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MARKET WATCH 12 OCT, 2021

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Piyush Goyal pushes for stronger trade ties at G20 ministerial meet

 The meeting comes at a time when India is trying to ink free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries such as Australia, UK, EU, and UAE Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from South Korea, Australia, South Africa, the US, Brazil, China, and the European Union, among others, at the G20 ministerial meeting in Sorrento, Italy, to give more impetus to trade ties with these nations. He also met trade ministers of the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Canada, and Mexico, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala oneon-one. The minister met with nearly 15 ministers to advance India's trade position and negotiated bilateral and multilateral agreements, a senior government official said. Goyal made a renewed pitch for a Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver on Covid-19 vaccines at the meeting and put forth the position that India is working towards the success of the upcoming WTO ministerial Conference in Novemberend. Historical wrongs against developing countries must be corrected rather than being carried over, was the message that Goyal is learnt to have sent. Last year, India and South Africa had submitted a joint proposal for waiving some sections of the TRIPS agreement, including copyrights, patents, to help more countries, especially middle and low-income nations, to access vaccines. The minister is scheduled to speak in a session on Wednesday. The meeting comes at a time when India is trying to ink free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries such as Australia, UK, EU, and UAE. India will take forward the FTA talks with the newly elected government in Canada and accelerate existing FTA review with South Korea. Besides, India has also set an ambitious export target of $400 billion for the current fiscal and $400-450 billion for next fiscal. “The other objectives of the meeting will include pitching India as the most trusted global trading partner, building robust supply chains and urging other countries to invest in India,” the official cited above said.

Source: Business Standard

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PM Narendra Modi to launch Gati Shakti master plan on Oct 13

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil on October 13 PM GatiShakti - National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity to economic zones, a digital platform which will bring 16 ministries including rail and roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects, a top government official said on Monday Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil on October 13 PM GatiShakti - National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity to economic zones, a digital platform which will bring 16 ministries including rail and roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects, a top government official said on Monday. The official said the 16 ministries/departments have put all these projects in GIS mode, which are to be completed by 2024-25, at the platform. The platform will provide high resolution satellite images, infrastructure, utilities, administrative boundaries, land and logistics. "Gati Shakti will be a National Infrastructure Master Plan for our country which will lay the foundation of holistic infrastructure. Right now, there is no coordination between our means of transport. Gati Shakti will break the silos and will remove all these obstacles," the official added. It would help in increasing productivity of industry, support local manufacturers, enhance competitiveness of industry and also help in developing new possibilities for the creation of future economic zones. It has been prepared depicting economic zones and the infrastructure linkages required to support them that can ensure the seamless movement of goods, besides integrating the planning and designing of projects with a common and holistic vision. "It will resolve issues of disjointed planning, lack of standardisation, issues of clearances and timely creation and optimal utilisation of capacities. It seeks to use latest technologies like a Geographic Information System base Enterprise Resource Planning with over 200 layers of evidence-based decision making, planning tools for route planning, dashboard based periodic monitoring and use for latest satellite imagery," the official added. The Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics under the Ministry of Information Technology (MeITY) has developed this geo-spatial digital platform. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be the nodal ministry for monitoring and implementation of all the projects. A national planning group will meet regularly to take stock of the projects. There will be an empowered group of secretaries under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary will be constituted for approving any changes in the master plan to meet any emerging requirements. All the states have also been urged to join the initiative as it would help in proper implementation of infrastructure projects across the country and going ahead, data of the platform could also be provided to the private sector. Explaining further, the official said that projects of ministries such as roads, railways, telecom, oil and gas are there on the platform and this can also help textiles and food processing ministries to plan their parks. Officials also said that seamless multi-modal connectivity will ensure the seamless movement of goods and people and enhance the ease of living as well as the ease of doing business. All the existing and proposed economic zones have been mapped along with the multimodal connectivity infrastructure in a single platform ranging in three time periods - status as on 2014-15, achievements made by 2020-21 and planned interventions up to 2024-25 for for movement of people, goods and services.

