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MARKET WATCH 09 MARCH, 2018

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

PMO steps in to speed up GST refunds for exporters

Taking note of slowing exports growth, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has called a meeting of key officials from the ministries of finance and commerce to expedite clearance of exporters’ refunds for the goods and services tax (GST). The Department of Commerce has strongly demanded clearance of exporters’ refunds to address their working capital issue impacting India’s outbound shipments. “The PMO has finally stepped in to resolve exporters’ concerns under the GST, with the commerce ministry and the finance ministry on different pages on the matter. The exports should not suffer because of administrative loopholes,” said a senior government official. Exporters claim only 10 per cent of refunds has been made by the government for input tax credit and 30 per cent in case of the integrated GST (IGST). These claims have been contested by the finance ministry. According to the Central Board of Excise and Customs, the nodal department for the GST implementation, 88.77 per cent of refunds have been disbursed for input-tax credit claims. “Of the Rs 41 billion claimed under completed applications, we have already refunded Rs 37 billion,” said a finance ministry official. India’s exports growth slowed to 9.07 per cent in January from 12.03 per cent in December. More than 6 per cent growth was on account of petroleum products. The labour-intensive sectors such as garments, carpets, and handicrafts showed negative growth. “Labour-intensive sectors are facing extreme liquidity crunch because of funds getting blocked under the GST. Banks have also tightened lending after the Nirav Modi case. Advance tax and other deadlines are approaching as well,” said Ajay Sahai, secretary general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations. He added a large section of micro and medium exporters are affected, prompting them to lay off workers in some cases. Sahai said input tax credit refund requires manual filing. After filing applications electronically on the GST Network portal, the credit ledger is debited for which an exporter takes refund from the government. That requires taking a print out and submitting it manually to the tax authority in the jurisdiction. The tax officer has 15 days time to acknowledge the submission and issue provisional refund of 90 per cent within the next seven days. After verification, the 10 per cent has to be disbursed within six months. While the government is claiming the exporters are not coming forward and submitting the print outs of the filing with correct documentation, the exporters say the authorities are refusing to accept the manual filings. “We are issuing whatever applications are coming to us, duly filled with documentation in place. There may be a lack of awareness among exporters that they are not doing the manual submission part,” said the finance ministry official. The exporters however pointed out that of the 104,000 online claims filed only 25,000 have been accepted by the tax authorities. “The tax authorities are not acknowledging applications. They are asking for a slew of documents not even mentioned in the GST rules,” argued an exporter. According to the rules only the statement of exports in required. “The tax authorities are asking for varied documents like proof of exports realisations, for which the central bank gives nine months, suppliers’ duty documents, etc. There is no end to it,” he added.Sahai said, “For the time being, they need to streamline the refund process and to migrate to the EDI platform over time so that the physical interface between the exporter and the tax officer is avoided.” The GST Council on Saturday is expected to extend the date for IGST exemption and cess on imports for export-oriented units and those possessing advance authorization-licences under the Export Promotion Capital Guarantee Scheme beyond March 31. Merchant exporters may be allowed to continue paying the nominal GST at the rate of 0.1 per cent for procuring goods from domestic suppliers for exports.

Source: Business Standard

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GST Council’s Saturday meet to sort out filing, E-Way Bill issues

The Centre and States are set to iron out the wrinkles in the Goods and Services Tax including a simplified return filing process and the pending E-Way Bill, as well as discuss the revenue mop-up and inclusion of real estate under the levy. The Goods and Services Tax Council is scheduled to meet on March 10 and is expected to discuss the process of a new single page monthly return for GST. However, since this will require about three-four months’ time for readying the IT system, the Council is also expected to extend GSTR-3B till June. Currently, taxpayers can file the summarised GSTR-3B return, instead of GSTR 2 and GSTR 3, but this facility is available only till March. A Group of Ministers led by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi had met on February 24 and deliberated on the new simplified return but the meeting remained inconclusive. The GoM, however, recommended that the E-Way Bill be made mandatory for inter-State movement of goods from April 1 this year. The GST Council now has to review the preparedness for the E-Way Bill and formally approve its roll out. The E-Way Bill, which is an online ticket for movement of goods over ₹50,000 for distances above 10 km was started on a trial basis from January 16. But it could not be rolled out on a mandatory basis from February 1 due to technical glitches. As a pre-cursor to the meeting, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has also notified amendments to the E-Way Bill rules addressing industry concerns and providing flexibility such as allowing even job workers to generate these documents. “With these changes, the E-Way Bill Rules have become much simpler. Exemption for smaller intra-State consignments and exclusion of value of exempt supplies for E-Way bills would provide relief to large segment of industry,” said Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader, Indirect Tax, PwC.

Stormy meeting

However, with revenue concerns and ground level confusion impacting refunds to exporters, the GST Council meeting could also see many States questioning the future roadmap for the levy. “While Centre is under the Constitution mandated to give full compensation for revenue losses for a five-year period, the concern is that GST is far from stabilising even eight months after its roll out. Systems are still not in place,” pointed out a State government official. Some other States have also pointed out that it may be premature to initiate discussions about inclusion of real estate into GST as tax collections are yet to stabilise. “The GST Council meeting is expected to focus on procedural simplification of GST returns, E-Way Bill, compliance processes keeping in mind the need to achieve the revenue targets. The recommendations of the law committee are also expected to be discussed,” said MS Mani, Senior Director, Deloitte India. The mop up from GST in January was ₹86,318 crore, marginally lower than the ₹86,703 crore collected in December.

