00:08:21 local time CHINA
* China Focus: Xinjiang textile fund promises 1 mln jobs:
China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans a fund of 20 billion yuan (about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars) to support the textile and clothing industry, officials said Friday.
The fund will be part of a package to increase employment and incomes and maintain social stability, Yan Qin, deputy secretary-general of the Xinjiang regional government, told a press conference in Beijing.
The central government will contribute part of the fund and Xinjiang will raise the rest.
Apart from funding textile industrial parks and clothing factories, Xinjiang will subsidize local cotton and electricity in qualified textile industrial parks. The region will adopt strict environmental protection standards and control energy consumption during the process.
According to a 10-year textile development plan, 420,000 jobs will be created with an industrial output of about 86 billion yuan by 2018 and 1 million jobs and 212.5 billion yuan of output by 2023.
The fund will favor southern areas of Xinjiang. Clothing and tapestry factories there will enjoy free or low rents for a designated period, Yan said, adding that language and vocational training centers will open in southern Xinjiang.
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* Xinjiang plans to cultivate cotton sector:
A worker at a local textile mill in Xinjiang. The autonomous region, which produces about 60 percent of China’s cotton with less than 40 percent of the country’s cotton-growing area, plans to create jobs for 1 million people for the region’s textile industry within the next decade. Gao Bo / China Daily
The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, China’s prime cotton-growing area, plans to pump some 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) into its textile industry to create jobs and maintain social stability, local officials in its Beijing representative office said on Friday.
“The push for textile development will create more jobs in the sector,” said Yan Qin, a top official of Urumqi. “It is not only a matter of economic returns and social benefits, but also a political issue.”
He said that Xinjiang, which produces about 60 percent of China’s cotton on less than 40 percent of the country’s cotton-growing land, aims to create 1 million jobs in the textile industry within the next decade.
00:08:21 local time PHILIPPINES
* EU body endorses PH GSP+ application:
The EU Commission has favorably endorsed ahead of schedule the Philippine application for 6,274 tariff lines for duty-free access to the 28-member European trading bloc.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. told reporters during a press conference they have been informed in a note verbale of the EU Commission’s favorable endorsement to the EU Parliament.
“The approval was a little bit ahead as we were anticipating for an approval by August yet because we have to consider they have a new parliament to deal with,” Cristobal said.
With the earlier approval, the DTI expects the EU Parliament approval by end of the year paving the way for Philippine exports to start enjoy duty-free entry of their products to EU by early 2015.
23:08:21 local time VIET NAM
* Taiwan invests in textiles factory:
Tai Yuen Co Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Taiwan-based Yun Lon Group, was given an investment licence yesterday to build a textile mill worth US$150 million in the northern province of Ha Nam.
The project, covering around 24 ha in Dong Van II Industrial Park, Duy Tien district, is expected to employ 5,000 workers.
Construction will begin in August and is expected to be completed within a year. Once operational, the mill will require around 1,500 cubic metres of water for its daily operation in the first phase and 2,500 cubic metres in the second phase. — VNS
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* 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.
In the first six months of the year, the nation’s footwear exports jumped 17.8% year-on-year to US$4.8 billion, according to the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), and economists are now forecasting them to surpass the US$11 billion 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.
read more in BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/7 (1ste item).
23:08:21 local time CAMBODIA
* Request Rejected to Have Union Head Step Down:
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has rejected a request from two former members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU) to have the union’s president be forced to step down as he is investigated for embezzlement.
Former CCAWDU officials Oum Visal and Roeun Chanthorn filed a complaint against CCAWDU President Ath Thorn in early April, accusing him and two other union leader of siphoning off more than $92,000 from a settlement for workers involved in a factory dispute.
Mr. Visal and Ms. Chanthorn also asked the court to carry out an injunction that would force Mr. Thorn to step down and be replaced by Mr. Visal. But on July 15, Presiding Judge Ly Libmeng threw out the request.
22:38:21 local time BURMA/MYANMAR
* Sacked factory workers protest outside South Korean embassy:
More than 800 people protested outside the South Korean embassy in Yangon on July 17 over the closure of a shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar Township owned by a South Korean company.
