• Greenback Advisory (17-10-2017; 09:00) INR 64.7900 EUR 1.1779 POUND 1.3258 JPY 112.04 CHF 0.9763 AUD 0.7848 3 M LIBOR 1.35389 6 M LIBOR 1.53316 Gold 1292.76 Silver 17.18 Nymex 51.83 Dollex 93.34 Greenback Advisory (17-10-2017; 09:13) INR 64.88-64.89 EUR 1.1779 POUND 1.3260 JPY 112.06 Greenback Advisory (17-10-2017; 09:58) USDINR 64.91 EURINR 76.45 GBPINR 86.03 JPYINR 57.8785 AUDINR 50.92 CHFINR 66.45 BSE 32595; -39 NSE 10226; -5 HangSeng 28744; +51 Nikkei 21307; +52 Weekly Report 9-13 October 2017 https://goo.gl/WWziu4 Monthly Report September 2017 https://goo.gl/V8GtZA  

 

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MARKET WATCH 11 AUGUST, 2017

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Govt sets institutional mechanisms to tap full potential of textile sector

The government said it has set up institutional mechanisms including a task force, an inter-ministerial synergy group and a steering committee to realise the full potential of textile sector. The inter-ministerial synergy group on man-made fibre (MMF) chaired by the textiles secretary will formulate policy interventions to enhance the growth and competitiveness of MMF industry in the country. The group comprises senior officers from ministry of petrochemicals, department of heavy industries and Association of Synthetic Fibre Industry, among others. "The steering committee has been set up to oversee implementation of a Knowledge Network Management System (KNMS) to facilitate exchange of knowledge among academia, farming community and the industry on the productivity of natural fibres and diversification of their by-products. "The KNMS on product diversification would cover jute, silk, wool and cotton," an official statement said. Besides, the task force would steer follow-up action on various outcomes of Textiles India 2017 for growth of the sector. The task force chaired by the textiles secretary will comprise representatives from the department of industrial policy and promotion, consumer affairs, department of heavy industry, representatives of partner and focus states of Textiles India 2017, export promotion councils, textiles associations and representatives from consumer associations. Textiles India 2017 was held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from June 30 to July 2. The textile ministry has set up the institutional mechanisms to carry forward the key recommendations which emerged from the deliberations at the event.

Source: Business Standard

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A month on, exporters flood GST cell with refund queries

NEW DELHI: More than a month after the government set up a cell in the commerce ministry to make exporters familiar with the recently introduced Goods and Services Tax, it is still flooded with queries, mostly related to refunds and blocking of working capital. “We get more than 50 GST queries on Twitter every day, almost a hundred emails and phone calls at various centres,” said an official.  The main concern of exporters is working capital getting locked up due to GST. According to industry estimates, over Rs 1.85 lakh crore belonging to exporters will get stuck with the government due to GST every year. Prior to the implementation of GST, exporters used to get exemption from duties. Now, they have to pay the duty first and then seek a refund, a process that ties up a portion of their working capital with the government and pushes up manufacturing costs. Exporters have to arrange money for inputs, manufacturing and payment of duties and taxes.  “Our members have informed us that it would be impossible for them to export in August and September as per this refund time schedule. We request the finance ministry to make GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) operative for processing returns and refunds,” EEPC India, the apex body for engineering exports, said in a communication to the finance and commerce ministries.  GSTN will operate a uniform interface for taxpayers and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and the states. The portal will provide an IT backbone for the smooth functioning of the GST regime so that the nation can be leveraged as one market with minimal indirect tax compliance costs. The liquidity problem will reduce the competitiveness of exporters by 2% due to the interest burden on them, according to Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations. Other issues flagged include paying IGST or taking exemption under Letter of Undertaking or bond, which increases compliance costs. Integrated GST (IGST) is collected by the Centre on the interstate supply of goods and services and is also applicable to imports. “We are in consultation with the finance ministry and have recommended some ways of resolving the issue,” the official said, adding that the government tries to resolve exporters’ queries in a day or two.