Source: Business Line

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Cotton seed companies warn government to halt supply on likely price cut

Cotton seed companies in India warn government to halt supplies to 8mn cotton farmers in protest against a potential plan to cut prices by 7.5%Cotton seed companies in India warn government to halt supplies to 8mn cotton farmers in protest against a potential plan to cut prices by 7.5%, as per Reuters. The government is likely to lower the price of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds by 7.5% to Rs740 for 450 grams of seeds to help farmers whose fields have been ravaged by pests. Seed companies threatened to stop production for the next season beginning June 2019 as per the letter from National Seed Association of India (NSAI) to a senior government official. India is the highest producer and the second-biggest exporter of the fibre. Farmers start planting the crop in the rainy months of June and July. Lower supplies of seeds could delay plantings and hit output resulting to possible rising prices of cotton. Cotton seed prices have dropped drastically in the past few years, as against rising fuel, labour, chemical and supply chain costs that has squeezed margins of most seed makers. In 2017-18, India’s cotton output is set to rise by 9.3% but still short of the record high predicted by industry reports because of the damage caused by pink boll worm in some regions.

Source: India Infoline News Service

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India wants to boost textile trade ties with Egypt: envoy

India wants to further strengthen its ties with Egypt in textiles through trade and investment as textile products had played a key role in the growth of bilateral trade, Indian ambassador to the latter Sanjay Bhattacharyya said recently in Cairo. Twenty two Indian companies are participating in the 'Cairo Fashion and Tex Exhibition' that starts on March 8. The Indian companies, led by the Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), will showcase their products at the three-day show and meet entrepreneurs to appreciate the recent development in the Egyptian textile sector, according to a news agency report. Texprocil had participated in the exhibition in March 2017 and has increased its delegation this time. India exported around $342 million worth of textile and clothing products to Egypt in 2017. Cotton yarn was the dominant product in the export basket, valued at $163 million followed by man-made yarn fabrics valued at $121 million and cotton fabrics at $25 million, according to a Texprocil statement.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Rivals make best of India-EU FTA deadlock

