically naming a number of Bangladeshi trade union leaders, the Minister has put their safety at risk, sending a clear signal to employers and other actors that violence is an acceptable response to legitimate trade union activity,” wrote Raina.
* Textile chemicals market to grow 7% a year:
Bangladesh’s textile chemicals market will grow 7 percent a year until 2019 on the back of rising global demand for the country’s readymade garments, according to a report by TechSci Research.
The textile chemicals market benefits from large-scale exports of knitwear and woven garment products to international markets, including the US and EU, said TechSci Research, a Canada-based market research and consulting company.
The growing demand for knitwear and woven garment items in these two markets is raising the overall consumption of textile chemicals in Bangladesh, according to the report — Bangladesh Textile Chemicals Market Forecast and Opportunities 2019 — released on July 14.
Bangladesh is also exploring other export markets, which is expected to further raise the demand for textile chemicals in the country over the forecast period.
12:48:10 local time INDIA
* 60% garment workers in Bangalore are anaemic:
Health survey for all women workers soon
As many as 60.6% of garment workers in Bangalore are anaemic, a random survey conducted by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has found.
Labour Minister P.T. Parameshwara Naik, in a written reply to a question raised by BJP MLC Tara, said all the workers had been treated by the ESIC and arrangements had been made to provide nutritious food in factory canteens.
“Workers found to be anaemic in the first check-up will be checked again after three to four months,” said Mr. Naik. A survey of all women workers across the State will be taken up soon, he said.
He said the Labour Department is taking measures to provide healthcare and safety to garment workers. During inspection of factories, 17 cases were booked under violations of workers’ rights over the last two years, he said. The department intends to step up random checks.
Speaking to The Hindu , Pratibha R., vice-president of Garment and Textile Workers’ Union, said apart from anaemia, “tuberculosis, problems related to reproductive health, and occupational health problems like back pain are also rampant”.
* Textile Park coming up in Guntur:
It is likely to give fillip to garment, weaving industries
An Integrated Textile Park (ITP) being developed at Edlapadu on Guntur-Chennai National Highway is expected to give the much-needed fillip to textile industry in Andhra Pradesh.
The textile park coming up on a 70-acre stretch is expected to house about 100 small scale industries relating to garment manufacturing, weaving, packaging and other accessories manufacturing units.
Being promoted as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Guntur Textile Park Pvt. Ltd by A.P Spinning Mills’ Association (APSMA), AP Cotton Association and Guntur Ginners’ Welfare Association, the textile park is expected to start functioning in the next few months.
12:48:10 local time SRI LANKA
* Treasury Secretary hints at trade surplus in 2020 :
Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera last week hinted at the possibility of recording a trade surplus by 2020, an economic scenario Sri Lanka has never achieved for the last six decades.
The only period Sri Lanka to record higher export earnings than imports was during the first four years of post-independence to 1952, when the world’s rubber prices were sky rocketing due to the Korean War.
Dr. Jayasundera expects to achieve this daunting target by 2020 mainly at the mercy of the developments in the apparel sector and also through import substitution industries, both of which currently have become bones of contention among economists.
“We are planning to take the apparel industry to US $ 10 billion in 2020.
Not only it will be a US $ 10 billion business, our vision is to line up our apparel manufacturers among the top 10 apparel manufacturers in the world,” he told a recent forum.
12:18:10 local time PAKISTAN
* Tailors losing market to ready-made clothing:
The trend of wearing ready-made gents and children’s shalwar kameez has gained momentum in the last two to three years as they cost less than custom-made suits stitched by tailors.
Saddar’s Cooperative Market, the hub of ready-made shalwar kameez and mostly caters to the middle- and lower-middle income groups, is flooded with buyers these days.
Those who prefer to wear designers’ clothes usually avoid Cooperative Market as they can easily pay Rs3,200-3,600 for kurta, and Rs3,800-5,000 for shalwar kameez.
Opposite to Cooperative Market is Karim Centre which used to house around 50 tailor shops. But the situation has now changed as only five to seven gents’ tailors have managed to survive on its first floor.
After sharp drop in customers’ orders and high prices of stitching, many gents’ tailors have either given their shops on rent or converted them into ladies ready-made shalwar kameez outlets.
A shop owner in Karim Centre said he had let out his shop a year ago since the buyers had become reluctant to pay stitching cost of Rs600-800 per suit.