The decision affected about 755 employees of the Master Sports factory, who say they did not receive appropriate compensation after it shut down “illegally” on June 26.
The former employees, joined by members of a township workers’ union, gathered outside the shuttered factory at 8am to march the 6.2 miles (10 kilometres) to the University Avenue embassy to stage the protest.
“We protested in front of the Korean embassy because we believe the ambassador could solve the matter,” said one of the former Master Sports workers, Ma San Thidar.
The factory had been operating for just over a year, said another sacked worker, Ko Kyaw Swar.
* 700 Protest South Korean Factory Closure in Rangoon:
More than 700 workers protested Thursday in front of the South Korean Embassy in Burma to demand officials help them after a Korean-owned factory closed without paying their wages.
The workers from the Master Sports Footwear Factory in Rangoon said the owner closed the plant illegally and without notice in May and has left the country. They are demanding that the Korean ambassador help them. They said they were having trouble paying their rent and wanted assistance in finding new jobs.
After an elected government took office in 2011 in Burma, industry has grown and foreign investment poured in in the wake of Western nations dropping most of the sanctions they had maintained against the previous repressive army regime.
Factory workers’ strikes and protests have increased markedly. The new government instituted economic reforms, including the legalization of labor unions.
The workers said they have contacted not only the embassy, but also the Labor and Social Security ministries, parliament and the opposition National League for Democracy for assistance but had received no help.
* More than 3,000 companies registered under foreign investment law:
A total of 3,032 foreign-based companies and more than 70 joint ventures have registered to open offices and to operate 720 projects under the foreign investment as of June, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
“The investment commission gave approval to mostly garment factories, shoe factories and other manufacturing businesses. This will create employment opportunities for the citizens. On the other hand, labour rights should be ensured. It is bad if foreign investors could not ensure labour rights after getting approval for investment,” said an executive from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The government-approved foreign investment reached over US$46 billion last June. Meanwhile, the actual foreign investment was recorded at $36 billion.
Energy sector represents the largest amount of foreign investment as it accounts for $19.28 billion. Oil and gas sector follows next with the total foreign investment of $14.37 billion.
22:08:21 local time BANGLADESH
* No trade union in 94% apparel factories:
There is no right to trade union in 94 per cent of the apparel factories across the country, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments.
The number of the registration of trade unions is poor despite repeated commitment made by the government in its progress report on GSP action plan to the United States Trade Representative, said labour rights groups.
The survey on apparel sector found that there were trade unions in only 6 per cent factories while 60 per cent of the units introduced workers’ participation committee.
The survey conducted in 653 apparel factories in April-June period found that 24 per cent of the factories did not have required fire safety and fire fighting equipments.
According to the report, 358 of the 653 factories are affiliated to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, 89 are members of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and 206 are not affiliated to any trade body.
Though there was no bar on forming trade union in the Labour Act, the government had imposed an unofficial bar on forming trade unions in the apparel factories, Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies assistant executive director Sultan Ahmed told New Age on Saturday.
He said that after Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire, the government allowed trade unions in the apparel sector in the face of national and international pressure on the government on the issue, but the process was being hindered by the owners.
* 32% units fail to issue ID cards, appointment letters:
Govt survey on 653 RMG factories
About 32% of the apparel factories, surveyed by a government organisation, have not issued appointment letters and identity cards with photographs to their workers.
The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) under the ministry of labour has come up with the findings after its survey of a total of 653 ready-made garment (RMG) units during the period of April-June last.
Out of the surveyed units, 358 are members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and 89 are members of
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) while the remaining 206 are affiliated with neither of the two associations, the report has revealed.
According to the survey, 42 per cent of non- BGMEA or BKMEA member units were not issuing such letters or ID cards.
However, apparel makers claimed the percentage of the errant factories might be 15 to 17 per cent while labour leaders claimed the rate would range from 30 to 40 per cent.
In the absence of appointment letters, service books and ID cards, the workers were deprived of their lawful rights and benefits, especially in the event of any accident like the Tazreen Fashions fire and the Rana Plaza collapse, labour leaders alleged.