Clockwise from top right: Nocolas Deverwerre, U Myint Soe, Angel Ostroviecki, Artur Aliev, Ashish Agrawal, Dilara Begum. Left: A view of Apparel Sourcing Paris 2018; courtesy: Apparel Sourcing Paris. Chinese representation at the Apparel Sourcing trade fair in Paris from February 11 to 14 this year vastly outnumbered that from India. Meanwhile, Pakistani and Bangladeshi exporters too seem to be doing well, reports. Negotiations for an ambitious and broad-based free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU) were launched in June 2007. The negotiations were the EU’s first attempt to engage a large developing country in a reciprocal bilateral trade opening exercise. But after 12 rounds of talks, and several technical meetings and discussions, parleys came to a standstill in the summer of 2013 following a mismatch of ambitions and expectations. Discussions resumed in January 2016, but have made no headway thereafter. In the meantime, several emerging countries have seen their chance to strengthen their position in the EU market. The Apparel Sourcing trade fair in Paris from February 11 to 14 provided a snapshot of the textile trading lanscape in Europe, particularly the European Union markets. India was represented at the event by as many as 30 firms (31, if you also count Ethiopian subsidiary Kanoria Africa Textile). Not bad, one might say; but then, China sent a multifold of that number to Paris. As Apparel Sourcing consolidated its position as the European leading sourcing trade fair, Indian exhibitors felt that over the next few years increasing competitive pressure won’t come so much from export giant China as from the South Asian neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan, and a number of emerging low-cost countries. Vietnam and Sri Lanka were not represented at the fair. Garment companies from several emerging countries, supported either by the EU or other sponsors, displayed garment products at the trade fair. Among them were companies from Jordan, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar, countries which are currently enjoying zero-duty access to the EU market. Sure, it will take some time before these countries can grab even a modest share of the large EU market. However, as long as India and EU don’t succeed agreeing on the terms of an FTA, emerging garment countries with zero-duty access to the EU market have an edge. Asian neighbours corner India on European turf Chinese garment exporters are well aware that their price weapon has become less sharp and that they should focus more on the other Ps of Philip Kotler’s classic marketing mix (Price, Product, Place, Promotion). Angel Ostroviecki, sales representative of the European division of the Chinese HongDou Group (12,000 workers), says his group is working on the P of Place by not only manufacturing garments in China but also in a cheaper place, Cambodia. As for the P of Promotion, a smart move of HongDou Group was the establishment in January 2018 of a sales subsidiary in Barcelona. Ostroviecki is sure that the European sales subsidiary will offer the group’s customers, like C&A, Kappahl, Billabong, a superior service compared with that of the usual independent sales agents in Europe. If it were to depend on sales manager Sarah Ouyang of Chinese garment company Wingtas, from Xiamen (with exports of up to 500,000 pcs/month), the company’s exports will be increasingly destined for Europe. Why? “American customers order bigger quantities, but they press for lower prices. You can more easily negotiate with Europeans about prices and delivery times,” Ouyang contends. Among the European brands for which Wingtas is working are Mango, Fila, Kappa. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has succeeded in beating all other countries, except China of course, as a global exporter of garments. The main comparative advantage of the Bangladeshi exporters is still the country’s low labour cost. In some parts of China, the monthly minimum wage for clothing workers reached $321 in 2016, nearly five times higher than the minimum wage of $68 in Bangladesh. The official minimum wage in the Bangladeshi garment industry may shortly be steeply increased. Yet, CEO Enamul Kabir of Ensa Clothing, Dhaka (2.4 million knitted garments per year) is not afraid to predict growth for his own exports and those of Bangladesh, especially to Europe. His explanation: “The Chinese do business with their mind, we Bangladeshi think with our heart. Bangladesh is better in social compliance than China. This is important for the Europeans. By the way, did you know that seven of the ten ‘green’ garment companies in the world can be found in Bangladesh?” Dilara Begum, commercial counsellor of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Paris agrees: “The Bangladeshi industry is indeed caring for the environment. Our country will nevertheless be a victim of climate change. Bangladesh is also caring for the workers. After the 2013 hike of wages there’ll again be a hike in 2018. In spite of that the garment industry will continue being a pillar of our country’s strongly growing economy. One thing is sure: the population of Bangladesh is very resilient.” On othe other hand, in spite of Euratex’s (European Apparel and Textile Confederation) furious efforts to prevent Pakistan from acquiring the EU GSP+ status, Pakistan got it in December 2013. This status has been extended to the three-year period 2018–2020, which means that Pakistani textile products will continue being imported duty-free in EU. Senior manager (innovation & marketing) Iftikhar-ul-Hassan of Masood Textile Mills Ltd, from Faisalabad, points out that Pakistani exporters like Masood enjoy several competitive advantages making the competition with India and China somewhat easier. Masood is operating an integrated plant ‘from cotton knit yarn to finished garment’. With more than 20,000 workers it’s one of the largest textile mills in South Asia. Masood is still on a growth path. Among its European customers are Puma, Celio, KIK, and among its American customers are Walmart and Levi’s. Hassan stresses that the Masood factories are WRAP and ISO 9001 certified. He boasts that the Pakistani textile and apparel industry is doing well in the field of sustainability. The government is pushing the industry to drop the use of coal as a source of energy; it wants Pakistan to rely on hydro, thermal and nuclear energy. Another trump card of the Pakistan textiles sector is the presence of as many as five textile universities. “The largest of these five is located in our city, Faisalabad,” smiles Hassan. He also remarks that since this year Pakistan has, besides Karachi Port and Port Qasim, a third deep sea port: Gwadar Port, which is part of the ambitious Chinese Sea Belt project. Myanmarese companies try their luck in ParisThe Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) presented eight handpicked companies from Myanmar at Apparel Sourcing. All of them were locally owned companies which aim at making a sustainable move from CMP (cutting, making, packaging) to FOB (free on board). Some of them are considered role models by their colleagues. This is especially the case of Unique HTT (winner of the national Compliance Award 2017), the highly efficient SMC Group of companies, and the sustainability-oriented knitwear manufacturer Shwe Sakar. The SMC Group of companies is one of the largest locally-owned garment manufacturers in Myanmar. For producing outerwear, woven garments, knitwear and sportswear, SMC employs 2,340 workers in three factories. Among its customers are Inditex and C&A. Unique HTT, a manufacturer of knitwear and technical sportswear (1,200 workers), was the first Myanmarese garment company in August 2016 to get a BSCI certification. Three cousins started Unique HTT in December 2013. They are keen on innovation. For instance, they use C0² dyed fabrics. Around 70 per cent of Unique’s production is exported to supermarkets in Europe and the US, and the rest to upmarket brands. The company has a sourcing team (for fabrics and other inputs) in China. Incidentally, India doesn’t currently play a significant role as a textiles supplier to Myanmar. The owner of Shwe Sakar (1,300 workers), U Myint Soe, is also the chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA). He believes that Myanmar’s minimum wage of 3,600 kyat per day should not be increased to 4,800 kyat per day as the national wage panel has proposed. However, as long as the government does not take a final decision, MGMA will continue defending a more “realistic” increase up to 4,000 kyat per day. (This week, the Government has set new daily minimum wage at 4,800 kyat per day)