Source: Zeebiz

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Commerce ministry provides alternate method for transfer of space by exiting unit in SEZ

Commerce Ministry gets representation from stakeholders expressing difficulties in following procedures to exit from a zone as the exiting units are unable to recover their financial assets' value. The ministry has given an alternate method for the transfer of space by exiting units in an SEZ. The Commerce Ministry on Monday provided an alternate method for the transfer of space by an exiting unit in a spe cial economic zone (SEZ), a move aimed at promoting ease of doing business. According to an instruction given to all zonal development commissioners of SEZs, the ministry said it has received representations from stakeholders expressing difficulties in following the procedures to exit from a zone as the exiting units are not able to recover the value of their financial assets. "The matter has been examined in consultation with concerned stakeholders. In order to facilitate the smooth operation of business activities by SEZ units and for the ease of doing business....clarifications are issued for the transfer of space under the extant provisions of Rule 74 of SEZ Rules, 2006," the instruction said. Rule 74 deals with the exit of units from a zone. As per the laid out procedure now, the SEZ authority will engage an independent valuer to assess the current value of the physical assets as well as financial assets, in the nature of unutilised portion of any upfront lumpsum payment, if any, in "When the exiting unit identified a potential buyer, such potential buyer shall be required to indicate the periodic lease rent for the space that they are prepared to pay to the authority for the space being vacated by the exiting unit," it said. After that, the SEZ authority will advertise the availability of space and conduct an e-auction among eligible bidders for allocation of the said space based on bids to be submitted by eligible bidders. It added that while this arrangement entails the transfer of assets of an exiting unit to an eligible incoming unit, the exiting unit will continue to remain liable for any liability pertaining to the period of its operations that may arise in the future. Commenting on the move, Gems and jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Colin Shah said that it is a historic decision for the units in SEZ as it will help existing units to scale up at a time when exports are booming and will also enable new units to acquire space in SEZ. "Till 2013, there was no condition of surrendering the properties back to SEZ, but with a condition being imposed that even the purchased premises have to be surrendered back to SEZ for auction which was creating impediment in mortgage and getting loans. At least 50 per cent of the property in SEEPZ (Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone) was unutilised or underutilised for years," the council said. Benefits of space transfer policy include existing units can exit easily, transparency in the transfer, hybrid of auction and direct agreement and benefit to buyerseller and no loss to the government, it added.

Source: Economic Times

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India's trade minister Piyush Goyal to meet Chinese counterpart on Tuesday

 India's Trade Minister Piyush Goyal will have a one-on-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday at the G-20 summit in Italy, the government said in a statement. Goyal will also meet other trade ministers, including those from the United States, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and Canada, among others, the statement said on Monday. Relations between India and China have been strained due to border related issues.

Source: Economic Times

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Economy on the path to swift recovery, says finance ministry report

 Says India will inoculate entire adult population by year end The fast-paced vaccination roll-out and enhanced mobility, currently around 90 per cent of pre-pandemic level, have placed the economy on the path to swift recovery, which gained further momentum in September, the finance ministry said on Monday. The ministry said the government was able to beat its own ambitious target of 670 million vaccine doses set in June well before the onset of the festive season. So far, 930 million cumulative doses have been administered, the second highest among all countries. It added that the country will be able to vaccinate the entire adult population by the end of the current year. The current rate of inoculation shows that the country is not only regaining recovery momentum but has also progressed towards attaining herd immunity. “Sustained and robust growth in agriculture, sharp rebound in manufacturing and industry, resumption of services activity and buoyant revenues suggest that the economy is progressing well,” according to the Department of Economic Affairs’ Monthly Economic Review. It added that strategic reforms undertaken along with new milestones in vaccination have enabled the economy to navigate the ravaging waves of the Covid- 19 pandemic. Highfrequency indicators for August and September indicate broad-based recovery, as evidenced in sustained improvement in power consumption, rail freight activity, e-way bill generation, robust GST collections, and highway toll collections touching a 21-month high, sequential uptick in air freight and passenger traffic, and quantum leap in digital transactions, the report noted. Explaining the vaccine math, the report said more than threefourths of India’s adult population has received at least one dose while more than a fourth has been administered both doses. India’s average daily inoculation rate witnessed 91 per cent increase from 4.1 million in June to 7.9 million in September, the highest after China. Citing state-wise data, the ministry said 10 states and union territories have achieved 100 per cent coverage of their respective adult populations with the first dose. However, second dose coverage remains less than 40 per cent in most states, but is expected to pickup significantly in the coming months. Talking about the external sectors, it said they continue to offer bright prospects to India’s growth revival as the country’s merchandise exports crossed the $30 billion mark for the sixth consecutive month in FY22. With merchandise trade deficit also rising in September, there is clear evidence that consumption and investment demand is picking up in India, the ministry said, adding that the external debt-to-GDP ratio remains comfortable, declining to 20.2 per cent at the end of June. With the restoration of supply chains, improved mobility, and softening food inflation, consumer price index (CPI) based inflation retreated to a fourmonth low of 5.3 per cent in August, demonstrating that inflationary tendencies are pandemic-induced and transitory, the ministry said. However, it said, volatile prices in the international crude oil markets and upward-bound prices of edible oils and metals are concerns. Comfortable levels of systemic liquidity and softening of inflationary pressure have also lent stability to G-Sec yields in September. The benchmark 10-year yield remained unchanged at 6.2 per cent. Trends in foreign direct investment indicate that the country remains a preferred investment destination for global investors. India attracted FDI inflows of $27.37 billion in the first four months of FY22, a 62 per cent rise over the corresponding period of FY21 ($16.92 billion).

