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Zero growth in textiles puts industry in a bind

It’s been three months since the Mewar Chamber of Commerce and Industry enrolled a new member. Instead, existing members are knocking on its doors to change their registration — from textile units to other businesses. For the last two years there has been no growth in the textile industry, the mainstay of Bhilwara’s economy. The city is home to 850 textile units that create direct employment for 85,000 people and indirect employment for 60,000. Unlike in other industrial towns, here migrants make up just 20% of the workforce, which means it is locals who are employed in the unit. Bhilwara is the state’s largest textile centre, producing cotton yarn, polyster or viscose-blended yarn and fabrics, denim and other textile products. Dinesh Nolakha, president of Mewar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said the decline started with demonetisation in November 2016, which reduced purchasing power for few months. “It left thousands jobless for a while, if not permanently. The industry barely recovered from the shock of demonetisation when GST was introduced, slowing growth further. Textile units were never under the sales tax regime. For the first time, 18% GST was levied on the units,” said Nolakha. GST was later reduced to 12%, but that came as a small relief. The Supreme Court order directing industrial units to not use petcoke in order to control air pollution, increased their dependence on coal and lignite, which are expensive fuels. “GST and the change in fuel have increased the cost of production which has its dampening effect on the sector,” said Nolakha. MCCI said its worst fear is a lockdown of units if the government remains indifferent to industry needs. They have also been requesting a rebate in power tariffs in vain. RK Jain, owner of a textile unit in Bhilwara, said they pay Rs 7.39 paise per unit for power, the highest in the country. “Power is cheaper in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. These centres are able to produce textiles cheaper and are slowly eating into our market share,” said Jain. Textile unit owners say sitting BJP MLA Vitthal Shankar Avasthi hasn’t responded to their demands or supported them. They have been meeting representatives of different political parties ahead of the assembly election in the hope that they’ll be heard.

Source: Times of India

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PM launches historic Support and Outreach Initiative for MSME sector

  • PM unveils 12 key initiatives
  • 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs
  • Mandatory 25 percent procurement from MSMEs by CPSEs
  • Ordinance for simplifying procedures for minor offences under Companies Act

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. The Prime Minister said that the 12 decisions that he is announcing today, will mark a new chapter for the MSME sector. Noting that MSMEs are one of the principal employment generators in India, the Prime Minister recalled the glorious Indian traditions of small scale industry, including Ludhiana’s hosiery, and Varanasi’s sarees. The Prime Minister said that the success of economic reforms launched by the Union Government, can be gauged from the rise in India's “Ease of Doing Business Rankings,” from 142 to 77 in four years. The Prime Minister said that there are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees. He said that as a Diwali gift for the sector, the 12 announcements he is making, will address each of these five categories.

Access to Credit

As the first announcement, the Prime Minister announced the launch of the 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. He said that loans uptoRs. 1 crore can be granted in-principle approval through this portal, in just 59 minutes. He said a link to this portal will be made available through the GST portal. The Prime Minister asserted that in New India, no one should be compelled to visit a bank branch repeatedly. The Prime Minister mentioned the second announcement as a 2 percent interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. For exporters who receive loans in the pre-shipment and post-shipment period, the Prime Minister announced an increase in interest rebate from 3 percent to 5 percent. The third announcement made by the Prime Minister was that all companies with a turnover more than Rs. 500 crore, must now compulsorily be brought on the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS). He said that joining this portal will enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based ontheir upcoming receivables. This will resolve their problems of cash cycle.

Access to Markets

The Prime Minister said that on access to markets for entrepreneurs, the Union Government has taken a number of steps already. In this context, he made his fourth announcement, thatpublic sector companies have now been asked to compulsorily procure 25 percent, instead of 20 percent of their total purchases, from MSMEs. The Prime Minister said his fifth announcement is related to women entrepreneurs. He said that out of the 25 percent procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3 percent must now be reserved for women entrepreneurs. The Prime Minister said that more than 1.5 lakh suppliers have now registered with GeM, out of which 40,000 are MSMEs. He said transactions worth more than Rs. 14,000 crore have been made so far through GeM. He said the sixth announcement is that all public sector undertakings of the Union Government must now compulsorily be a part of GeM. He said they should also get all their vendors registered on GeM.

Technology Upgradation

Coming to technological upgradation, the Prime Minister said that tool rooms across the country are a vital part of product design. His seventh announcement was that 20 hubs will be formed across the country, and 100 spokes in the form of tool rooms will be established.

Ease of Doing Business

On Ease of Doing Business, the Prime Minister said his eighth announcement is related to pharma companies. He said clusters will be formed of pharma MSMEs. He said 70 percent cost of establishing these clusters will be borne by the Union Government. The Prime Minister said that the ninth announcementis on simplification of government procedures. He said the ninth announcement is that the return under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations must now be filed only once a year. The Prime Minister said that the tenth announcement is that now the establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through a computerised random allotment. The Prime Minister noted that as part of establishing a unit, an entrepreneur needs two clearances namely, environmental clearance and consent to establish. He said that the eleventh announcement is that under air pollution and water pollution laws, now both these have been merged as a single consent. He further said that the return will be accepted through self-certification. As the twelfth announcement, the Prime Minister mentioned that an Ordinance has been brought, under which, for minor violations under the Companies Act, the entrepreneur will no longer have to approach the Courts, but can correct them through simple procedures.

Social Security for MSME Sector Employees

The Prime Minister also spoke of social security for the MSME sector employees. He said that a mission will be launched to ensure that they have Jan Dhan Accounts, provident fund and insurance. The Prime Minister said that these decisions would go a long way in strengthening the MSME sector in India. He said the implementation of this outreach programme will be intensively monitored over the next 100 days.