Jordan aims for 20,000 more garment jobs

In a region troubled by armed conflict, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has remained an oasis of peace and safety. The population consists of around 6.6 Jordianan nationals and nearly 3 million refugees. Fortunately, Jordan gets a lot of support from the international community. Especially important for the garment industry are the FTAs with the US, EU, Turkey and Canada. Since 1998, under the QIZ or Qualified Industrial Zones Agreement with US, Jordan (and since 2005 also Egypt) can export duty-free goods like textiles, apparel and footwear to the US, with relaxed rules of origin. However, the goods must contain Israeli inputs. Because at the start of the QIZ system most Jordanian companies were reluctant to participate, some Chinese and Indian companies quickly took advantage of the vacuum to set up factories in Jordan and gain quick access to the US market. As of July 2016, manufacturing exporters in Jordan have also benefited from duty-free access to the EU. The EU agreement, which offers relaxed rules of origin, requires that at least 15 per cent of the export production lines be staffed with Syrian refugees. Manager Moncy Mathew of Jerash Garments & Fashions Manufacturing in Amman claims that his company was the first to train and employ Syrian refugees. Today, 18 companies employ Syrians and thus enjoy duty-free access to the EU market. Jerash Garments, a Hong Kong investment, which caters to brands like The North Face and Columbia, is not a small manufacturer (2,700 employees). But the heavy-weight among the Jordanian garment exporters is Classic Fashion Apparel Industry. This giant is employing over 20,000 workers according to its own website (17,000 workers according to Jordan Garment Alliance), for manufacturing men’s and women’s clothing for GAP, Under Armour, Walmart, JC Penney. Also, some small and medium enterprises want to try their chance as exporters. The small Jordanian knitwear producer Noorway, who until now was only working for the local market, participated in the Apparel Sourcing fair in Paris with hopes to start exports to UK and other EU markets. With around 80,000 employees and exports of $1.8 billion in 2017, the garment industry is a key economic player in Jordan. Because of its potential to create a lot of new jobs, it is supported by the World Bank and other organisations. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Better Work Jordan were instrumental in taking compliance to a high level. Now, they’ll focus on helping to create jobs for both Jordanian and Syrian refugees. Better Work Jordan is also participating in an ambitious GAP Inc’s social initiative (P.A.C.E: Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) that will target Jordanian and Bangladeshi migrant workers. It’s noteworthy that not Jordanians but Bangladeshi, Sri Lanka and Nepal migrant workers make up the majority of the garment industry’s workforce. Eng Adel Tawileh, secretary-general of the leather and garments industry section of the Jordan Chamber of Industry, argues that the industry needs 20,000 more workers. They should be recruited mainly from Syrian refugees and Jordanian women. As of December 2017, Jordanians made only around 25 per cent of the sector’s total workforce. The government is now providing incentives to motivate companies to build factories in rural areas. “There are hardly any jobs for women outside the cities,” explains Adel Tawileh.

Kyrgyzstan exporters supported by USAID

The Bishkek Garment Industry, a group of 15 Kyrgyzstan apparel firms, exhibited at Paris, professionally assisted by the well-known American consulting firm Deloitte. Kyrgyzstan garment producers may have experience with exports to Russia, Kazakhstan and other former Soviet republics, but they are still inexperienced as global exporters. Since Russian garment demand was falling in recent years, Kyrgyzstan exporters started eyeing other markets, especially Europe. Their efforts are supported and coordinated by USAID which contracted Deloitte to attract buyers offering them professional CMT services. According to Deloitte consultant Arthur Aliev, team leader of the four-year USAID Apparel Sector Development Program, Kyrgyzstan is a promising newcomer in the European market. The main advantages of Kyrgyzstan are the low labour costs, the GSP+ status (0 per cent duties), the readiness to accept small orders and the speed of delivery (10–12 days by truck to Western Europe, five days to Russia). But, in spite of its large pool of textiles and garment workers (estimates run from 150,000 to 300,000, which is a considerable number for a country of 6 million people), Kyrgyzstan is not a very cheap production country. Unskilled workers may accept basic salaries of $30 –40 a month, skilled workers needed in factories targeting European customers earn $200–300/month. Kyrgyzstan acquired the EU GSP+ status in January 1, 2016, and also enjoys 0 per cent duty access to Russia. A number of foreign companies, mainly from China and Turkey, recently visited the mountainous Central Asian country in order to examine export possibilities to EU and/or Russia. However, up to now, no big foreign investments have been announced. The Kyrgyzstan government itself declared it will create two technopolises, one in Bishkek and one near the capital, which together will create 10,000 new jobs and boost national garment production by 30 per cent. In 2016, the Kyrgyzstan garment industry production was estimated at $375 million. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, it reportedly exceeded $1 billion. Aliev points out that after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kyrgyzstan’s textiles and clothing industry drastically transformed from an industry with large state companies to one with 500 private small and medium-sized manufacturers. Most of them are located near the capital Bishkek. Thanks to cooperation formulas, these SMEs can also handle large garment orders. A surprising characteristic of Kyrgyzstan is that it is one of the top five organic cotton growing countries (along with India, China, Turkey and the US). Unlike Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan is said to do fine in the field of compliance: no forced labour, no child or prison labour. Kyrgyzstan garment factories reportedly also use clean energy; around 80 per cent of the country’s energy comes from hydro-power. On the other hand, in spite of being an important producer of wool and cotton, Kyrgyzstan has not an integrated textile-garment supply chain (except for the vertical production of cotton knitwear). So, the hoped-for future transition from CMT garment manufacturing to FOB-exports could be tough.