Source: Economic Times

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682 textile mills closed as on June end, says govt

As many as 682 textile mills were closed as on June end this year and 232 of them were in Tamil Nadu, the government said today. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani told the Lok Sabha 1,399 textile mills were operational as on June 30. All of them are in the non-small scale industry. At the end of June, 682 textile mills were closed in the country, she said during the Question Hour. Of them, 232 mills were in Tamil Nadu while 85 were in Maharashtra and 60 in Uttar Pradesh. As many as 42 such mills are in Haryana. Among the 1,399 operational textile mills, 752 were in Tamil Nadu, followed by Maharashtra (135) and Andhra Pradesh (112). Under this government, the textiles industry saw the largest amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), she said, adding that the GST (Goods and Services Tax) as well as the labour reforms have been welcomed by the industry. Asked whether the government has formulated any scheme to set up new textile mills, the minister replied in the affirmative. Under the Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS), launched last year, there are benefits in terms of one time capital subsidy of 15 per cent for the garmenting and technical textiles segments with a cap of Rs 30 crore, Irani said. Besides, there is 10 per cent capital subsidy for segments like weaving, processing, jute, silk and handloom with a subsidy cap of Rs 20 crore for setting up new textile units or for expansion of existing units with benchmarked technology. Responding to a query related to closed textile mills in Maharashtra, the minister said the centre would fully support initiatives for the industry taken by the state government.

Source: moneycontrol.com

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Over 300 textile units in India enter agreement with Netherlands on fair wages, sustainable environment

JAIPUR: Rajasthan is known across the world for the variety of its textile traditions its tie-and-dye and block printing. However, since the 1990s, concerns have been raised that the water-starved state was encouraging dyeing units at huge risk to groundwater and natural water sources. Pali, Jodhpur and Balotra towns, where textile units are concentrated, have been in the news for the massive pollution of water sources and the trouble residents face in getting safe drinking water. Now, under the initiative of the government of Netherlands, a huge importer of fabrics and also a champion of labour and environment issues, over 300 textile and garment units in India have agreed transition to production practices that ensure safety and well-being of workers and protection of the environment. What is remarkable, is that only buyers from three private textile units in Rajasthan have been represented in this international effort -- Sangam, operating from Ahun village of Chittorgarh, Natural Fibres Exporters at RIICO Industrial Area in Jaipur and Gad Fashions, also in the state capital. The agreement, which will be governed by Netherlands laws and is signed by Dutch minister for foreign trade and development EMP Ploumen, has 64 companies, representing 80 consumer brands. Among the brands represented are G-StarRaw, Wibra and Manderlay of the Netherlands. The aim is for 80% of garment and textile business to be part of this agreement by 2021. These brands operate in Europe, Asia and Africa. The agreement was facilitated by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands. For over a year, negotiations were held with manufacturing units, the Dutch government, and NGOs like Stop Child Labour Coalition to arrive at a consensus agreement. Among the states in India represented by this agreement are Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka. The agreement provides for:

1. Ending unfair discrimination against workers, especially on grounds of gender;

2. Preventing child labour

3. Ending forced labour

Source: The Times of India

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NIFT-TEA to train 5,000 rural youths in apparel making

Tirupur: NIFT-TEA College of Knitwear Fashion has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union ministry of rural development to train rural youths in apparel industry. The Union government will provide around Rs 8000 for each person per month. Initially, 5,000 candidates will be trained in next two years. Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) scheme, the institute should place at least 40% of the candidates with minimum salary of Rs 8000, and a placement Management Information System (MIS) will be created by the ministry, which will track the candidates' career progression up to four years. On Thursday, the institute's chairman C M N Muruganandan and director (skills), DDU-GKY, Anil Subramaniam signed the MoU in New Delhi. Speaking to TOI, general secretary of TEA (Tirupur Exporters Association) T R Vijay Kumar said, "Under the schemes of Union textile ministry and Tamil Nadu Small Industries Development Corporation Limited (TNSIDCO), the institute's Center for Apparel Training (CAT) has trained more than 15,000 unskilled labourers for free of cost in last two years. We have placed 80% of them in the garment factories." For the first time, the MoRD has brought DDU-GKY scheme to the textile industry in Tamil Nadu. With the scheme, we will train the candidates both in labourer and middle-level management categories, in various disciplines in the apparel manufacturing like merchandiser, sewing machine operator, quality control executive, advance pattern making, garment cutter, sampling tailor, inline checker, fashion designer and production supervisor. The candidates will be given food and accommodation free of cost, said K J Sivagnanam, head of the CAT. "The scheme will benefit both the industrial players and the government, the former will get the skilled labourers while the latter will able to create employment, especially among the rural youths. With the skill training, the candidates will get a decent training directly instead of growing from unskilled labourer," said Vijay Kumar.

