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Garment makers agree to raise worker wage to US$73 pm

The garment manufacturers in Bangladesh after days of labour unrest that forced the closure of hundreds of factories in Bangladesh have agreed to a US$73 minimum monthly wage for the country's four million garment workers. The agreement was reached after garment manufacturers met the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 13th November 2016, when government ordered them to implement the new wages recommended by the Minimum Wage Board panel.

The panel voted to raise the minimum salaries to 5,300 taka (US$73) from 3,000 taka following a series of disasters in garment factories that highlighted terrible labour conditions and poor wages in thousands of units, many of which make clothing for the world's top retailers.

However, manufacturers implied that it would be impossible for most factories to ratify the panel's decision and argued that workers are less productive, and the foreign retailers were not keen to raise order prices in line with the pay hike.

The manufacturers had demanded the new minimum wages be fixed at 4500 taka, but labour ministry stated that it had changed their minds after meeting the Prime Minister at her office.


Chinese exports of textiles and garment declines by 1.7% in 2016

Latest statistics show that China's exports of textiles and garment dropped by 1.7% year-on-year in 2016, in which, the export of textiles grew 1.9%, that of garment declined by 3.9%.

According to China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel, the exports of textiles and garment in December of 2016 continued to decline due to the negative growth of garment export. Renminbi denominated, the December exports dropped by 6.7% from a year earlier, in which, the export of textiles grew 0.1%, while that of garment dropped by 10.6%.

The decline in China's textiles and garment exports can be explained by the following reasons: First, weak external demand due to the slow economic recovery on main export markets; second, increasing uncertainties that influence the export; third; rising production costs and the weakening of traditional competitive advantages; fourth, decreasing share of Chinese-made textiles and garment on main export markets due to industry and product transfer.

Industry experts point out that China's textile industry is still facing a complicated external environment and many uncertainties. The increasing pressure of resources and environment protection, quickly rising costs of production elements and more complicated international trade pattern have all exerted certain impact on the steady growth of the industry. But meanwhile, the huge production capacity and export scale as well as the complete production system and supporting industries have offered solid support to the development of the industry. The "Belt and Road" project has also created favorable conditions for the textile industry to open up international market and secure market share.


Removal of cotton subsidies will have an adverse effect on the textile industry

The decision to remove cotton cultivation subsidies will harm the cotton and textile industry in Egypt, said Sawsan Wahby, the Chairman of Eastern Cotton Company, one of the affiliates of the Cotton and Textile Industries Holding Company (CTIHC).

He said Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Adel El-Beltagy announced that the state will not offer any form of subsidies for cotton farmers or spindles during the next season. The minister pointed out that long staple cotton cultivation is very expensive, adding that there is no demand for it either domestically or internationally.

Around 25% of the Egyptian work force is involved in the textile industry, starting from farmers, to labour who work in factories, along with those who work in transportation.

The government used to offer subsidies for cotton spindles. Last year, however, the government introduced a new cotton subsidies system, providing EGP 1,400 for farmers per feddan of cotton. The system had certain flaws because it was newly introduced without in-depth studies.

Wahby clarified that the old subsidies system provided support for farmers and producers. She noted that the new system gave financial support to all farmers, whether their production is used locally or exported. The government could go back to supporting cotton spindles to ensure that local production receives the deserved support.


Garments get improved access to Australian market

With the implementation of the Developing Country (DC) Preferences by the Australian government effective from 1 January 2015, garments made in Fiji now have improved access to the Australian market.

The DC Preferences replaces the earlier South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement-Textile, Clothing and Footwear (SPARTECA-TFC) scheme, allowing greater flexibility for exporters to source their raw materials.

Terming this as a very positive development for the textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry, Fiji's Minister for industry, trade and tourism Fiyaz Siddiq Koya said that DC Preferences will provide Fijian exports more favorable terms of access into the Australian market than the previous SPARTECA-TFC, allowing for easier and simpler qualification requirements for duty-free entry.

Under the DC Preferences, Fijian exporters have greater flexibility to source raw materials from more efficient and cost effective sources, outside of Australia and the Pacific Region.

The Fijian TCF exporters will now be able to procure textiles, including woollen materials, from developing countries such as China, Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Vietnam, and then convert these into finished garments for duty-free export into Australia.