20140719 * 30 injured in RMG workers-police clash:
At least 30 people have been injured in a clash between readymade garment workers and police in Tongi Industrial Zone on Friday morning.
Witnesses said the workers of Jaber and Jubaer Fabrics took to the street around 7am in order to press-home their demands, including salary and festival bonus hike.
The agitated workers went on a rampage in the factory premises and set fire at the godown of the factory.
Later, they engaged in a series of chase and counter chase with the law enforcers as the police were trying to brought the situation under control.
Assistant Superintendent of Gazipur Industrial Police Abdul Khaleque said: “At least 15,000 workers have taken part in the agitation. They took position on Tongi-Pagar road, halting the vehicular movement for some two hours. Later, they locked in clashes with police as police were trying to disperse them from the road, leaving at least 30 workers injured.”
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20140719 * EPZ units told to pay workers by next week:
Authorities of the factories in the country’s eight export processing zones (EPZs) have been directed to pay wages and allowances to their workers before the holy Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) recently instructed the factory authorities to pay wages and festival allowances to the workers by next week so that they could celebrate the Eid happily with their family members, said a high official.
The BEPZA authorities directed the factory owners to disburse the payment as early as possible while meeting with the executives and representatives of the factories in the EPZ enclaves last week.
“The workers will get both wages and allowances in accordance with the new wage scale which came into effect from December 1, 2013,” said the official. The government in November last announced a new wage structure featuring Tk 5,300 as the minimum monthly salary for readymade garment (RMG) workers.
20140720 * RMG workers demand wage, allowance by July 26:
Garments Sramik Oikya Forum and Garment Sramik Sanghati on Saturday at separate programmes in the capital urged apparel factory owners to pay wage and festival allowance of the workers by July 26.
The Garment Sramik Oikya Forum president, Mushrefa Mishu, at a press conference at Nirmal Sen auditorium at Segunbagicha, said that as apparel workers were low paid, they would not be able to enjoy the Eid-ul-Fitr if they did not get wage of July and festival allowance by July 26.
She urged all the apparel factory owners to pay the wage and festival allowance by July 26 in accordance with their commitment and warned that otherwise the apparel sector might face labour unrest before the Eid.
Oikya Forum leaders also demanded more compensation for the families of the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse before Eid-ul-Fitr.
20140720 * RMG workers sceptical about payment before Eid:
Garment workers’ leaders and survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse and the Tazreen fire warned the government at a programme yesterday that they would wage movements if the workers were not paid their due wages and allowances before Eid.
Even though the government has set July 26 as the deadline for paying the wages and Eid bonuses, many workers said they were doubtful about it, considering previous experiences. The workers also protested the sudden lay-offs that were being made at different garment units ahead of Eid.
They allege that usually the owners pay only Tk400-500 as bonus just before Eid day. They do not pay the actual bonus which would be 40-45% of the wages, while the monthly wages remain unpaid at most factories.
20140718 * Hameem Group unit asked to shut for structural flaws:
The official review panel Wednesday asked the authority of a garment factory of Hameem Group to shut the unit for structural flaws.
The committee asked That’s It Fashions Ltd in the city’s Tejgaon industrial area to close its top six floors immediately and gave it six weeks time for evacuation of the remaining floors.
The panel’s decision came following the Alliance’s recommendation that its engineers found the factory building risky for workers.
According to the report, available on the Alliance’s official website, the building’s factor of safety is well below 1.25, which is considered critical, columns are highly overstressed, and one of the edge columns on the ground floor had cracks.
There are also inconsistencies between the building’s permitted drawings, structural drawings and present state, the report mentioned.
“There are undocumented cantilevers on three sides of the building,” Syed Ahmed, Inspector General of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, told the FE.
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* Labour rights, workplace safety remain top priority:
New US ambassador says in testimony, also speaks about politics
US Ambassador-designate to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat testified before a parliamentary panel that labour rights and workplace safety in Bangladesh remained a top priority of the United States, apart from unsettled political matters.