Source:  The Times of India

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Global Crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 51.82 per bbl on 10.08.2017

The international crude oil price of Indian Basket as computed/published today by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was US$ 51.82 per barrel (bbl) on 10.08.2017. This was higher than the price of US$ 51.59* per bbl on previous publishing day of 09.08.2017. In rupee terms, the price of Indian Basket increased to Rs. 3313.36 per bbl on 10.08.2017 as compared to Rs. 3288.67 per bbl on 09.08.2017. Rupee closed weaker at Rs. 63.94 per US$ on 10.08.2017 as compared to Rs. 63.75 per US$ on 09.08.2017. The table below gives details in this regard:

Particulars

Unit

Price on August 10, 2017 Previous trading day i.e. (09.08.2017)

Crude Oil (Indian Basket)

($/bbl)

         51.82               51.59*

(Rs/bbl)

       3313.36          (3288.67)

Exchange Rate

(Rs/$)

         63.94               (63.75)

 

 Source : PIB

* Since Oman & Dubai prices were not available due to holiday in Singapore on 9.8.2017, the price of Indian basket crude oil could not be derived therefore, price of Indian basket as of 8.8.2017 had been considered.

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Apparel brand Indian Terrain rejigs strategy

The ₹600-crore apparel brand Indian Terrain Fashions Ltd. has refreshed its brand strategy to develop a friendly ecosystem to fortify its customer community. ‘‘The brand strategy will focus on who we are and what we stand for,’’ said Venky Rajagopal, chairman and managing director. Hoping to become a ₹1,000-crore company in three years, Indian Terrain, he said, focussed on ‘‘fitness-conscious young Indians who want to grow and lead a healthy life.’’ As part of this, Indian Terrain had chosen to be the title sponsor for the maiden Champions Sportive Series, a competitive two-part multi-city event for amateur cyclists, in India.“Cycling is a way of life in the west,’’ Mr. Rajagopal said. Cycling ideally reflected aspirational young Indians.” ‘Top selling brand’. The Indian Terrain brand is present in 60 Tier-II towns with Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh being the latest addition to the list. Mr. Rajagopal claimed Indian Terrain was the top selling brand in chains such as Lifestyle and Central. ‘‘We are selling across 50 stores in Trend. They now want to scale it up to all of its 150 stores. We have two stores in Tiruppur but the franchisee wants to have one more,” he said.

Source:  The Hindu

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ATDC bags best institute award for women skill development

Apparel Training and Design Centre (ATDC) has been recognised as the best institute award for women skill development for 2017 by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. ATDC was honoured for its innovative training initiatives like various innovation and product specialty centres and state-of-the-art infrastructure among others. "When more and more women join the workforce, the country progresses rapidly. Their contribution to productivity increases the country's GDP and the economic well-being of the families. For women, apparel manufacturing, design etc are some of the best fitting jobs. There is visible recognition of women’s contribution in the apparel/fashion/retail sectors and ATDC encourages women to take up the apparel training as a career option making every effort to nurture their talent, skills and dedication," said Dr Darlie Koshy, DG & CEO-ATDC. "We are committed to train more women for their skill development so that they can earn while improving families’ well-being and this encourages us," added Koshy. ATDC was awarded at the summit-cum-awards on Skilling India-From Skills to Prosperity organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in New Delhi. ATDC has received this award for its exemplary contributions in the women’s skill development in the country. The institute through its 200 pan-India centres renders yeomen service to the downstream apparel export and domestic manufacturing industries having trained over 2,00,000 candidates in short-term courses under Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) of Ministry of Textiles (MOT), as a component agency and also about 80,000 candidates in longer duration vocational courses with 79-82 per cent being women candidates. The total number of women candidates who were assessed and certified by ATDC was over 1,50,000 (just under ISDS, MOT’s scheme alone). The key highlights of the summit were forecast of skills linked to the new business order, models of collaboration & partnerships towards successful skilling, strategy for effective execution for real success & sustainability, from employability to employment: challenges & way forward in skilling to placement, enabling financial support for start up businesses/entrepreneurship and skilling to placement – a case study.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Mega Textile Park in Warangal will be coming up soon