Source: Business Standard

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India must find its way back into trade arrangements

 How can India address the ongoing changes in trading relationships as well as broader changes in the global landscape? Instead of being reactive, it could be more proactive and forward-looking, such as in building economic alliances that leverage the links between trade and investment. India and its neighbours have been hesitant to embrace trade as a core element in development. India’s decision to opt out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is but one example. No one who knows South Asia is surprised that it continues to be the most protected as well as the least-integrated region in the world. As India watches, Southeast Asian countries are signing free trade agreements (FTAs), improving market access and creating conditions for deepening their already strong integration with global value chains. Some of these trade initiatives include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) covering Pacific-rim countries; RCEP, which includes the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) plus five countries; Vietnam’s FTAs with the European Union and the United Kingdom (UK), and Singapore’s FTA with the European Union (EU), China has also recently applied for membership of CPTPP. These initiatives impact India and other South Asian countries by affecting relative incentives for trade and investment. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam has been the most agile. The European Union-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA), which came into force on August 1, 2020, exerts pressure on India in apparel, leather goods, footwear and fisheries. Vietnam’s spurt in manufacturing and exports, arising from increases in productivity, proximity to regional shipping routes, and lower wages (vis-à-vis China), coupled with lower or even zero tariffs that it already enjoys in Southeast Asia and will perhaps now enjoy in the EU and the UK market, could squeeze traditional as well as future Indian exports of pharmaceuticals, information and communication technology (ICT) goods and electronics in these markets. Moreover, the Vietnam-UK FTA, which came into force on May 1, will increase competition in the UK for goods and services exports from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These developments mean that Vietnam is likely to attract additional European foreign direct investment (FDI) in manufacturing and services to improve access to the huge RCEP market. The same incentive will also push other RCEP countries to invest in Vietnam to improve European market access. Since India does not enjoy the same level of trade preferences as Vietnam, it stands to lose some investment from European and RCEP countries. Even nimble Indian firms are likely to look out for new investment opportunities in Vietnam, to improve market access in RCEP, EU and CPTPP countries. Across the seas, the renegotiated US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) has rewritten trade rules that may also affect South Asian countries. It redefines the existing supply chains in the automobile sector by raising the use of locally-manufactured components and labour to qualify for tariff exemptions. This may impact India’s position in the automobile value chain, reflected in exports of motorcar parts and accessories as well as steel and aluminium products. Other provisions in the USMCA strengthen the rules of origin in the textile industry that could potentially hurt apparel/textile exports from South Asia, including Bangladesh. However, new openings are also emerging. Rising wage costs in China as well as the USChina trade war present new opportunities to attract American, Japanese, South Korean and even Chinese firms that are relocating away from China. Globally, firms want to rely less on China, and Covid-19 has accelerated this tendency. India has an opportunity to attract some of these relocating firms, which will also help boost its trade. Global trade could also shift over the next decade in response to changes in technology and carbon emission/renewable energy commitments, as well as the efforts of Western countries to secure robust supply chains in some critical products such as semiconductors and pharmaceuticals. How can India address the ongoing changes in trading relationships as well as broader changes in the global landscape? Instead of being reactive, it could be more proactive and forward-looking, such as in building economic alliances that leverage the links between trade and investment. For example, a bilateral India-UK FTA could help India negotiate better terms in goods and services, including movement of professionals, and in attracting FDI from the UK. There is scope for greater collaboration in science, research and development (R&D) and Fintech. Given that FTAs are a matter of give and take, India should be prepared for greater concessions in areas of interest to the UK. India will also benefit from considering the economic interests of its South Asian neighbours, who have been bystanders in these global realignments. India can take advantage of new openings to enhance its cross-border economic relationships. It can encourage trade and creation of regional value chains by investing in neighbouring countries to enhance their export capacity and competitiveness, accompanied by an increase in cross-border imports. It can also encourage FDI from neighbours, including Bangladeshi FDI to India’s Northeast. The creation of such regional value chains can also create more possibilities for India’s neighbours to benefit from the new trade and investment partnerships that India is considering. Sanjay Kathuria is a senior visiting fellow, Centre for Policy Research, and teaches at Ashoka and Georgetown Universities. TG Srinivasan is a senior visiting fellow, Centre for Policy Research. Prachi Agarwal is a senior research officer, Overseas Development Institute.

