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GST protest: Textile traders in Mumbai may go on strike from today

The opposition to the goods and service tax (GST) is growing among textile traders in the state.

The traders in Munbai market will decide on Wednesday whether to go on a strike to protest against GST imposed on their trade.

Mumbai is one of the oldest and biggest textile trade markets in India.

Textile traders in Ahmedabad are already on an indefinite strike since Monday to protest against the new tax regime.

Merchants in Bhiwandi in neighbouring Thane district started their strike from Monday.

Traders in 13 wholesale markets in Mumbai including Mangaldas Market, Mulji Jetha Market, Swadeshi Market and Sindhi Market went on strike last month as GST regime started. They later withdrew it.

The traders are against the GST levied at every stage of processing.

“Our powerloom owners are uneducated and they cannot keep tab of every transaction. It is a cumbersome process and will make things difficult,” said Sharadram Sejpal, spokesperson, Bhiwandi Powerloom Association. “We are not against GST, but it should be imposed on the yarn itself in the first stage, instead of levying it at every stage,” he said.

He said that from the yarn to the final sale of cloth, there are 18 stages like sizing, weaving, dyeing, printing, transport at which GST is being levied.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Textiles: Desi Weaves

For Dilip, a small-time fabric seller in the cosmopolitan town of Rourkela, visiting Gujarat is an annual affair. Being a Gujarati, he gets to spend time with his family. But more importantly he and his wife scour Surat’s wholesale markets to buy stock of new designs for customers in Rourkela. Rajesh Meher in Sonepur, Odisha, is always on the move, trying to market and sell the new designs his weavers come up with. Meher’s father too was in the same profession and, for Rajesh, this was a natural path to follow. In India, after agriculture, textile is the second largest employment generating sector and Dilip and Meher are part of this growing ecosystem.

Even as the traders and business houses, including in the textile sector, are coming to terms with the GST changes (5 per cent slab), true to his mission ‘Make in India’ and to trigger India’s economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone all out in reforming and promoting India’s indigenous markets and putting it on a global pedestal. This was evident at the Textiles India 2017 trade fair held in Gandhinagar from 30 June-2 July. Textile ‘bridges the gap between agriculture and industry’ and the sector ‘offers significant employment opportunities’, said Modi inaugurating the exhibition and sourcing event. “Such trade fairs will help familiarise global and Indian leaders with India’s enabling policy environment, strengths and vast opportunities,” he said.

MoUs Galore
India’s textile industry employs about 40 million workers and 60 million indirectly. Industry reports point out that India is the world’s second largest exporters of textiles, next only to China, and commands a global share of around 5 per cent. India’s overall textile exports during FY15-16 stood at $40 billion, says the sectoral report by Commerce Ministry’s IBEF.

The domestic market for apparel and lifestyle products, currently estimated at $85 billion, is expected to reach $160 billion by 2025, according to government estimates, and according to Modi, this growth will be driven by the ‘rising middle class’.

At the textile-trade fair, at least 65 MoUs were signed. The MoUs, related to exchange of information and documentation, commercialisation of handloom and silk products, skill development, supply of cotton and trade promotion with international partners, and R&D were signed between various international and domestic organisations. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani even went as far as calling it “the golden era for development of textile industry.”

With a plethora of investment opportunities across sectors, there is a clear motive to boost employment. At least 65 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 35, and with the textile sector promising expansion, such a move is bound to create millions of jobs. The Centre aims to create one crore new jobs in three years. To execute this plan, the Centre had approved a Rs 6,006-crore special package for textiles and apparel sector, attracting investments of $11 billion and generating $30 billion in exports.

Irani said, “The government’s commitment to ensure that technology enhances productivity has resulted in approval of a fund of Rs 17,822 crore for technology upgradation in textiles from 2015-2022.”

Several company heads and exporters present were determined to take textile trade to the next level. “The domestic industry is growing. The country’s per capita income is growing and hence a four-fold growth is expected in the apparel sector,” said Rakesh Biyani, Joint MD, Future Retail. Gautam Singhania, Chairman and MD of Raymond; Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group; David Cummings, President of US Polo Association; Kihak Sung, Chairman of Korea Federation of Textile Industries, were among the noted faces at the event.

Describing India as a bright spot in the global economy, Modi said that India has emerged as one of the most attractive global investment destinations. “This has been made possible by a series of sustained policy initiatives,” the PM said.