Moldova can’t find garment workers

Moldova, a poor and small country (3.5 million inhabitants), located between Ukraine and Romania, is potentially interesting for export-oriented garment industry investments, because it has signed an association agreement (AA) with the EU, which entered into force in July 2016. According to Nicolas Deverwerre, general manager of lingerie manufacturer Astroline in capital Chisinau (100 workers), the biggest comparative advantage of the Moldovan industry is its location, close to Western Europe. Products that are finished on Friday evening can by Monday morning be on sale in European shops. However, the main problem today is finding workers. Roughly one million Moldovans are working in Europe, Russia, and other former Soviet Bloc countries. New investments in the country tend to suck workers away from the garment industry which now employs some 15,000 people. Moldovan wages are still much lower (at around $200/month for sewing operators and $300/month for skilled garment workers) than in neigbouring Romania. Moldovan CMT garment manufacturers rely on imported, mostly Turkish fabrics. Recent frictions between EU and Turkey have stalled EU-negotations with Turkey for a duty-free triangle trade between EU, Moldova and Turkey. (WE)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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UAE free trade zone woos Indian companies

The bilateral trade between India and UAE is expected to touch $100 billion by 2020 against $59 billion logged in 2016. In a bid to strengthen ties, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, the free trade zone, has opened a new office in Mumbai to facilitate and process the applications of Indian companies. Spread over 33 million square metres, over 13,000 companies representing 50 different sectors from 100 countries are operational at Rakez. There are 3,000 Indian companies including that of Ashok Leyland, GK Technologies and Dabur have presence in the plug-and-play free trade zone. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman, Rakez, said application to start business in the free trade zone can be processed in three working days if the company has all the required papers and there is no minimum investment requirement. “One can even take a desk space and start business directly though we are keen to attract Indian investments in manufacturing sector,” he added. The recently levied value added tax of five per cent will not be applicable on good produced and exported from the free trade zone. Manufacturers can ship in raw material from any part of the world and export finished product without paying any duty, he said. Rakez can provide competitive edge for Indian companies to compete in international markets as the cost of operations would reduce 25-50 per cent, Qasimi assured. Some of the sectors that have shown interest in Rakez include pharma, chemicals, manufacturing, auto, IT, biotech and financial services, he added.

Source: Business Line

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Italian kidswear brand Monnalisa to enter Indian market

Italian luxury kidswear brand Monnalisa will enter India later this year taking a franchise route with its first store in Delhi in September, according to Venus Barak, CEO of international market entry advisory firm FranGlobal, which is representing the brand in India. The brand plans to open seven stores in India in top metro cities in the next five years. Monnalisa has signed a contract with FranGlobal for expanding in Delhi-National Capital Region, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata with total deal size of more than €4 million, Barak told a news agency. FranGlobal has appointed PDM University as the master franchisee for Monnalisa in India. The products will be fully imported and sold in India. Monnalisa had unsuccessfully tried to enter the Indian market in 2006. (DS)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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VDMA to host forum for Indian textile industry in Mumbai

VDMA, Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, is set to host textile machinery conference and B2B forum for decision-makers from the Indian textile and nonwoven industry, on May 15 and 16, 2018, in Mumbai. Registrations are now open and are available at www.germantech-indiantextile.de, and the deadline for the registration is April 30, 2018. The VDMA organises the event in close co-operation with the VDMA India Office, important media partners, and Indian textile associations such as CITI. More than 30 well-known VDMA textile machinery and component manufacturers will hold 36 application-oriented presentations about spinning, knitting, weaving, finishing, dyeing, and embroidery. Other important cross topics, such as automation, digitalisation (Industry 4.0), and smart production technologies will show all kind of Indian textile manufacturers how to improve their competitiveness. State-of-the-art technology will be presented in three sessions namely; Textile machinery & components for the fibre and yarn industry on May 15, 2018; Textile machinery & components for the technical textiles and nonwovens industry on May 15 and 16, 2018; and Textile machinery & components for the apparel, home textile and carpet industry, on May 15 and 16, 2018. Networking among the participants and experts will also be reached through a B2B meeting area. In addition, a training seminar at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) will take place on May 17, 2018. Regina Brückner, chairperson of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association said, “The knowledge needed to keep up in the textile business is changing at a faster rate, which makes lifelong learning a must. The knowledge transfer at the VDMA event will improve the competitiveness of the Indian textile industry not only in the short but also in the medium and long-term. The students of today are the decision-makers and technical managers of tomorrow.” (GK)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 2018-03-08

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

Bottle Grade Chip

1138.39

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

PSF

1446.71

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

VSF

2308.41

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

ASF

2766.93

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Polyester POY

1392.16

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Nylon FDY

3525.85

USD/Ton

-2.62%

3/8/2018

40D Spandex

6008.18

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Nylon POY

3834.17

USD/Ton

0.41%

3/8/2018

Acrylic Top 3D

5976.56

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Polyester FDY

1632.49

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Nylon DTY

3383.55

USD/Ton

0.47%

3/8/2018

Viscose Long Filament

2972.47

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

Polyester DTY

1644.34

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3019.90

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

32S Polyester Yarn

2213.54

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

45S T/C Yarn

3019.90

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

40S Rayon Yarn

2355.84

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2545.57

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

45S Polyester Yarn

3162.20

USD/Ton

0.50%

3/8/2018

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2656.25

USD/Ton

0%

3/8/2018

10S Denim Fabric

1.47

USD/Meter

0%

3/8/2018

32S Twill Fabric

0.90

USD/Meter

0%

3/8/2018

40S Combed Poplin

1.26

USD/Meter

0%

3/8/2018

30S Rayon Fabric

0.71

USD/Meter

0.22%

3/8/2018

45S T/C Fabric

0.75

USD/Meter

0%

3/8/2018

Source : Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15811 USD dtd. 8/3/2018). 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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China's February oil imports fall as tax rules curb buying by independents