Source: Hindustan Times

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India set to ink key trade deals by next year

The government has set aggressive timelines for the agreements as part of its ambitious target of $500 billion exports by the financial year to March 2023 – formalisation of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE by early 2022, a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK by next year, and an interim trade deal with Australia by December. India is set to conclude three major trade agreements with the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Australia by 2022, and is close to signing early harvesttrade deals separately with the three nations, three people aware of the development said. The government has set aggressive timelines for the agreements as part of its ambitious target of $500 billion exports by the financial year to March 2023 – formalisation of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE by early 2022, a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK by next year, and an interim trade deal with Australia by December. These will be followed a year later by a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), the people said, requesting anonymity. The negotiations with the UAE are on a fast track. The first round of talks was held on September 23-24 in New Delhi during the visit of UAE minister of state for trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. “The aim is to sign a formal CEPA in March 2022,” one person said. “Both sides are serious about negotiating and concluding CEPA in line with the determination of the leadership of both countries,” a second person added. “Both sides are closely connected and working to achieve this agreement, which will complement the India-UAE strategic partnership.” The agreement is expected to raise bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion and in services to $15 billion in five years. The UAE was India’s third largest trading partner with about $59.1 billion of bilateral trade in 2019-20, a largely non-Covid period. India’s major exports to the UAE include refined petroleum products, minerals, cereals, sugar, fruits, vegetables, tea, meat, seafood, textiles, engineering, machinery products, and chemicals. It imports petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, jewellery, minerals, chemicals and wood products. “India and the UK plan to launch negotiations on an FTA from next month in two stages – low-hanging fruits (early trade deal) by March 2022 on priority, followed by a comprehensive agreement,” a third person said. The tentative timeline for the FTA and other trade matters was chalked out during discussions between commerce minister Piyush Goyal and UK trade secretary Liz Truss last month. The two countries also agreed to quickly finalise terms of reference so that negotiations can be launched in November, he said, adding rapid progress has been seen after an “Enhanced Trade Partnership” was announced by the prime ministers of both nations in May. India has also revived CECA negotiations with Australia, which has tremendous potential, said the first person cited earlier. “It is expected that the long-pending FTA negotiations with Australia may conclude by 2022 and an agreement could be signed thereafter,” he said. Australia and India launched negotiations for a CECA in May 2011, but talks were suspended in September 2015 after nine rounds because of differences on some multilateral issues. Negotiations by the two countries were “relaunched in June last year and an aggressive timeline” was agreed at the India-Australia joint ministerial commission meeting between Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan on September 30, he said. Tehan said the aim is to have an interim agreement covering goods, services, investments, rules of origin, phyto-sanitary measures for fruits and vegetables, and mutual recognition of qualifications in place by December this year, to be followed by a final agreement in December 2022. He said the two sides are expected to make market access offers by the end of October. “It’s going to be a challenge. These things are not easy,” Tehan said, acknowledging Indian concerns in areas such as dairy and agriculture. The market access offers will be a “difficult” aspect requiring hard work by both sides, he said. Though both sides will have to make compromises, Australia can offer investments and technology to boost food and agricultural processing in India, Tehan said. Australia is also open to equitably handling the issue of domestic subsidies in agriculture, he added. India has set an ambitious of exports target of $450-$500 billion by the next financial year and early harvest deals, along with full FTAs, will play a major role in realising this goal, the first person said. Besides the three most prospective FTAs, New Delhi is negotiating trade deals with other countries and blocs. They include Oman, Canada, the European Union, Russia, and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which comprises Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. Speaking at a midterm review meeting of export promotion councils (EPCs) on Saturday, Goyal asked the bodies to raise trade-related concerns faced in these countries so that the government can address them while negotiating individual FTAs. He said such issues were mostly related to market access rather than tariffs. Goyal said India is on the right track as its exports touched $197 billion in the first half of the current financial year. “Our exporters have made all of us Indians proud today,” he said in a statement, adding “if we can aim to scale $450-$500 billion exports next year”. Nilaya Varma, co-founder and CEO of consultancy firm Primus Partners, said: “UAE, UK, and Australia are three key economies, and India’s old allies. Trade negotiations with them in both goods and services have progressed very well and signs of early harvest deals are visible, which will finally culminate into comprehensive FTAs. It’s a win-win for both India and its partners.” Meanwhile, commerce minister Goyal met ministers of at least 15 countries on Monday on the sidelines of the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Sorrento, Italy, a government spokesperson said. He clarified India’s trade position and engaged in bilateral and multilateral negotiations with the ministers of the US, the UK, the EU, Brazil, China, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Canada, South Korea and Mexico, among others, the official said. At the meetings, Goyal also asserted India’s position for the forthcoming Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) of World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in November at Geneva in Switzerland. Goyal said the multilateral trade deal must be “just and equitable” and “historical wrongs against developing countries must be corrected” rather than being carried over, the official cited above said.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Surat textile industry: Meeting inconclusive, no decision on closing mills