Quality Control
Still troubles persist. For starters, India faces stiff competition from Vietnam and Bangladesh, which enjoy an edge over India. And despite producing the finest quality of cotton in the world, India has to sell cotton at discounted prices due to contaminations. Only about 2.5 per cent of cotton is tested in India as compared to other countries. However, slowly but surely, quality issues are being addressed. Such initiatives definitely will help bring the required attention to the textile industry.

The three-day event was attended by participants from 106 countries. Around 15,000 Indian buyers and sellers, 2,500 international buyers, international delegates and representatives, artisans and weavers came together for the event.

Source: Business World

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AMI to host 12th apparel trade fair in Chennai

Apparel Manufacturers of India (AMI), the leading apparel group of manufacturers and traders, will conduct its 12th edition of trade fair in Chennai next month. After successfully wrapping up its last fair at Kochi, team AMI is all set to provide a larger and bigger platform to add meaning to the entire value chain of readymade apparel market in Tamil Nadu.

The 3-day event will begin on August 1, in the presence of leading manufacturers and traders of readymade and unstitched garments of women's, men's and kids wear. Young and talented designers will be showcasing their styles and patterns for the upcoming festive season.

More than 100 renowned apparel brands including Ethos, Geevankee, Era, Final Choice, Torso Shirts, Diya Design Studio and All Timez will be showcasing their newly launched collection to attract retailers and MBOs across Tamil Nadu.

"We have always received an overwhelming response in Tamil Nadu and therefore we keep coming back here. This will be our 5th fair in Chennai, in the past 2 and half years, and we look forward to a great response this time too," said Nikhil Furia, key organiser, AMI.

"We started AMI with the aim to offer a massive platform to upcoming brands and build a strong network of retailers and manufacturers for the overall growth of the industry. We are now strongly connected to a network of more than 8,000 retailers and MBOs in the South and we hope to scale across India," added Furia.

AMI is founded by Dharmesh Nandu of Femi Design and today the team includes Kamlesh Nanda of Fayon Troupe & Sequins, Umesh Bani of Baaniz (Mangalam), Nikhil Furia of Era, Rajesh Gala of Final Choice, Nitin Kankaria of Big Brother, Nitin Shah of Hansi Clothing and Milind Desai of Mahudi Designer.

AMI kicked of its first exhibition in January 2015 with the aim of bridging the gap between retailers, agents and suppliers. It's core purpose is 'to grow together' and build a strong network for mutual growth and it believes that entrepreneurs can easily make their dreams a reality if each one helped other, enough to achieve their goals. It provides with the latest festive collections by talented designers and their brands. Till date, AMI has conducted 11 fairs across Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad and reached out to more than 8,000 retailers and MBOs. (KD)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Asian currencies push higher as Trump woes weigh on dollar

Most Asian currencies were higher on Wednesday against the dollar, which was hit by new suggestions of Russian influence in the 2016 US presidential election and amid wider caution ahead of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual congressional address.

The currencies of South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand all posted their biggest intraday percentage gains in at least a month as investors pared their greenback positions, although the Philippine peso hovered just above a record low it hit on Tuesday on concerns about the country's trade deficit.

Emails from the US president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., showed he agreed to take Russian help to find damaging evidence against rival candidate Hillary Clinton during the presidential race last year.

This comes right before the Yellen's much-awaited address where she is expected to shed some light on the pace of tightening after Fed Governor Lael Brainard's comments on Tuesday disappointed some dollar bulls.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rivals, was 0.09 per cent lower at 95.580 at 0540 GMT. "Markets are mulling the fairly subdued FOMC tightening theme ahead of Yellen's speech and I think that this corresponds to softer yields also giving rise to some of the pulls that we see in these currencies," said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

"The reallocation out of the dollar... has benefited some of the low yielding Asian currencies because they are deemed to be a hedge position." Such currencies include the Taiwan dollar, the South Korean won and to an extent the Singapore dollar, he says, as they have much lower interest rates and correspondingly low yields. The South Korean won was up as much as 0.6 per cent, its biggest intraday per centage gain in more than 1 month.

The Taiwan dollar and the Thai baht followed, each rising 0.4 per cent. The baht snapped six losing session and hit its biggest intraday per cent gain in a month, while the Taiwan dollar gained its most in a day since late May 22. 

The Singapore dollar was up 0.1 per cent. Data showed that Singapore retail sales for May rose 0.9 per cent from a year earlier. 

The peso bucked the trend for the day, falling 0.14 per cent from its previous close after hitting its lowest since 2006 in its previous session as data showed that Philippines posted its widest trade deficit in decades in May. 