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s February crude oil imports fell sharply from January’s record as independent refineries curbed buying amid worries about new tax rules, while natural gas imports held at high levels to heat homes during a bitter winter. China’s February crude oil imports of 32.26 million tonnes, or 8.41 million barrels per day, were 12 percent below January’s record high of 9.57 million bpd, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday.For the first two months of the year, China brought in 72.9 million tonnes of crude oil, or 9.02 million bpd, compared with an average of 8.4 million barrels bpd throughout 2017. “Teapots are cutting back utilization because of fears over the new consumption tax policy, which is supposed to work toward hampering tax evasion,” said Harry Liu of consultancy IHS Markit. China issued new tax rules in January that aimed to address a long-held complaint by China’s state-owned oil companies that privately owned refiners and blenders, known as teapots, have grabbed market share by undercutting their prices through tax avoidance. The lower imports also came as refineries eased up on buying ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February, when manufacturing plants shut for up to two weeks. A government crackdown on pollution and a push for tougher emissions standard also affected production for many refineries in the industrialized province of Shandong, a manager with an independent refinery said before the data was released. He declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak with media. China, meanwhile, maintained its high pace of natural gas imports. February’s 6.94 million tonnes was steady on a daily basis with January’s 7.7 million tonnes, which marked the second highest level on record on a monthly basis. Imports of both piped gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG)have hovered around record highs in winter months as residents in northern regions switch to the fuel for heating as part of Beijing’s drive to clean up the environment. The massive government push to heat millions of homes and power thousands of factories with natural gas in northern China led to demand for the fuel outpacing supply, while delivery infrastructure struggled to manage the higher consumption. Wang Wen, gas analyst with consultancy Wood Mackenzie, expects LNG imports to ease after the winter heating season ends in mid-March, but purchases could buck the usual seasonal trend. “Let’s wait and see if the government is going to push wider the gasification campaign, or if there will be pent-up industrial demand emerging,” said Wang. State-run energy giants such as PetroChina and CNOOC may also start stockpiling LNG in summer months to fill the storage tanks drawn down in peak winter season, she added.

Source: Financial Express

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‘CPEC industrialization phase opens new avenues of value-addition in textile garment sector’

FAISALABAD: Industrialization phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has opened new avenues of value-addition in textile garment sector instead of sticking to the export of raw or semi-finished products and Pakistan should work under a comprehensive and planned strategy to exploit one belt one road to cater to the garment needs of the countries from Gulf up to Europe. This was said by Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) former Vice President Engineer Ahmad Hassan. He was participating in a panel discussion jointly organized by the National Textile University (NTU) and R&D Section of FCCI here in connection with the 3rd All Pakistan DICE Textile Innovation event. Ahmad Hassan told that historic investment of 51 billion dollar has laid down a strong foundation for the accelerated development and growth of this region. He said, “CPEC is an opportunity as well as challenge and we must prepare ourselves to harvest the benefits from this project which is going to be a reality.” He also explained in detail the geostrategic location of CPEC and said that roads are important to gear up the socioeconomic development of any area. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor will not only benefit Pakistan and China but regional countries could also get its due dividends, he added. Dr. Tanveer Hussain Rector NTU told that China is making huge investment of 2.7 billion dollar in its textile garment sector. The objective of this initiative is to produce 500 million garments per annum by 2020, he said and added that it will also provide Pakistan an opportunity to avail from Chinese benefits and get its due share from the garment sector. He also supported an idea to establish a full-fledged Chinese department in NTU to make a pace with well-advanced Chinese industries. Professor Wang of Beijing University said that 30 years ago China was also facing Pakistan like situation with rampant energy shortage and high cost of doing business. At that time, Japanese and Korean investors established their units in China, he said and added that they fully benefited from their experiences and later upgraded their industry to compete with the rest of the world. He said that Pakistan should also prepare itself to face emerging challenges so that it could also make progress in the coming years. The panelists who took part in this discussion include Deputy Director Chinese Study Center Dr. Zameer Ahmed Awan, Retired Major General Akbar Saeed Awan, Zaheer-ud-Din of the National University of Science & Technology Islamabad, Waheed Khaliq Ramay Chairman Power looms Owners Association, Dr. Saeed Zameer-ul-Hassan Associate Professor Balochistan University of Information technology & Management Sciences, Inam Afzal Khan, Former Vice President FCCI and Managing Editor Textile Journal Nadeem Mazhar.