SGTPA has called a general body meeting of its members after October 20 where the final decision will be made. Days after owners of dyeing and printing mills in Surat proposed to keep their units shut from November 1 due to coal shortage and rise in production costs, a joint meeting between the three associations of the textile industry held Monday to discuss the issue remained inconclusive. The meeting, conducted at the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry office, was attended by president of Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA) Ashok Jirawala, president of the South Gujarat Textile Processing Association (SGTPA) Jitubhai Vakhariya, Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) president Manoj Agrawal and its former president Devkishan Mankani, among others. In a meeting of SGTPA on October 8, the mill owners suggested to keep the units shut for a month due to the rise in the prices of colours, chemicals and the fuel crisis arising from coal shortage. FOSTTA president Manoj Agrawal said they have objected to the proposal to keep the mills closed for a month, as it would affect the textile trading industry. “Since the last two months, the textile mills had raised prices up to Rs 2.50 per metre. We understand that the price hike of coal and chemicals has led to a hike in the printing charges, but every now and then they hike the prices…. We have put forward a proposal to the SGTPA to fix prices in accordance with rates applicable on the day of delivery of grey cloth by traders to textile mills. But they have rejected it,” he told The Indian Express. However, SGTPA president Vakhariya said the mills are facing heavy loss. “For the past one-and-a-half months, prices of coal and chemicals have been rising. We are also facing a shortage of coal supply… The prices of the colours, chemicals, and coals fluctuate at different time periods, and as per their availability, it is not uniform. The chemical factories hike prices thrice a week also.. ” SGTPA is yet to take a call on shutting the mills and Vakhariya said they have called a general body meeting of its members after October 20 where the final decision will be made. FOGWA president Ashok Jirawala said ,”We understand the situation of the textile mills… They (textile mills) can keep the mills closed for two days in a week and continue their production. There are 7.50 lakh powerloom machines in Surat, which house over 4 lakh workers. There are around 4 lakh workers working in the 65,000 textile trading shops  and godowns, and around 3 lakh workers in the textile mills. If any segment in this chain gets shut, the remaining segment will automatically get affected”

Source: Indian Express

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Telangana shows interest in Centre’s mega textile park

 If the Central government sanctions one of its seven MITRA parks to Telangana, it would create massive employment opportunities for locals. Telangana’s textiles industry, which has been doing considerably well with many global companies coming forward to set up shop here, is set to reach new heights now that the State government has expressed interest in the establishment of a Mega Integrated Textile Regional and Apparel (MITRA) park. According to the Ministry of Textiles, Telangana is among the few States to show interest in the setting up of PM MITRA parks. The Central government has approved seven such parks with an outlay of Rs 4,445 crore, which would be set up over a period of five years, so that the States could attract FDI and local investment in the sector. These parks will be set up at greenfield/brownfield sites and their infrastructure includes an incubation centre, plug and play facility, developed factory sites, roads, power, water and waste-water system, common processing house, testing centres, workers’ hostels, logistics park, warehousing, and medical, training and skill development facilities. If the Centre gives the nod for establishing one of the parks in Telangana, it would create thousands of job employment opportunities for locals. At present, the textile and apparel parks are located in Warangal and Sircilla. 41,000 direct jobs Textile giants like Youngone Corporation, Kitex Group, Gokaldas Images Private Limited, Welspun Group and Ganesha Ecosphere have already come forward to establish their textile and apparel parks, weaving units and other related manufacturing centres in the State. Nearly 41,000 direct jobs are being created in the textiles sector with exporters like Welspun India Limited launching a second project at a cost of Rs 415 crore, Ganesha Ecosphere investing Rs 500 crore and Kitex Garments Limited looking to set up a unit at the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal and industrial Sitarampur in Rangareddy with an investment of Rs 2,400 crore.   The Korean textile and apparel company Youngone Corporation would be providing 11,700 direct jobs by establishing its unit at a cost of Rs 840 crore. For Kitex, which aims to offer 4,000 jobs, customised incentives are yet to be approved. Amenities galore These parks will be set up at greenfield/brownfield sites and their infrastructure includes an incubation centre, plug and play facility, developed factory sites, roads, power, water and waste-water system, common processing house, testing centres etc.