The Australian market accounts for 85% of the total Fijian TCF exports, and there is potential for further expansion of exports and investment in the industry, with the new and more favorable market access conditions from 2015.


Cotton yield to increase to 568.29 kg/ha in 2016-17

In the first meeting for the cotton season 2016-17, the Cotton Advisory Board has forecast all-India cotton yield to increase to 568.29 kg per hectare compared to last season's 483.79 kg. The average per hectare yield for south zone is forecast at 690.88 kg while it is 668.06 kg in north zone. The yield is expected to go up to 512.12 kg in central zone.

According to CAB for cotton season 2016-17, cotton production is estimated at 351 lakh bales of 170 kg each. With last year's carry forward stock of 43 lakh bales and likely imports of 17 lakh bales, the total cotton supply for the season would be 411 lakh bales.

Of the expected production of 351 lakh bales, a major share of 205 lakh bales would come from central zone comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, CAB predicted.

On demand side, mill consumption is expected at 275 lakh bales, small scale unit consumption at 28 lakh bales, non-textile consumption at 10 lakh bales, and exports at 50 lakh bales. Thus, total demand would be 363 lakh bales leaving a closing stock of 48 lakh bales.


New dyeing technology significantly reduces water use

YKK Kurobe (Japan) Factory, YKK as a part of environmental activities at is developing an "ECO-DYE" approach that, utilizing the supercritical fluid dyeing (SFD) technology, allows it to reduce almost to zero the amount of water used in zipper's dyeing process. Through its main business, YKK Group is aiming at making contributions to sustainable society by manufacturing and creating new value in cooperation with local communities, customers and employees.

Currently, YKK Group operates in 71 countries and regions including Japan. Nowadays, when there is a strong demand to address environmental problems, strengthen chemicals managements etc. there is especially increased demand to protect worldwide water resources essential for human life and needed for industrial use. In the future, the problem of water resources is expected to grow. For the apparel industry, major issues include reduction of water usage, elimination of the discharge of hazardous chemicals and wastewater in the production process. The apparel industry is taking proactive actions to address these issues.

As a leading company in manufacturing of fastening products, YKK not only produces quality products but also pays a great deal of attention to environmental aspects of the production process. Reducing water usage and eliminating wastewater in the manufacturing process of fastening products is becoming increasingly important.


TPPA holds promise of growing textile industry

The Malaysian textile industry is far from being a sunset industry as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) holds the promise of growing investment.

International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) Secretary-General Datuk J.Jayasiri said Malaysia could capitalise on the yarn-forward rule of origin and serve the needs of textile and garment makers, as well as consumers among the signatory countries. The "yarn-forward" rule stipulates all fabrics produced in a garment from yarn made by TPP member states qualify for the trade agreement's duty-free status.

TPPA members are required to source the input from members, creating investment opportunities to manufacture the inputs. In fact, before the agreement comes into effect and we have already seen (foreign) investors coming in as they find Malaysia a better choice to produce input supply to this market. He said that local producers were also expanding operations in manufacturing yarn forward items.

Jayasiri said the industry offered a wide range of opportunities and Malaysia could grab hold of the manufacturing of synthetics-based products and high-end garments, which were high value-added products, that the country needed to promote.

Malaysia's current exports of textiles to the TPPA market stood at RM5.3 billion and they were expected to grow significantly in two years' time when the trade pact came into force. On the opposition to the TPPA by US Presidential candidates, he said Malaysia was notified recently that the US Administration was working hard to push the trade deal through the Congress.


Textile union aims to be biggest textile player in Africa

Morocco produced one billion pieces of fabric per year by 175,000 workers (30% of all industrial jobs nationwide) in 1,600 local companies, 31.4 billion Moroccan Dirham of exports in 2015 (marking 24% of the country's total exports) the textile industry is one of Morocco's most powerful economic segments and Europe's seventh largest textile supplier after China, Bangladesh, Turkey, India, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Moroccan textile union has ambitious plans to expand by 2025, it wants to Morocco positioned as the biggest player in the textile industry across the African continent and second in the Mediterranean region.

This message was loud and clear during the recently held two-day sourcing fair Maroc in Mode. It proved to be a great meeting platform and demonstrated unique products and services of exhibitors. It attracted the entire spectrum of textile from fabric makers or importers to trim and accessory suppliers (such as zipper heavyweight YKK), garment manufacturers, finishers and laundries to visiting buyers of brands, private labels and retail chains.