Source: Business Recorder

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U.S. Textile, Fiber Trade Associations Announce Merger

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and the American Fiber Manufacturers (AFMA) announced a merger of their respective organizations effective April 1, 2018. NCTO Chairman William V. “Bill” McCrary Jr., Chairman & CEO, William Barnet & Son, Spartanburg, S.C. said, “The NCTO merger with AFMA strengthens the U.S. textile industry’s ability to influence federal policy.  It brings new members and financial resources to NCTO and extends the organization’s political reach.” “It also cements NCTO’s status as the voice of every facet of the U.S. textile production chain, a fact that will help NCTO to more effectively influence federal policies that affect U.S. textile investment, production and workers,” McCrary added.   AFMA Chairman Mark Ruday, Senior Vice President, DAK Americas, Charlotte, N.C. said, “AFMA’s merger with NCTO will allow U.S. fiber producers to keep the sector’s seat at the federal policy table.” “As a multi-billion industry with tens of thousands of employees, it is critical that the U.S. man-made fiber sector stay engaged in Washington,” Ruday continued. Noting that NCTO constantly monitors and engages in all major textile policy matters that impact the entire production chain, including key international trade negotiations, congressional initiatives and federal procurement and regulatory matters, Ruday said, “Merging with NCTO will ensure the U.S. fiber manufacturers have an effective voice on policy matters affecting the sector.”   The merged organization will be called by the name National Council of Textile Organizations, and NCTO President & CEO Auggie Tantillo will continue in that position. NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing the U.S. textile industry.  Four councils, Fiber, Yarn, Fabric & Home Furnishings, and Industry Support comprise NCTO’s leadership structure.  Each represents a major sector of the U.S. supply chain and elects its own officers who make up NCTO’s board of directors.  AFMA is an Arlington, Va.-based trade association representing U.S. companies that manufacture synthetic and cellulosic fibers. U.S. employment in the textile supply chain was 550,500 in 2017. The value of shipments for U.S. textiles and apparel was $77.9 billion last year, a 16% increase since 2009. U.S. exports of fiber, textiles and apparel were $28.6 billion in 2015. Capital expenditures for textile and apparel production totaled $2.4 billion in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

Source: Globe News

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Pakistan : Improving textile sector

The Speaker of the National Assembly is gracious enough to resolve the problems of the textile industry to make it one of the best performing industrial sectors of Pakistan once again. I hope the respected Speaker understands that the main reason for the downfall of the textile sector is because they are mostly crooks. The textile sector has invested all their profits from the time when the sector was the best performer, into properties and shell companies. Panama Papers and Dubai Properties had many prominent textile companies and owners mentioned. While shopping malls and large property projects having textile company names and owners are seen across Punjab. But even still the industry is looking for Government handouts for upgrading their own industries. It is also worth mentioning that only yesterday it was reported that more than 200 fake companies have been importing textiles without paying any taxes due to zero rated facility for textile manufacturers. The textile sector enjoys zero rated tax on power, utilities, imports and exports for many years, but they have not been able to stop fake companies and flying invoices that are generated on high quantity imports. This is because the high quantity of textile raw material imported is eventually used by the textile industries of Pakistan for undocumented production. Therefore I believe that all zero rated and other facilities provided to the textile sector should be stopped. And instead the Government of Pakistan, for the sake of our country and its poor cotton farmers should allow and promote Chinese and other foreign companies to set up textile manufacturing using modern technology, with the condition that they will also promote 20% production from other raw sources, like bamboo, plant, silk, polyester etc. The companies can be allowed tax free import of machinery if imported via CPEC route only.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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Nigeria : Interior ministry to end textile materials importation for its services’ uniforms

The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, has announced plans to end the importation of textile materials for producing uniforms by all Services under the Ministry of Interior. The minister disclosed this in a statement issued by his Press Secretary, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, on Thursday in Abuja. Osaigbovo said that Dambazau made the disclosure when the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, led the management team of the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) to the Ministry to seek Dambazau’s support for the revitalisation of the company’s textile industry. The meeting also had in attendance, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbe, the Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali ,the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service and the Controller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, among others. The minister reminded the various heads of agencies at the meeting of the the need to adhere strictly to the Executive Order on support for local content in public procurement. The statement quoted Dambazau as admonishing the agencies to be guided by the Presidential Order in procuring uniforms and other accoutrements captured in the 2018 budget. It also quoted Damazau as saying that there was the need to support the revitalisation of the Nigerian textile industry. Dambazau said that he hoped that the current effort at reviving the nation’s textile industries would ensure the complete production of uniforms and other accoutrements locally, by 2019. He said domesticating the production of security personnel uniforms would not only boost Nigeria’s gross domestic products,” it will also create employment opportunities for our teeming youths”. He said that it would also reduce proliferation of such uniforms by criminal elements, while deepening internal security. The statement said the security agencies all lauded the plans to domesticate the production of uniform materials and other accoutrements used by security Services in Nigeria.

Source: Pulse Nigeria

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Cambodia :Garment workers to get pensions at age 60