The stitching price for gents’ trousers also hovers at Rs600-800 and shirt at Rs500-600. Almost the same price is charged for kids stitching. Another reason of booming sale of ready-made shalwar kameez is poor stitching quality and substandard material used by tailors.
* Investment in textile sector declines, export registers increase:
National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Textile Industry was informed the investment trend in the textile sector went down as compared to other regional countries due to the inconsistent polices on taxes, non-availability of energy, high interest rates and stuck up liquidity on drawbacks and refunds.
However, textile export of the country registered an increase of 3.9 percent and remained at $13.8 billion in 2013-14 against $13.3 billion during the same period of last fiscal year.
Textile export to the European Union (EU) registered an increase of 18 percent reaching the figure of $5 billion for the first time in the history due to the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status given by the EU, while to the rest of the world, exports declined by 3.5 percent, revealed Ministry of Textile Industry officials.
Briefing NA Standing Committee on Textile Industry Khawaja Ghulam Rasool Koreja in chair Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi said due to energy crisis some textile mills were being closed. “I have nothing to do with the energy sector and is out of my domain, however the Committee can assist me to find out solution of the energy crises”, Afridi added.
* Textile exports increase by 3.9% :
Textile exports registered an increase of 3.9 percent and remained at $13.8 billion in 2013-14 against $13.3 billion during the same period of last fiscal year.
Textile export to the European Union (EU) registered an increase of 18 percent reaching the figure of $5 billion for the first time due to the GSP plus status given by the EU, while textiles exports to the rest of the world declined by 3.5 percent, revealed Ministry of Textile Industry officials.
Briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Textile Industry that met with Khawaja Ghulam Rasool Koreja, Secretary Textile Ministry Rukhsana Shah said the country”s overall textile export increased by 3.95 percent in the last fiscal year mainly due to the increase in exports to the EU after getting the GSP plus status.
* NPLs of sick units: Textile Ministry to set up review committee:
Textile Ministry has ultimately decided to set up a committee to review Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) of sick units enabling Government to arrange running capital for the genuine sick industries, said Abbas Khan Afridi, Federal Minister for textile industry.
He was talking to a delegation headed by Engr. Suhail Bin Rashid, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) in his office.
The Minister said that a new progressive and implement-able textile policy is at the anvil and would be announced within next couple of days.
He said main focus of this policy is to resolve the issues and enhance textile exports within the shortest possible time. He said our focus is to make this policy implement-able in its real context.
read more. & read more.
* Venting: APTMA demands payment of sales tax refunds :
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman S M Tanveer has urged Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to direct the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to meet the deadline of liquidating the sales tax refunds of the textile industry by September as per his pledge in the budget speech.
Despite the fact that the industry is being treated under the Reduced Rate Regime, a total of Rs20-25 billion Sales Tax refunds of the textile industry are stuck up with the FBR for over six years. About Rs50 million per textile mill is payable on account of special excise duty, deferred and current/regular refund claims.
“Textile industry is an export-oriented industry, facing acute energy shortage, particularly in Punjab,” said Tanveer. “The industry is unable to exploit the potential of market access facility from the EU under the GSP Plus facility, as liquidity as well as energy constraints are hampering its growth badly. Majority of mills are operating on two shifts.
* Textile industry: Dar urged to clear ST refunds by September:
Chairman APTMA Punjab S M Tanveer has urged the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to direct the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to meet the deadline of liquidating the sales tax refunds of textile industry by September 2014 in line with his pledge in the budget speech.
He said around Rs 25 billion sales tax refunds of the textile industry are stuck up with the FBR over the period of last six years.
12:18:10 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Textile projects implementation progress discussed at UzPahtaSanoat:
The managing office of UzPahtaSanoat (Cotton Industry Company) held an expanded meeting on the progress of execution of investment projects.
At the meeting were present the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ministry of Economy, the State Competition Committee, O’zbekYengilSanoat, commercial banks, HlopkoProm Board Chairmen, involved in the projects implementation, as well as potential investors and members of the projecting and construction companies.
As we know, one of the top priorities of economic program, approved by the President of Uzbekistan for 2014, is the commissioning of high-tech and modern industrial facilities, growth and improvement of the investment process.
As it was noted at the meeting, 22 textile and light industry objects are to be commissioned. The total cost of these projects exceeds $100 million. The establishment of these enterprises will create more than 3.6 thousand jobs.
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