“Labour rights and workplace safety in Bangladesh remain a top US priority. We need Bangladeshis to ensure there will be no more heart-rending tragedies like the Rana Plaza building collapse or the Tazreen Fashions factory fire,” she said while giving her testimony before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations ahead of confirmation of her assignment.
Bernicat, currently Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State, said she will actively further US efforts to strengthen respect for labour rights and to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh.
Bernicat is going to succeed incumbent Ambassador Dan W Mozena.
“With the support from the United States and other international partners, Bangladesh has begun to make progress in transforming its garment sector. If confirmed, I pledge to you that I will actively further our efforts to strengthen respect for labour rights and to improve workplace safety in Bangladesh,” she said before the Senate body.
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* Cotton yarn, fabrics import on decline:
Apparel makers gradually going local for raw materials
Perennial dependence on the import of cotton yarn and woven fabrics is taking a little downturn as the readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers are using more such local raw materials for the export industry.
Sources said the yarn and fabric imports came down marginally in the just-concluded fiscal year (2014-15), thereby increasing the quantum of local value addition to the apparels that used to depend heavily on imported fabrics.
According to Textile Mills Association (BTMA), the country imported 236 million kilograms (kgs) of cotton yarn and 289 million kgs of woven fabrics in the last fiscal. The import figures were 240-million-kg yarn and 295-million-kg fabrics in the previous year.
The amounts indicate 1.59 per cent or 3.83-million-kg less import of yarn and 1.95 per cent or 5.73-million-kg less import of cotton fabrics in the last fiscal. The lower import save the government about 64.430 million US dollars.
The primary textile sector, which includes spinning, weaving, printing, dyeing and finishing, plays a vital role as backward-linkage industry of woven and knitwear garments by supplying fabrics and yarns.
Currently, the backward-linkage industry supplies around 90 percent raw materials to the knitwear sub-sector and 40 percent to the woven sub-sector. The rest of the demand is met with imports, mainly from China and India.
At present, there are about 402 spinning mills, 809 fabrics and 237 dyeing, printing and finishing units under Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) with total investment of about 4 billion US dollars.
* Mohsen Jute Mills closed:
Mohsen Jute Mills Ltd, a private jute mill, in Atra industrial belt in Khulna was finally shut down on Thursday afternoon.
The executive director of the mill, Touhidul Islam, retrenched 667 workers and employees on ground of severe financial crisis.
Earlier, the jute mill was also closed on July 16, 2013 for the same reason.
Touhidul said that workers and employees would be paid their layoff benefit, gratuity and other dues in turns when financial condition would permit.
The Mohsen Jute Mills Workers Union president, Md Sultan Molla, said that the mill had been closed down retrenching 667 workers and employees violating the Labour Act and without any prior notice and payment of arrears.
* Jute sector faces renewed crisis:
Leaders of the Patkal Sramik Karmachari Sangram Parishad on Saturday said the jute sector of the country was facing serious crisis again because of wrong policies taken by the Awami League-led government.
Labour leader Shahidullah Chowdhury, the convener of Patkal Sramik Karmachari Sangram Parishad, at a press conference at Asad Auditorium, at Workers Party of Bangladesh central office, said that the 26 nationalised jute mills across the country were now facing serious crisis for the wrong policies of the government.
He raised a 12-point demand to save the jute sector, including appointing competent and honest directors and management in the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation-run
jute mills, giving modern machineries to the mills, stopping formation of holding companies, formation of the wage commission, stopping de-nationalisation, paying arrears and festival allowances and 20 per cent dearness allowance of the workers before Eid-ul-Fitr.
* Body formed to expedite industrial parks on land of state enterprises:
The ministry of industries has formed a committee to prepare proposals for establishing industrial parks on 400 acres of land of sick or idle state-owned enterprises after the prime minister’s directive, officials said.
An additional secretary of the industries ministry is heading the 10-member body with representatives from the industries, finance, public works and housing ministries. Other members were picked from Privatization Commission and Board of Investment.
The officials said the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the ministry to craft concrete proposals to help turn the unused land of seven SoEs into industrial parks in the light of a plan of the Privatization Commission (PC).