Source: New Indian Express

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Trade body asks CM to fulfil needs of Coimbatore, submits memorandum

The Coimbatore chapter of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday submitted a memorandum to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin in Chennai. The memorandum listed infrastructural needs and ease of doing business in Coimbatore. It requested the Chief Minister to implement the proposals of the N Sunderadevan Committee set up for revival of MSMEs. With the region comprising Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode and Karur and they being major textile hubs, the State government should get one of the seven mega textile parks sanctioned by the Centre, said the memorandum. A copy of the memorandum released by the president of the Chamber C Balasubramanian said there was a need to create an industrial estate for pumpsets, wet grinders, jewellery, and manufacturing electrical vehicles. The chamber sought to create a Coimbatore Tirupur Metropolitan Development Authority akin to Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to help to undertake projects like ring roads, bus terminus, wholesale market and airport expansion, among others.

Source: Outlook India

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Rupee slumps 37 paise to close at 15-month low of 75.36 against US dollar

Rising crude oil prices and a stronger American currency in the overseas market weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee tumbled by 37 paise close at a 15-month low of 75.36 against the US dollar on Monday as rising crude oil prices and a stronger American currency in the overseas market weighed on investor sentiment. The Indian currency for the first time this year settled below the 75 level. The unit had closed at 74.99 on Friday. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened lower at 75.11 and witnessed an intra-day high of 75.06 and a low of 75.39 against the US dollar in day trade. The local unit finally settled down by 37 paise at 75.36 a dollar, a level not seen since July 14, 2020, even as the domestic equity market touched record levels. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, advanced 2.08 per cent to USD 84.10 per barrel as oil producers restrained supplies and leading energy consumers India and China grappled with energy crisis. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.23 per cent higher at 94.28. "The Indian rupee continued bearish momentum on the back of a stronger dollar, following higher US Treasuries, and a surge in crude oil prices," said Dilip Parmar, Research Analyst, HDFC Securities. Parmar further said that even after a better risk-on sentiments market with domestic benchmark index at all-time high, rupee is driven by the rising dollar and crude oil prices. The absence of central bank intervention is also weighing on the rupee. "Spot USDINR is now having resistance at 75.65, the high of April 21 and support shifted to 75 level," he noted. On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex ended 76.72 points or 0.13 per cent higher at 60,135.78, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 50.75 points or 0.28 per cent to 17,945.95. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday as they offloaded shares worth Rs 64.01 crore, as per exchange data.

Source: Business Standard

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Kenya, Indonesia bridge trade gap

Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau said an embassy has been opened and officers have been sent to the mission awaiting the appointment of an ambassador. Indonesia Ambassador Mohamad Hery Saripudin says his mission is fully committed to enhancing trade relations With the opening of a Kenyan embassy in Jakarta, Kenya and Indonesia are seeking to enhance trade ties. Speaking during the launch of Soko la Indonesia in Nairobi, the country’s Ambassador Mohamad Hery Saripudin said his mission is fully committed to enhancing trade relations, and it is their daily routine to facilitate trade inquiries and connect parties from both sides. “To further strengthen our economic ties, the Embassy has also been encouraging the Republic of Kenya's Government to establish the new Kenyan Embassy in Jakarta. We are pleased to note that the opening of the new Kenyan Embassy in Jakarta will soon materialize this year,” Ambassador Saripudin said. The envoy noted that by establishing its embassy in Jakarta, Kenya will have access to the fourth most significant market globally of 270 million people and the ASEAN population of more than 660 million. “In addition, an official Kenyan mission in Jakarta is vital to supply necessary information of cooperation opportunities that can be explored further, including and especially on trade," he said. Furthermore, as part of the government's responsibility to provide enabling environment for trade, the Embassy has also initiated a discussion on establishing a PTA [Preferential Trade Arrangements] between Kenya and Indonesia. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said an embassy has been opened and officers have been sent to the mission awaiting the appointment of an ambassador. Indonesia opened its mission in 1982. PS Kamau challenged Kenyans to pursue Indonesian markets due to their diversity, saying the distance between the two states should not stand in the way between Kenya and Indonesia trade relations.  Soko la Indonesia is key and crucial for Kenya and II urge all Kenyans to take advantage. Look at the Indonesian market the way you see the European or Dubai’s market. This is an opportunity to exploit the market potential,’’ Kamau said. Micael Mandu from the Department for Trade said bilateral trade has averaged at $474 million every year. “In 2020, trade between Kenya and Indonesia stood at $596 million, with Kenya’s exports being at $8 million while imports from Indonesia were $588 million and therefore the balance of trade, which is heavily in favour of Indonesia, was valued at $580 million,” Mandu said. He challenged the private sector in Nairobi to export more. He said Indonesia is keen to sign a bilateral trade agreement with Kenya to grow trade between the two countries. Kenya's main exports to Indonesia are tea, leather, metallic salts and peroxysalts, tobacco, vegetable textile fibres, essential oils, jute and other textile fibres, vegetables, fresh, chilled, frozen; coffee and coffee substitutes. It imports vegetable fats (palm oil), paper and paperboard, animal or vegetable fats and oils; margarine, natural rubber electrical machinery, electrical and non-electrical equipment, glass and apparel and clothing accessories from Indonesia. Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) director Omarsadik Dahiye said Kenya needs to expand products currently exported to the Indonesian market. KNCCI signed an MoU with the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce in 2017 to promote trade and investment relations and exchange of information. During the Soko la Indonesia launch, the embassy showcased some 2,000 samples of products sent from Indonesia. Soko la Indonesia is a supermarket-style Indonesian products house where visitors can go to the embassy, find and interact physically with a comprehensive range of sample products, and connect with the producers to follow up directly. The opening of Soko la Indonesia followed the launch of an exhibition dubbed the Hybrid Trade Showcase 2021 in September. The initiative by the Indonesian Embassy and Kareem International, an Indonesian export aggregator company, aims at promoting Indonesian products to businesses in Kenya and other African countries.

Source: The Star

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EURATEX confirms recovery of European textile industry from COVID-19

The latest economic survey by EURATEX has confirmed that the European Textiles and Clothing (T&C) industry is coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, but will face new challenges ahead. The textile activity has surpassed its pre-pandemic level from the fourth quarter of 2019 by 3.6 per cent. The clothing sector remains 11.5 per cent low, but continues to improve. The textile turnover has increased by 3.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, after slight contraction in the first quarter of 2021. Similarly, the business activity in the clothing sector has also expanded by 7 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, after increasing 1 per cent in the previous quarter. This recovery may, however, be disrupted by the current supply chain and energy problems, EURATEX said in a press release. In the second quarter of 2021, the EU-27 trade balance for T&C improved, resulting mostly from an increase of export sales across third markets and a drop of textile imports. T&C Extra-EU exports boomed by 49 per cent as compared with the same quarter of the previous year. T&C Extra-EU imports went down by 26 per cent as compared with the same quarter of the previous year, following a decrease of imports from some main supplier countries. EU imports from China and the UK collapsed due to a combination of Brexit and weaker demand in Europe. During the second quarter of 2021, job creation was slowly stabilising in the textile industry, while employment in the clothing sector continued to be affected by lower levels of production activity in industry during the first part of the year. When compared to its pre-pandemic level in Q4 2019, EU employment in the second quarter of 2021 was still 4.4 per cent down in textiles and 11.8 per cent down in clothing. However, this fragile recovery is hampered by higher shipping costs and prices’ increase in raw materials and energy. The cost of energy, in particular gas, has increased more than 3 times since the beginning of this year. Since the announcement of the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package, we have seen CO2 prices rising above €60. This inevitably has an impact on the industry’s competitiveness, especially in a global context. The future recovery is also threatened by some factors limiting production, such as shortage of labour force and equipment, which are putting additional pressure on T&C industries. “Our companies have shown great resilience during the pandemic, and their latest export performance is an encouraging sign of recovery. This recovery may however be disrupted by the current supply chain and energy problems. Once again, recent developments show that this transition towards more sustainable production can only work if organised in a global context, avoiding carbon leakage and with an effective level playing field. This must be considered in the upcoming EU Textiles Strategy,” said EURATEX director general Dirk Vantyghem.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Italian industrial production just slightly softer in August