A mega textile park will be coming up soon at Chintalapalli of Sangem mandal in Warangal city with an estimated investment to the tune of Rs1,150 crore and it is expected to provide direct employment to 1.13 lakh people, said Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari speaking to the media at Chintalapalli where he attended the Haritha Haram programme on Tuesday.  Nearly 1,190 acres of land has been acquired from farmers without any hassles because of the special efforts made by District Collector Prashanth J Patil. The textile park would attract investments of over Rs. 11,000 crore and it would have ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing and other units all at one place. Once completed the industrial cluster would bring back the weavers and textile workers who migrated to distant places like Sholapur, Gujarat, Bhiwandi and others. Srihari said that Chief Minister K Chandrshekar Rao would be laying the foundation stone for the park in this month. The district administration has decided to plant 20,000 saplings at the park site and already 10,000 saplings were planted to expand the green cover at the park.

Source: Yarns & Fibre

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Why unchecked rise of rupee can be damaging for India

Though the political class appears to be in favour of a strong rupee—the currency has appreciated around 6.1% against the dollar so far in 2017—the absence of reliable data prevents a realistic estimation of the damage this has caused in term of lost exports growth or the fall in domestic production due to cheapening imports. In any case, the data will be muddied by the fact that both demonetisation and GST—at least initially—have also adversely affected domestic production. In the current year so far, a total of $31 billion of FPI flows have already come versus an outflow of $2.7 billion in the same period of 2016. Not surprisingly, then, the rupee has appreciated from 66.93 to the dollar last year in August to 64.08 today. And, given the significantly higher interest rates in India—around two-thirds of the flows have been in the form of debt and a third equity—there is no telling how fast these flows will slow especially since, contrary to what was expected, the US economy is not reflating at the expected pace with president Trump neither managing to slash corporate taxes to the levels he promised nor managing to increase spending. In the event, FPIs benefit from both the higher interest rates as well as the appreciation of the rupee—and the more the inflows, the greater the appreciation, making India the darling of the carry trade. There is no short-term solution to slowing, or reversing, the rupee’s appreciation. Even RBI’s purchase of $20 billion—half each in the spot and forward markets this year—has not been able to stem the rise. There is also a limit to how many dollars the central bank can purchase since this has to be sterilised to prevent inflation; this involves a considerable cost which India does not have a strong enough fiscal balance to sustain. Over the past few months, RBI has tried to slow debt inflows by tightening norms for masala bonds—the tenors were raised to 3-5 years and an interest rate cap was imposed in June—and RBI even said each issue would be cleared by it; Sebi reinforced this with a temporary ban on new issues. And, in July, RBI tried to increase the maturity profile of FPI investments in G-Secs. A more meaningful solution to reversing the rupee’s rise will require sharper cuts in interest rates as well as greater attempts to slow inflows; promoting outward FDI is another solution that needs to be worked upon. It may also be worth taking another look at the automatic hikes that were put in place for FPI positions in the bond market under the medium-term framework two years ago—the limits on FPI, to that extent, serve as a cap to debt inflows and the rupee’s appreciation. And, if RBI is to take meaningful positions in currency markets, the government has to create enough fiscal space to be able to service the resulting interest costs. A related problem, though, is that a stronger rupee has been used as an inflation-fighting tool—that dampens RBI’s resolve to prevent the rupee from rising, more so at a time when inflation-targeting has become its primary goal. Perhaps the chief economic advisor’s next task should be to try and estimate the damage caused by an appreciating rupee—only then will the political class rally around the idea of a weaker currency.