Joey Cuyegkeng, Senior Economist, Asia at ING said while the widening trade deficit can be viewed as positive from a domestic demand perspective, the currency may weaken further in the near-term owing to a further widening in the deficit.

"From a currency stand point, until investors feel that imports work through the economy and push it to a higher growth path, then the market focus would be on the near term impact of a deterioration in balance of trade through a weaker exchange rate," Cuyegkeng said.

Investors will now be looking at the next remittance report he says, for an indication on whether structural inflows can mitigate the deterioration in the trade balance.

SOURCE: The Economic Times

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India ready to forge 'ambitious' trading relations with UK: Theresa May

India is among the countries ready to forge an "ambitious" new trading relationship with the UK after Britain leaves the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Theresa May has told the Parliament.

In a statement in the House of Commons on the recently concluded G20 summit in Hamburg, May said that her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi involved discussions on a wide range of issues, including tackling modern day slavery. 

"At this summit, I held a number of meetings with other world leaders, all of whom made clear their strong desire to forge ambitious new bilateral trading relationships with the UK after Brexit. This included America, Japan, China and India," May said in her statement on Monday.

In response to Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn on the issue of striking new trade deals, she added: "I am very happy to tell him (Corbyn) that we are already working with the Americans on what a trade deal might look like. We already have a working group with the Australians, and we have a working group with India as well.

"We are working on trade in three areas. Obviously, one area is looking ahead to the trade agreements we can have with those countries we do not currently have them with as a member of the European Union. "The second is ensuring that, where there are trade agreements with the EU, we are able to roll those forward as we leave the EU.

"The third area is working with countries such as India and Australia to discuss what changes we can make now, before we leave the EU, to improve our trade relationship." 

Labour MP Graham Jones asked May if she had raised the issue of modern day slavery and child prostitution in India during her meeting with Modi, to which she said that it was an issue "previously" raised with the Indian PM as the UK wants "people around the world to address it". 

“We are very clear that we want to see this issue being dealt with. That is one of the reasons why we have put into legislation the requirement for companies here in the UK, which will be manufacturing and will be sourcing products from around the world, to look at their supply chains and report on what they find in them and whether or not modern slavery is taking place within them," she told Parliament. 

Modi and May had held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany last week, during which the Indian leader had raised the issue of Indian economic offenders like liquor baron Vijay Mallya and former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi and sought the UK's cooperation in extraditing them to face the Indian courts. 
SOURCE: The Economic Times

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Ensure all traders register under GST by Aug 15: PM to Chief Secretaries

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked all chief secretaries to work expeditiously towards ensuring that all traders register under the GST regime before August 15, a PMO statement said. He conveyed this while chairing a meeting of Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI), a multi-modal platform through which he interacts with top officials of state governments via tele-conferencing.

GST was rolled out on July 1, ushering a new system of indirect taxes in the country. During the meeting, the prime minister also reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the Directorate of Estates and asked the Urban Development ministry to proactively monitor the same, with sensitivity, the statement said.

He asked the CPWD to encourage all vendors to come aboard the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) platform, the PMO said. Modi also reviewed the progress of vital and long-pending infrastructure projects in the railway, road and petroleum sectors, spread over several states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh. The projects reviewed today include the Chennai Beach- Korukkupet third line and the Chennai Beach-Attippattu fourth line; the Howrah-Amta-Champadanga new Broad Gauge line.

Four-laning of Varanasi bypass; four-laning of Muzaffarnagar-Haridwar section of NH-58 were also reviewed. "Noting that several of the projects reviewed today have been pending for decades, and in one case, over four decades, the prime minister urged all chief secretaries to take all possible steps to avoid delays, and resulting cost escalations," the statement said.  He emphasized on speedy implementation of such infrastructure projects, it added. The prime minister also reviewed the progress of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and urged the concerned departments to accelerate the adoption of new construction technologies at the earliest, the statement said.

Source: Times of India

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China must promote economic zones around India: Chinese daily

China must pursue economic integration with countries like Bangladesh to promote "a string of active economic development zones surrounding India", a Chinese newspaper has reported.

"China should keep a close eye on economic cooperation with some South Asian countries like Bangladesh to promote economic integration," a report in the state-run Global Times said on Tuesday.

"This could promote the formation of a string of active economic development zones surrounding India, which would not be a bad thing if it could place pressure on New Delhi to deepen its economic cooperation with neighbouring countries."

The daily added that hopefully India could make a greater contribution to improving infrastructure in Myanmar under the framework of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. "This would help to connect the markets in India, China and Southeast Asia, the world's three most active economic regions." The report said that as a key strategic location connecting China and India, Myanmar was reportedly ramping up efforts to make itself a new offshore trading hub in Asia.