Private sector workers can receive their pensions at age 60, but will have to meet certain conditions, a government official said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 10-year achievement ceremony of the National Social Security Fund on Tuesday, NSSF director Ouk Samvithya said garment workers and informal workers needed to meet certain conditions before receiving their pensions upon retirement. However, he declined to speak in detail until the draft pension scheme was complete. “Right now, I do not want to speak in detail because it is still in the draft phase. I can say that whoever gets a pension from NSSF will have to have seniority and be contributing to the fund,” Mr Samvithya said. “When they are 60-years-old they will get a pension from the government.” “I cannot say yet how much workers will have to contribute to receive their pension,” he added. “You will know when the law is completed because we will disseminate it to everyone.” Prime Minister Hun Sen has told workers from the garment and footwear industry during his recent weekly visits that they would get retirement benefits starting in 2019. Mr Hun Sen said that under the scheme, workers who retire will receive 80 percent of their salary. Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said previously that he welcomed the scheme but noted it would be another burden to industry owners. Mr Samvithya said more than 10,000 enterprises have registered with the NSSF over the past 10 years, seeing 1.4 million workers contribute about $107 million to the NSSF, which has been using the funds to pay for workers’ health treatments, funeral services and other social protection schemes. He added more than 10,000 foreign workers were also registered with the NSSF. Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday it was good that Cambodian workers would receive a pension upon retirement, but noted the age limit set by the government was too old. “I do support the government creating a pension scheme for our workers, but 60 is too old to get a pension,” he said. Mr Sina suggested the government set the retirement age for workers at between 45 and 50 because garment factories usually do not allow labourers to work until the age of 60. “The factory will ship the old workers out, saying they are too old to work. Old people work slower than young workers,” he said. Mr Hun Sen announced late last year that the retirement age for civil servants was 60 years old.  A pension scheme for people working in the private sector was first discussed in March last year and was hoped to be launched in late 2017. Mr Samvithya said at the time the scheme was created to protect workers in the private sector when they retire. “The NSSF plans to process the pension scheme soon for the private sector. To date they have never had one,” he said in 2017.

Source:  Khmer Times

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Australia : Road Transport Key For Cotton Says Bitre Report

Australia is the world's fourth largest cotton exporter - and almost half goes through Brisbane. More than two-thirds of Australia’s total cotton production is transported by road, according to new data released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE). The bureau points to an existing paucity of detailed information on rural and agricultural transport tasks as an impetus for the report. According to BITRE’s Freightline 5 report, 550.9 kilotonnes of raw cotton fibre was produced in Australia in 2015-16 – and over 99 per cent of this was exported – making Australia the world’s fourth-largest cotton exporter. Once cotton is picked and baled on a farm, the bales are taken to a cotton gin – a factory which separates the raw cotton fibre from the cottonseed, stalks and seed hulls – before being baled again and warehoused until they are sold. BITRE says the total cotton transport task was about 389 million tonne kilometres in 2015–16, with approximately 67 per cent of this transported via road. The bureau also says that the movement of cotton from farms to gins was almost entirely performed by road transport. "For this purpose, road haulers use articulated semi-trailer, B-double or A-double road vehicles for transport of cotton," BITRE said. "Rail transportation of cotton is not as prevalent, with one of the possible reasons being that very few gins have direct access to rail sidings." "BITRE estimates total rail movements of cotton were approximately 99.6 million tonne kilometres in 2015–16 with total road freight movements estimated to have been 289.5 million tonne kilometres," the bureau said. Brisbane was the site of 48 per cent of all cotton exports, followed by Sydney and Melbourne at 28 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, and is mostly grown in NSW (65 per cent) and Queensland. BITRE says 79.1 per cent of cotton taken to Brisbane was taken by road, as well as 60.6 per cent of the cotton taken to Melbourne and 52 per cent of that taken to Sydney – 366.9kt of the total 547.4kt exported in 2015-16. It is worth noting that two of the three major routes used to access the port of Sydney were used by both road and rail — and that numbers are split fairly evenly between the two transport modes. Another reading of the study shows that cotton transport volumes are heaviest coming north-east through NSW, up through Goondiwindi and heading east through Cecil Plains. With the forecast Inland Rail project set to upgrade tracks from Narrabri to Gworie and new trackis from Toowoomba through to Acacia Ridge, rail could become a more attractive option in future.

Source: Australasian Transport News

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GOTS certified facilities cross 5,000-mark in 2017

The number of facilities certified to Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has crossed the 5,000-mark in 2017. GOTS certified facilities increased 8.2 per cent from 4,642 in 2016 to 5,024 last year. At present, GOTS certified facilities are located in 62 countries around the world with continuous growth in both production as well as consuming regions. Bangladesh (+40%), North America (+39%), Portugal (+39%), Europe (+29%) were the countries/regions that saw the largest increase in GOTS certification in 2017, GOTS said in a press release. GOTS certification covers the processing of certified organic fibres along the entire supply chain from field to finished product. “The growing number of GOTS certifications shows that GOTS is taken as a solution for managing risks, reputation and market differentiation. We are very pleased with the development in North America. It will have the same pull effect as also seen in Europe by creating increasing capacities in the producing countries,” said GOTS director Claudia Kersten at the GOTS Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. India has the largest number of GOTS certified facilities at 1,658, followed by Bangladesh (534), Germany (480), Turkey (445), Italy (307), China (292), Pakistan (194), Portugal (180), the US (99) and South Korea (69). India has consistently maintained its position at the top since year 2008. “India is the largest exporter of organic textiles, but I shall also be focussing on domestic consumption of certified organic clothing this year,” said Sumit Gupta, GOTS representative in India & Bangladesh. Bangladesh has touched the number two spot for the first time, leaving behind Turkey and Germany. “The textile industry in the country has enhanced focus on sustainability now and more companies are able to comply with GOTS criteria for environment and social compliance.” In 2017, the 19 GOTS accredited independent Certification Bodies reported more than 1.74 million people working in GOTS certified facilities. The number of chemicals on the GOTS Positive List also shows an increase of 14 per cent to more than 17,900 from 720 manufacturers. The GOTS Positive List contains tradenames of approved chemicals that must be used by all textile processors for their GOTS certified production.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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