Source : Financial Express

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 2017-08-11

 

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1210.45

USD/Ton

0.75%

8/11/2017

VSF

2377.35

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

ASF

2222.66

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Polyester POY

1193.93

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Nylon FDY

3168.80

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

40D Spandex

5181.21

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Polyester DTY

3273.92

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Nylon POY

5676.80

USD/Ton

-0.53%

8/11/2017

Acrylic Top 3D

1422.96

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Polyester FDY

2883.46

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Nylon DTY

2402.88

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

Viscose Long Filament

1494.29

USD/Ton

-1%

8/11/2017

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3003.60

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

32S Polyester Yarn

1791.65

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

45S T/C Yarn

2799.36

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

40S Rayon Yarn

1937.32

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2327.79

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

45S Polyester Yarn

3168.80

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2312.77

USD/Ton

0%

8/11/2017

10S Denim Fabric

1.40

USD/Meter

0%

8/11/2017

32S Twill Fabric

0.86

USD/Meter

0%

8/11/2017

40S Combed Poplin

1.20

USD/Meter

0%

8/11/2017

30S Rayon Fabric

0.68

USD/Meter

-0.22%

8/11/2017

45S T/C Fabric

0.70

USD/Meter

0%

8/11/2017

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15018 USD dtd. 11/8/2017). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

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Egypt cotton exports up nearly 20 percent as historic crop restored

CAIRO - Exports of Egypt's prized cotton will hit 38,000 tonnes in the 2016-17 season ending this month, up 19 percent on last year's total, the head of a cotton exporting council told Reuters, as Egypt looks to win back market share lost after a 2011 uprising. Production of Egyptian long-staple cotton, famously used for luxury linens, has fallen sharply since political upheaval six years ago led to less enforcement of regulations, degrading the crop's quality. Last year Egypt banned all but the highest quality cotton seed in order to save its historic crop, dramatically reducing the area under cultivation to about 130,000 acres, a more than 100-year low. Egypt is now looking to scale that cultivation back up. The area planted rose to about 220,000 acres this year and is expected to hit up to 500,000 acres in the next two to three years, according to cotton traders. "The area under cultivation is growing and exports are going to grow ... and we can now sell at a price that's less than California Pima," said Nabil al-Santaricy, head of the Alexandria Cotton Exporters Association, referring to long-staple American cotton, Egypt's primary competitor. Egypt last November floated its currency, roughly halving it in value and making its exports relatively cheap on international markets, a boon for Egyptian cotton traders able to source higher quality cotton after the new regulations. Ahmed Elbosaty, chairman of Modern Nile Cotton, Egypt's largest cotton trading company, expects to more than double his exports to about 16,000 tonnes this year from about 7,000 in the season that ends this month. "The idea is to regain our position in this global extra-long staple market," said Elbosaty, who sees Egypt able to more than double its global market share within three years to capture about 20 percent of a small but high-end market that trades some 500,000 tonnes of long-staple cotton per year. Egypt's prized long-staple cotton trades at a high premium, currently around 160 cents per lb versus 90 cents for the more common short-staple cotton. This makes it a lucrative dollar-earning export for the dollar-strapped country as it looks to narrow a trade deficit that hit $42.64 billion last year. Egyptian cotton, even lower grades, got a boost last year after a scandal involving the alleged sale of falsely labeled Egyptian cotton products by Indian textile manufacturer Welspun India, which prompted higher scrutiny among retailers. "The scandal created demand for Egyptian coarse-count yarn. They have an export market today they didn't have before because now the retailers are very cautious. If it's labeled 100 percent Egyptian, it has to be Egyptian," said Elbosaty.

Source: Reuters

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Pakistan : Govt revises down cotton output target to 12.6mln bales in FY18