As Myanmar's largest trade partner and largest source of investment, China was crucial for Myanmar's external-policy strategy. It said that India was going all out to make the visit by Myanmar's military chief a resounding success following tensions on the border between India and China, "but there is no reason for China to feel any anxiety". "Myanmar is unlikely to do a stupid thing like supporting India's stand on the tensions in the border area as that would risk cutting its economic ties with China. 

SOURCE: The Economic Times

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Vietnam's garment, textile exports up 11 pct in 6 months

HANOI, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam earned nearly 14.6 billion U.S. dollars from exporting garments and textiles, mainly to American, European and Japanese markets, in the first half of this year, up 11.3 percent year-on-year.

Garment exports hit over 11.8 billion U.S. dollars in the six-month period, up 9.1 percent, while fiber and yarn surged 27.4 percent to roughly 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade on Wednesday.

Vietnam's garment and textile export revenues are most likely to stand at 31.3 billion U.S dollars this year, said local experts.

In 2016, Vietnam's garment and textile exports reached 23.8 billion U.S. dollars, posting a modest growth rate of 4.5 percent due to thinner demand of key importers, said the ministry.

Source: Xinhua

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Influx of second hand clothes chokes textile industry

Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers’ Association chairperson, Jeremy Youmans told NewsDay that second-hand clothing has continued to enter the market and now chews a huge chunk of the clothing market.

“It does not appear that import licensing is being applied by the government, nor the correct duties being applied by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra). Duty is payable at 40% plus $2,50 per kg on the value of the clothing. It is irrelevant because they were sourced for free or at a minimal cost,” he said.

“Zimra is supposed to apply duty based on its value. From the prices these goods are being sold, it is clear that the system is not working. It is impossible for a manufacturer to compete with these garments, as they are sold at prices below the costs of the raw materials used to make them, as they were donated by people to give to the very poor who cannot afford to clothe themselves.”

Youmans said they have made submissions to the Industry ministry requesting further interventions in the mid-term budget to save the clothing industry from collapse.

“There is a need for more to be done as the country is still flooded with imports. This is not just a case of the local industry not being able to compete with imports. We will never compete on everything,” he said.

“But many goods come into the country without the correct duties being paid. The international market is not a level playing field, with other countries like China, paying between 13% and 17% export incentives to their manufacturers”.

Youmans said, in South Africa, the government has spent billions of rand on productivity and competitiveness schemes for their clothing industry.

“No matter what they are called, they effectively subsidise production costs,” he said.

Youmans said clothing manufacturers rebate (CMR) and the removal of second-hand clothing from the open general import licence has been in place since 2013 and has had a significant effect on the industry’s ability to compete against imported goods.

The CMR allows clothing manufacturers to import raw materials, which are not manufactured in Zimbabwe, duty free on the basis that they are then used to manufacture finished garments.

The concept has since been extended to six other industries including textile and furniture manufacturing, Youmans said.

“However, we are still experiencing problems with the implementation of CMR. There are still many products, which were left off the list of raw materials to be included and Zimra continue to apply conditions to the approval of companies to utilise CMR, which are punitive and have led to many manufactures not being able to get on the rebate scheme. We continue to lobby for these impediments to be corrected,” he said.

Source: News Day

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As much as 16 percent of High Plains cotton abandoned; Losses higher in some counties

Early season drought, followed by hail storms and hot, dry, windy weather is taking a toll on High Plains cotton prospects. Estimating just how much cotton has been abandoned, however, remains a challenge, says Texas A&M AgriLife Extension cotton specialist Seth Byrd, in Lubbock.

“Trying to estimate overall damage on an area as large as the High Plains and with the amount of cotton acres we have is challenging,” Byrd says.  “There are certainly areas where a higher percentage of cotton has been lost, while in others the crop looks great.”

He says the “badly damaged portion” of the crop accounts for much more acreage than the amount that has been or will be abandoned. 

“Everything from widespread early season drought to scattered hail storms has affected a good portion, but as far as how much of this will be actually abandoned across the entire region, my guess at this point would be around 10 percent to 16 percent.  That’s taking into account the entire High Plains.”

Kerry Siders AgriLife Extension IPM specialist in Hockley, Cochran, and Lamb counties says losses have been significant. “I would estimate Hockley County has lost 40 percent, Cochran near 50 percent, and Lamb 35 percent. This is all still in somewhat of a state of flux.”