* Dhaka dream weavers lift their country :
Vidiya Amrit Khan, 35, is the articulate, no-nonsense CEO of Desh Apparel. Founded by her father in 1978, her company is one of the pioneers of Bangladesh’s expanding garment industry. On one long afternoon at her company’s offices overlooking the upscale Gulshan Avenue in Dhaka, she talked about her Desh Apparel’s history. It is a story of Bangladesh’s garment industry.
Within five minutes of our introductions and midway through our first cups of Mirzapore tea, I was dialling my father, a retired bureaucrat living far away in Islamabad. He quickly confirmed that he and Vidya’s father had been roommates and both had passed the Civil Services of Pakistan (CSP) exam in 1961. My father also supplied the unwarranted bit that her father snored aloud. We laughed.
Vidiya’s father, the late Ghulam Qadir Khan, had resigned from his prized position as Bangladesh’s cabinet secretary in 1975. He did not believe in coups and stepped down. Ghulam Qadir Khan had earlier become one of East Pakistan’s first bureaucrats to resign and join Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the head of the Awami League and subsequently founder of Bangladesh.
Khan felt betrayed when only four years later his hero was murdered and the military was back. It was the same year that Bangladesh had been declared the third poorest country in the world and the then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dismissed Bangladesh as a basket case. What little industrial and financial base that existed had been destroyed in the war. Their investments lay in tatters.
* Local branded apparel, leather goods replacing foreign ones:
Imports fall drastically
Local branded apparel and leather goods are gradually replacing the foreign ones. As a result, the volume of imported products has fallen sizeably in recent times, industry insiders said.
For world-class quality and reasonable prices, customers now prefer local branded cloths, both of males and females and footwear more than imported products.
A large number of local manufacturing units, which do not even have any brand value, are producing world-class quality products. As a result, demand for Chinese, Thai or Indian products has declined sharply.
“Due to having better quality, the local branded cloth now is the top choice of the fashion-lovers in the country,” Faruque Hassan, Managing Director, Texmart Fashion Ltd. (a sister concern of the Giant Group), one of the leading local fashion brands, told the FE.
* Silent revolution in Keraniganj:
Small factories meet 70pc of local demand for jeans; Tk 1,000cr sale expected ahead of Eid
A worker collects pairs of dyed jeans from rooftops in the apparel hub of Keraniganj in Dhaka yesterday. Factories in the area produce denim and woven items and mostly target lower and middle income groups. Photo: Amran Hossain
One may get confused to see hundreds of people crossing the Buriganga river by small, wooden boats daily these days instead of using the nearby bridge.
But these people, mostly traders from across the country, prefer to use the Sadarghat boat terminal to make a shortcut entry to the apparel hub in Keraniganj in the southwest part of Dhaka.
The apparel centre that produces denim and woven items, including T-shirts, jeans, shirts, undergarment and children’s wear, meets around 70 percent of the demand for such products in the local market.
Apparel makers in Keraniganj, which boasts about 8,000 small factories and 6,000 showrooms, aim to take their sales to up to Tk 1,000 crore during this Ramadan.
In all, about 2 lakh people are employed in these factories and showrooms.
“The bank of Buriganga is emerging as a growing apparel hub in the country due to the product quality and competitive prices,” said Mizanur Rahman, general secretary of a Keraniganj-based garment owners association.
Traders in Keraniganj sell 70 percent of the annual turnover during Ramadan and their sales get momentum from Shab-e-Barat and last till 15th Ramadan, he said.
Around 3,500 traders come to the market from all over the country during this time every day, whereas the number is only 250 to 300 on a normal day, he added.
The wholesale hub is mainly popular for its denim products as it accounts for 50 percent of the total readymade garments production in the area.
RANA PLAZA BUILDING COLLAPSE
* The day the Rana Plaza garment workers died:
New documentary tells the stories of those who survived the collapse of a clothing factory near Dhaka
21:38:21 local time INDIA
* Traders, processors oppose job charge hike:
Textile traders and processors have come face to face over the 10 per cent hike in job charges announced by South Gujarat Textile Traders Association (SGTPA) recently.
The traders have opposed the hike stating it is difficult for them to pass on the burden to the buyers when the man made fabric (MMF) demand has been hit by late monsoon and inflation.