Fast Fashion was the highlight of the show that showcased Morocco's biggest advantage as a manufacturing base for European brands (in comparison to Asian suppliers.


Manufacturers urge the Government to boost textile industry

The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has urged the Federal government to channel proceeds from Textile Development Levy to boost the competitiveness of the textile industry.

Mr. Hamma Kwajaffa, Director-General of NTMA, said in Lagos that the accrual from the levy would bridge the infrastructure deficits that presently impeded the industry. The Federal government set aside 10% import levy on imported fabrics to develop operations of local textile manufacturers. The levy was to be collected on behalf of the government by the Nigerian Customs Service.

According to Kwajaffa, no textile manufacturers have accessed the 10% import levy on textile materials since it was established in 1997. We are supposed to have 10% of any fabric coming into the country as textile development levy.

Last year, about $4 billion worth of fabrics was imported into the country. The development levy from this, just like others, we did not get. Now that all these proceeds are channeled into the Treasury Single Account (TSA)and we are appealing to the government to establish it as a fund that would catalyse the activities of the industry.

The Director-general said the establishment of the fund would reduce the need for textile manufacturers to source finance from commercial banks at high interest rates. He stressed that the fund would boost production, competitiveness, employment, GDP contribution and revitalise the textile industry.


New textile venture to bring 100 jobs

Two textile companies one from Taiwan and another from Lilesville are getting together to create a new company that plans to bring 100 jobs to Anson County over the coming three years. King Charles Industries is a joint venture between Kingwhale Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan, and Hornwood Inc. has a manufacturing process called "low impact technology," which includes a process to dye polyester fabrics with a lower use of resources.

The new company will spend $12.5 million to create a manufacturing plant in Anson County that's expected to have an annual payroll of $2.8 million.

King Charles will bring some of the high-tech textile machinery to Anson County, said Chuck Horne, chairman of King Charles Industries and President of Hornwood Inc. The new company will make some type of performance apparel. The company also developed a lower-impact way to dye polyester fabrics.


Global E-textiles market to grow 36.2% during 2016-22

E-textiles market is growing with a CAGR of about 36.2% due to its increasing application across varied industries such as defense, healthcare, and sports among others. Technological advancements in wearable technology coupled with its rapid growth rate are majorly propelling the market growth of e-textiles.

Wearable Technology has witnessed a growth rate 126% during 2014-2015 and is expected to continue this positive trend in the coming years.

Medical and healthcare and sports and fitness segment is anticipated to impact the market growth positively in the coming years due to increasing adoption of e-textile in these application areas. In the U.S., various NBA teams such as Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks etc. have started experimenting OptimEye i.e. a device developed by Catapult Sports. This device is embedded into a jersey and helps the team members to collect data on a player's velocity, acceleration, jump height, distance, heart rate and more. North America dominates the global market and held around 40% of revenue share in 2015 owing to the rising adoption of e-textile products in the regional healthcare and sports sector, whereas, Asia Pacific is growing with huge pace owing to availability of low cost fibers and cost-efficient manufacturing.


Textile and garment exports eye $28 billion in 2015

The textile and garment sector of Vietnam is aiming at total exports of US$ 28 billion in 2015. In 2014, Vietnam's textile and garment industry witnessed good growth in exports and they reached $24.5 billion, up nearly 16% compared to 2013.

The textile and garment sector is expected to benefit from several free trade agreements (FTAs) that are likely to take effect, and it aims to achieve total exports of $28 billion to $28.5 billion in 2015. Owing to advantages accruing from the FTAs, the textile industry could double the size of production in ten years. However, textile enterprises need to be well prepared for the same.

At present, the Vietnamese textile industry is facing many difficulties and it is still too much dependent on import of raw materials. The government needs to promote the reform of administrative procedures, creating favourable conditions for business development, said Dang Phuong Dung, Vice President and General Secretary of Vinatex.

Last year, Vietnam's garment exports showed growth in major markets, registering a growth of 17% in Europe, 12.5% in the US, and 9% in Japan. Besides remaining second largest in the US market, Vietnam rose to number 2, just behind China, in the Japanese market in 2014.

Besides the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which includes the US and Japan, Vietnam has either signed or in the final stages of negotiations for FTA with the EU, South Korea, and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
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Publication:Pakistan Textile Journal
Date:Dec 31, 2016
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