Byrd says the overall High Plains estimate does not include crops that were lost then replanted to uninsured or “wildcat” cotton.  “So this number has the potential to climb as the season goes on, but as of now, I’m counting a cotton acre as a cotton acre whether it’s the first, second, or third planting.”

He says hot, windy, dry weather in the early season did a lot of damage that’s still evident as he looks at fields across the area. “I would say what’s more concerning than the lost acreage is that most of the cotton is well behind where it should be at this point, based on planting date alone. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to go far to see cotton 1 to 3 weeks behind where it should be, due to the water and heat stress present during June that impacted the beginning of the squaring period for most of the High Plains.”

He says a lot of farmers chose to replant cotton rather than switch to another crop after a failed first cotton planting. “The state of the markets, both for cotton and other crops, as well as pest issues, is likely the biggest drivers for sticking with cotton. Other replant options I’ve heard about include dryland corn and sorghum for crops, and sorghum-sudangrass just for ground cover. The location within the region is the biggest factor in which alternate crop option folks choose.”

Byrd says a lot of acreage will be fallowed and those fields pose challenges for weed control. “In fallow situations the options for weed control are varied, depending on the amount of inputs (money and time) the producer wants to or is willing to invest.  A good mix of herbicides and tillage would likely be the most effective way to keep weeds from taking over and leading to problems next year. At a minimum, occasional tillage passes should be considered prior to the weeds going to seed to keep the seed bank down for next year.”

Producers should consider what they plan to do with those fields next year.  “If plans are to plant cotton or any other crop in that field next year, then any steps that can prevent 2017 weeds from producing seed will lower the amount of weeds to control in 2018.”

Source: Farm Press

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Cotton industry seeking repeat of Ginning Cost Share Program

Many producers said the ginning cost share payments USDA provided in 2016 for the 2015 crop were life savers.

Now the cotton industry is seeking to gin up the program again for the 2016 crop. They face obstacles, including a higher cost, a new USDA and a less-than-friendly White House Office of Management and Budget.

But National Cotton Council leaders are leaving no stone unturned to restart the program this year and annually until Congress passes a new farm bill. The NCC’s Reece Langley discussed those efforts at the Southern Cotton Ginners Association’s summer meeting.

Source: Farm Press

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Intertek Expands Textile Testing Capabilities in the U.S.

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Intertek, a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide, announces the expansion of its textile testing capabilities in the U.S., with the launch of new services for the fast-growing activewear sector. These services, which include evaluating evaporation/drying rates, water vapor transmission rates and antibacterial/antifungal properties, are new to the U.S. market and offer manufacturers of activewear, furniture and outdoor fabrics a more efficient, timely testing option.

The expanded U.S. capabilities are the result of investments in new equipment at Intertek's textile testing laboratory in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The new machines allow experts in the lab to evaluate performance properties of fabrics for water vapor permeability and drying rates, as well as how they respond to variations in temperature and humidity. This information can be used to verify claims of breathability, quick dry and antibacterial qualities in textiles used for various products. These new capabilities complement existing activewear testing services for wicking, windproofing and UV protection properties and, combined with Intertek's antimicrobial center of excellence in Columbus, Ohio, allows the Company to offer a full spectrum of textile evaluation and technical support across multiple industries.

Gregg Tiemann, Executive Vice President at Intertek commented: “At Intertek, our priority has always been providing our customers with innovative solutions to help support functional and performance claims of their products in order to improve their competitive position. Bringing these textile capabilities to the U.S. and building off our existing textile services will help customers in the region leverage our services and expertise in order to bring in-demand fabrics to the industry more quickly and easily.”

Consumer demand is shifting to high-performance fabrics for clothing, furniture and outdoor equipment. Intertek’s services evaluate performance qualities against promotional claims and industry benchmarking and standards, making it possible for customers to work with a third-party lab to assure products meet these demands. The new services complement the Intertek’s existing U.S. textile services analyzing fibers, restricted chemicals, dimensional stability, colorfastness and flammability.

Intertek performs textile testing on items ranging from fabric samples to finished products, including activewear, apparel, accessories, soft home furnishings, linens and outdoor products. These services help customers meet consumer demand, minimize reputational risk and reduce environmental impact, while protecting the interests of retailers, brands, manufacturers and consumers. For more information, visit


Total Quality. Assured.

Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 42,000 people in more than 100 countries delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers’ operations and supply chains. Intertek Total Quality Assurance expertise, delivered consistently, with precision, pace and passion, enabling our customers to power ahead safely.

Source: Business Wire

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