Two days ago, the SGTPA office-bearers had announced 10 per cent hike in the job charges effective from August 1 citing phenomenal increase in production cost due to the rising prices of chemicals and dyes, coal, lignite and power.
Federation of Surat Textile Traders’ Association (FOSTTA) president Sawar Prasad Budhia told TOI, “Usually, monsoon remains the slack season for MMF fabrics and we do not anticipate any hike in the job charges. We won’t be able to pass on the price hike to the buyers. We have urged the textile processors to roll back the price hike or we will have to oppose it collectively.”
* 8 textile mills fined for violating water purchase contract with SMC:
Promoters of eight textile dyeing mills were penalized Rs 5.67 lakh each by Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) after they were found to be violating the terms of water purchase contract they had signed with the civic body.
Industrial houses in Pandesara are under contractual obligation with SMC to buy water from the civic body. However, these industries were found to be buying water from other sources by setting up different pipelines. Industries have accepted SMC’s dictate with reluctance but termed it as lopsided.
These industries are identified as Manish Dyeing, Shreeji Prints, Global Dyeing, Oriental Dyeing, Prerna Dyeing, Ambaji Dyeing, Avishkar Dyeing and Ujala Dyeing mills.
* Govt considering linking weaving with MNREGA: Minister:
The Government of India is considering the idea of linking handloom fabric weaving with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to protect the interest of the weavers, Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in Parliament in response to a supplementary question, ABP News reports quoting PTI.
21:08:21 local time PAKISTAN
* Minister seeks verified list of sick textile units:
Federal Minister for Commerce and Industries Khurram Dastgir Khan has sought verified list of sick textile units in order to expedite efforts for their early revival.
Talking to a delegation of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that textile is the mainstay of national economy and after the grant of GSP-Plus status by European Union its importance has increased manifold.
He said, “We have a very vibrant and dynamic textile sector that was under utilised due to different reasons”. Similarly, the sick units could also contribute its role in earning precious foreign exchange in addition to providing jobs to the unemployed youth.
* PHMA urges government to support running textile units instead of ‘dead’ ones:
Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) on Saturday urged the government to support the operational textile manufacturing units instead of reviving the ‘dead’ industrial plants to avoid production and export slump.
“This idea of rejuvenating the dead textile units at the cost of ailing units will hit the export oriented industries since the country is short of gas and power supplies,” said chief co-ordinator PHMA, Javed Bilwani on Saturday.
He warned the government of mass unemployment that is feared to result in an economic and social distress across the country. He urged the government to drop the proposal to resurrect the dead units, urging the federal commerce ministry to help the struggling industrial setups.
* Textile exports up by 3.9% in FY14:
Textile exports depict an encouraging picture; the total textile exports of the country grew by 3.9pc Year-on-Year to $13.8 billion in FY14 as against $13.3 billion during the corresponding period of last year.
The major exports were made to EU by textile exporter as the same surged by 18pc YoY and reached to record level of $5 billion in FY14.
This was mainly due to GSP plus status (duty free access) awarded by EU. However, by excluding EU, the textile exports posted a decline of 3.5pc during the said period, said an InvestCap report.
During the outgoing year cotton cloth remained the major product which supported the overall export followed by knitwear, bed wear, cotton yarn and readymade garments. About major negatives for textile exports, the report states, due to highly sensitivity with the US dollar, local textile exports are taking hit of rupee appreciation against US dollar.
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* Textile industry: Out-of-power weavers warn of full closure after Eid:
Hopes that the present government would be able to gain some sort of control to arrest the worsening power crisis in the country seem to be fading away.
Amid the chaos, the weaving industry in Faisalabad has threatened to close units after Eid due to prolonged hours of power outages that have adversely affected their business.
The owners of these units claim that the small and medium industries of Faisalabad were at the verge of collapse, leaving no option but to shut down units. They said the owners have to pay salary to their staff at a time when there is no production.
In Faisalabad, there are 250,000 power looms installed in 3,000 factories and 75,000 auto shuttle-less looms are installed in almost 1,000 factories. Thousands of families are linked with the weaving sector.