This was confirmation that Italy is relatively resilient, but not immune, to supply chain disruptions. As some production softness could continue in the short term, GDP growth is also set to decelerate over 2H21. Production softer in August, but still above pre-Covid levels Istat data shows that growth in the Italian industrial production softened slightly in August, after consecutive c. 1% positive gains in June and July. The seasonally adjusted measure was down 0.2% on the month, broadly in line with consensus forecasts. The working days adjusted measure was flat YoY. As usual, the August release needs to be interpreted with some caution due to seasonal adjustment issues related to plant holiday breaks, but the underlying signal remains a positive one. Indeed, in August the level of seasonally adjusted production was 1.5% higher than in February 2020, just before the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. This is a decent performance showing that Italian producers, less reliant on chip inputs than other core European countries thanks to a different specialization pattern, have been more resilient to the ongoing supply chain disruptions. Only investment goods in positive territory for the month On aggregate, the data shows that production contracted in energy, consumer and intermediate goods, but expanded in investment goods. Some strength in the investment goods domain had looked indeed possible, in our view, as over the Summer manufacturing business surveys have been consistently pointing to insufficien plants and capacity as the main factors limiting production. The sector view points to a rotation in production. There has been a marked contraction in the production of pharmaceuticals, the clear overperformer over the worst days pf the pandemics, and good rebounds in metal products and textiles and clothing, the latter a strong underperformer during the crisis Some more softness in production to be expected in the short run What to expect for industrial production in the short run? It will likely be a balancing act. On the one hand the impact of supply disruptions might be increasingly felt both in terms of sheer availability and via their higher input cost implications. Business surveys are suggesting that inventories are being drawn down and that historical lows in the series are not that far away. On the other hand, both domestic and foreign demand remains strong, and businesses remain confident in their ability to charge higher prices to compensate for higher input costs. It seems thus reasonable to expect production to flatten out or contract modestly in the short run, before seeing new acceleration as supply disruptions ease. Growth looks set to decelerate over 2H21 but average 2021 GDP growth of 6% remains within reach Adding August production data to the time series, we note that the June-August average posted a 1.1% gain over the previous three months. Even if assuming a flat reading in September, industrial production could still post a slightly positive quarterly gain over 3Q21. This will likely leave most of the growth burden on services, the biggest beneficiary of the Summer re-openings and of a reportedly successful tourism season. While expecting very good quarterly GDP growth in 3Q21, we do not believe it will be able to match the surprisingly strong 2.7% QoQ performance of 2Q21. As re-opening momentum cools over 4Q, growth should also decelerate further, but we remain convinced that our current forecast of 6% average GDP growth in 2021 is well within reach.

Source: Thinking

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Entering the age of intuitive weaving

 First four applications are production monitoring, energy monitoring, style administration and PartsLine, a new online webshop. Picanol is introducing PicConnect, a new fully digital platform for weavers. The cloud-based application can be accessed through a web browser on any device and functions as the gateway for Picanol weaving machines to connect to the company’s digital services. “PicConnect enables weavers to quickly react to changes in the weaving room and will have an immediate impact on the performance of the weaving machines,” said Johan Verstraete, Picanol vice president of weaving machines. “It will not only change how weavers interact with their machines but also the way they interact with Picanol, bringing them into the era of intuitive weaving.” The first four applications that will be launched as part of PicConnect are production monitoring, energy monitoring, style administration and PartsLine, a new online webshop. In the production monitoring application, real-time monitoring of the machine status enables the weaver to react quickly in respect of operational tasks and increase overall efficiency. The historical data, graphs and tables provide the hard data to pinpoint exactly where action is needed. The energy monitoring application keeps an eye on the power consumption of the machines. With airjet machines air consumption is also monitored. It provides a better insight into the total energy flow in the weaving room, helping to reduce overall energy costs. The style administration application allows the user to swiftly open, edit, and manage machine settings through a central repository. A unique feature of PicConnect is that a weaver can now easily compare and copy settings between different machines, ensuring the machines are all using the optimal settings. The new webshop for original Picanol spare parts, PartsLine, offers a seamless online shopping experience, covering everything from quotations to reviewing orders and invoices. A range of additional applications will be introduced shortly.

Source: Innovation in Textiles

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