LAHORE: Government revised down cotton output target by 10.26 percent to 12.60 million bales for the current season of 2017/18 over an earlier estimate as the country’s biggest crop producer Punjab fell short of targeted cultivation area, officials said on Thursday. Government’s previous target was 14.04 million bales. The target was cut with an expected yield of 170 kilogramme each. Cotton Crop Assessment Committee (CCAC), in a meeting, said Punjab could not achieve its sowing target for the current year as it was missed by 11.4 percent compared with the official target, which would translate into 12 percent drop in production. Water shortage was attributed as a main reason behind low acreage. The cotton crop size for Punjab is now projected at 8.80 million bales, followed by Sindh (3.70 million bales) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan with 0.10 million bales each. The national target of cotton crop was set at 3.11 million hectares (7.68 million acres) with a production of 14.04 million bales. However, cotton sowing could be completed across 2.753 million (6.803 million acres) hectares as yet. An official from Punjab agriculture department contended the numbers, saying accurate figures of area will be presented in the second cotton crop survey report to be released end of this month. He, however, said parameters for production, including plant population, bolls per plant and boll weight are more than the last year. Cotton Commissioner Khalid Abdullah said there was sowing on 2.753 million hectares this year, up 13.9 percent as compared to the previous year’s area under cultivation. There was a major increase of 20.5 percent in Punjab province (5.3 million acres). Cotton production was recorded at 10.6 million bales during the crop year of 2016-17. Abudllah said departments remained proactive in training of farmers for the management of pink bollworm as well as leaf burning syndrome. Cotton prices are also encouraging for the farmers, he added. Area under cultivation in Sindh slid six per cent during this year if compared with the target and production from the province is likely to decrease 7.5 percent during the current crop season. Yet, an official from Sindh Agriculture Department said cotton crop condition is good and second picking has also been obtained in lower Sindh. The targets for production will be achieved, he said. An agriculture official of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said around 1,800 acres of cotton crop has been cultivated in DI Khan. Government should provide quality seeds, fertiliser and pesticide at subsidised rates to farmers and make procurement arrangements. Hassan lqbal, secretary Ministry of Textile Industry said government is taking all-out efforts to boost cotton production by taking supportive measures for all stakeholders. Iqbal said ministry of textile industry has taken measures for the establishment of National Textile University in all the four provinces for technology upgrade and skill development in the agriculture sector. He asked the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to establish a cotton ginning factory in DI Khan at earliest for facilitating farmers in cotton procurement. APP adds: An official of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association told CCAC that crop outlook is encouraging due to timely sowing of cotton. He hoped that set targets for the season would be achieved if the other conditions remain same as balls per plant grew significantly. Due to nominal carry-forward stocks and depleting cotton reserves of China, India and US, prices of the commodity in the local market would remain stable during the season, he added.

Source: The News International

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USA : Cotton Gins Growing Because of Technology

During the recent down years, cotton gins throughout the south closed, but for the gins who invested in the technology to accept round modules, recovery has been a smoother transition. After 10 years of declining cotton acres, some of the larger gins in Arkansas are expanding their capacity to handle demand. McGehee Producers Gin in Desha County is expecting upwards of 120,000 bales if there’s a good crop. Smaller gins in southeast Arkansas closed their doors, but the McGehee gin picked up the remaining business.

Source: Agweb

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ODI urges Myanmar to raise Chinese FDI in garment units

Myanmar should take steps to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) from China in labour-intensive sectors, such as garments, to boost the country’s economic transformation, according to a briefing paper published by UK-based think tank Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Given its economic size and proximity, China should be the preferred partner, it says. The briefing paper by Stephen Gelb, ‘Foreign direct investment and economic transformation in Myanmar’, was published recently by Supporting Economic Transformation (SET), an ODI-led programme funded by the British Department of International Development (DFID) that aims at providing practical policy support to governments and their partners in development countries. The briefing paper is a summary brief of the ODI report of the same title, which explores the potential for FDI to positively contribute to economic transformation and poverty-reduction in Myanmar, focusing mainly on garments and construction. China, the largest foreign investor in Myanmar, already has substantial investments in the Myanmarese garments sector, a major job creator. The study urges Myanmar to further ease entry restriction for foreign firms, undertake active investment promotion in garments through complementary reforms in finance and trade policy, expand training to tackle shortage of high-level skilled manpower, and engage with buying firms, especially global retail or apparel corporations. Noting the scarcity of competitive local firms as a need for FDI, the study attributes that to the shortage of entrepreneurial, management and technical skills. High-level skills are a more binding constraint than shop-floor production skills and the foreign-owned firms have very few local managers. In the longer term, Myanmar should follow the Bangladesh example, where tertiary education institutes dedicated to the garment industry increased the supply of managers and high-skill technicians in the industry, it says. Chinese and Hong Kong-linked garment firms have produced few benefits, linkages or spillovers in Myanmar beyond export and job creation, the study adds.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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