For a large part of the day, power looms in Faisalabad remain unproductive due to severe load-shedding, which lasts up to 12 hours, according to owners and workers.
Every passing day there are two to three millers who are closing their units to prevent the heavy losses due to load-shedding, they claimed.
The business climate has been deteriorating and industrialists are unable to make the exportable surplus to avail benefits of access to European markets under the Generalised Scheme of Preference Plus facility, they added.
“The electricity is available only six to eight hours a day, but the bill comes up to the cost of running the looms for 24 hours,” said Ali Mujtaba, a weaving industrialist, while talking to The Express Tribune. “As a result, several weavers have been forced to close their units.”
* Energy crisis: PRGMEA demands level-playing field:
With prolonged electricity loadshedding and five-day gas supply suspension in one week, the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (Prgmea) has sought the level playing field for value-added textile industry of Punjab, as industries in other provinces are enjoying smooth gas and power supplies, rendering the Punjab industry uncompetitive within the country.
“Punjab industry is trying to cope with growing cost of production because of gas shortages, high electricity tariff and stuck-up sales tax refunds,” said Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s (PRGMEA) North Zone Senior Vice-Chairman Jawwad Chaudhry.
“The government should provide level-playing field by raising gas and power supply to the industry to help exporters cut their energy costs and release billions of rupees stuck in sales tax refunds,” he said.
read more. & read more.
* Textile mill-owners criticise govt policies:
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) on Friday criticised the government policies, which have failed to encourage investment in the textile sector during the last five years, whereas competitors made huge investments due to the positive and business-friendly environment provided by their governments.
Yasin Siddik, chairman of Aptma, said that to facilitate the industry and to combat energy shortages, the new Indian government has provided 10-year tax holiday to new investors who begin generation, distribution and transmission of power by March 31, 2017.
* Energy crisis restricts textile exports to below $14 billion mark: PTEA:
Acute energy shortage has badly hindered export growth and restricted textiles exports below the mark of $14 billion as it remained at $13.84 billion with growth of 3.9 percent in 2013-14 against last fiscal year.
Textile exports to the European Union, however, increased by 18 percent but rest of the world registered negative growth of 3.5 percent.
Resenting on the situation, Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, Chairman and Adil Tahir, Vice Chairman of Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), said the textile sector could reap even greater benefits but severe energy crisis was the biggest issue besetting the industries that has slowed down economic activities and restricted the figures under $14 billion.
* GSP plus helps narrow trade deficit by 2.4 percent in FY 14:
Stability in textile exports due to Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status from European Union narrowed the country’s trade balance in the fiscal year (FY) by 2.48 percent to $19.981 billion as compared to $20.490 billion in same period last fiscal year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.
Meanwhile, exports from the country remained on upward trajectory in the FY14 to $25.132 billion, registering 2.75 percent increase over exports worth of $24.460 billion in the corresponding fiscal year.
21:08:21 local time UZBEKISTAN
* Walk Free delivers petition to Daewoo HQ:
In Uzbekistan over one million men, women and children are forced to pick cotton in conditions of slavery during the yearly harvest.
Despite publicly acknowledging that forced labour exists in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields, Daewoo International has continued doing big business there.
Walk Free is calling on Daewoo to use its influence to held end this cotton slavery: and we delivered this message in a way they could not ignore.
20140718 * SACTWU settles Wool & Mohair textiles dispute:
The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has settled its 2014 wage dispute in the Wool & Mohair textiles sub-sector. It is a two year agreement
The settlement package is a wage increase of 8% for the first year and another 8% wage increase in the second year. However, it was further agreed that an additional 0.5% wage increase will come into effect, during the second year, should CPI as at April 2015 exceed 8%.
This is a regional bargain. Approximately 103 workers in 3 factories, in the Eastern Cape, will benefit from this increase.
The agreement was reached under the auspices of the National Textile Bargaining Council, between SACTWU and Wool and Mohair Brokers Organisation of South Africa (SAWAMPEO).
The Union has signed the agreement yesterday. Employers are expected to sign it during the cause of today.
The increases will be backdated to 1 July 2014.