Source: PIB

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India will soon be world's 3rd biggest economy: Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday stated that he hoped the Indian economy will soon be one of the top three largest economies in the world. Speaking at the launch of the Support and Outreach Programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector here, the Finance Minister hailed the economic contributions of the MSMEs, saying that 6.5 crore MSME units are providing employment to as many as 11 crore Indians. Jaitley further stated that India will continue as the fastest growing economy in the coming years and the size of the economy will grow further. He said that prior to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government being instated in 2014, India was the ninth biggest economy and now it is ranked sixth, adding that he hoped India will break into the top three economies of the world soon. The government is specifically focusing on tackling the challenges in the MSME sector, Jaitley informed. He further informed that the government is saving as much as Rs 90 thousand crore as funds are reaching the people as a direct benefit.

Source: Business Standard

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India becomes one of 8 countries to get waiver on Trump’s Iran sanctions

India has become one of the eight countries to get a waiver on the sanctions imposed on Iran by the Donald Trump administration. India is one of the eight countries to get a waiver on the sanctions imposed on Iran by the Donald Trump administration. India one of the eight countries to get a waiver on the sanctions imposed on Iran by the Donald Trump administration. India has become one of the eight countries to get a waiver on the sanctions re-imposed on Iran by the Donald Trump administration. United States secretary of state Michael Pompeo on Friday said that eight governments that have taken “important moves” towards reducing Iranian oil imports to zero are going to receive temporary waivers. To get the waiver India agreed to cut imports and escrow payments from Iran. As per news agency PTI, India told the US that it was willing to restrict monthly oil purchase from Iran from 22.6 million tonnes (452,000 barrels per day) to 1.25 million tonnes or 15 million tonnes in a year. In May, US President Donald Trump announced that the US will be re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran by withdrawing the 2015 nuclear accord. The sanctions partially kicked-in in August and will kick-in fully including oil trades on November 5.

Source: Financial Express

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We are eyeing turnover of Rs 5,000 crore by 2020: KVIC Chairman VK Saxena

"The Make in India push by our Prime Minister has also given Khadi the right kind of attention," he said. The desi fabric has come a long way in the last four years with Khadi production registering 37.1 per cent growth. In an interview with Moneycontrol, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman VK Saxena spoke at length about the sector and how his organisation wants to keep the growth momentum going. Khadi production has gone up by 39.30 million square meters. What were the main factors? Production of Khadi has gone up from 103.22 million square meters in 2013 to 141.52 million square meters in the present year. This increase of 39.30 million square meters has happened due to KVIC encouraging the registration of new Khadi institutions and laying stress on artisan-centric programmes like distribution of 31,000 new modern charkhas and 5,600 modern looms since 2015. During this span of time, Khadi has rolled out 376 new Khadi institutions and added 38,684 new Khadi artisans to the system. The Make in India push by our Prime Minister has also given Khadi the right kind of attention. If production has increased, it also means that the consumption has increased. The introduction of higher and multi-dimensional innovation in Khadi production by the KVIC has paid off. Credit also goes to the Ministry of MSME, who outlined and implemented many policies and programmes to encourage the artisans, who are the backbone of this sector.

Are you looking at targeting international buyers too?

We want to take Khadi to places where there is demand. On August 15, we exhibited our products in 10 countries and on October 2 this year, we went to as many as 50 countries for exhibitions and shows. The response was overwhelming and we are constantly in touch with buyers.

Where does khadi stand compared to all the textile fabric produced in the country?

As per the website of Ministry of Textiles, in the fiscal 2013-14, the mill sector fabric production was 2531 million square meters. On the other hand, as per KVIC's Audit Report, the Khadi sector fabric production during the same fiscal was 103.22 million square meters – which was a bit higher than 4 per cent of the overall production. Interestingly in financial year 2017-18, while the mill sector fabric production was 2157 million square meters, the Khadi sector fabric production was 141.52 million square meters – which was more than 6.5 per cent share of the overall fabric production in the country.

What targets have you set for the organisation?

In 2017-18, our turnover was to the tune of Rs 2,509 crore. In 2018-19, we are hopeful of touching turnover of Rs 3,200 crore. We are targeting to take the figure to Rs 5,000 crore in two years' time.

Source: Money Control

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Rupee logs biggest single-day gain in 5 yrs, leaps 100 paise on crude respite

The rupee on Friday posted its best gain against the dollar in five years as it appreciated 101 paise or 1.36% to end the day at 72.45 a dollar as compared with the previous close of 73.45. A combination of factors like ebbing global crude oil prices and a possible U.S.-China trade deal led to the strengthening of the rupee. “A confluence of factors helped the sharp uptick in rupee today. Falling crude prices, better global risk appetite on U.S.-China trade-related hopes and broad dollar weakness helped the currency. This is the biggest single day gain for the rupee since early September of 2013,” said Madhavi Arora, economist, FX and rates- Edelweiss Securities Ltd. Rupee was the best performing emerging market currency on Friday after Korean won which appreciated 1.45%. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at $72.98 per barrel. Falling crude prices will help bridge the current account gap, which is seen a positive for the rupee. The future trajectory of the rupee could be decided by several external factors, including Brent prices and the mid-term polls in the U.S. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic unit Friday opened on a higher note at 73.14, then gained further ground and touched an intra-day high of 72.43, a jump of 102 paise. It, however, closed at 72.45 against the greenback, showing a rise of 100 paise — the best day for the Indian unit since September 2013. With crude oil prices constantly dipping, concerns over widening current account deficit have slightly eased, helping the rupee claw back some lost ground. The reports have suggested that the Trump administration is considering granting waivers to India and some other countries, which will allow these nations to continue buying oil from Iran, despite the renewal of US sanctions from next week. The US had told various countries, including India, to cut oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation to “zero” by November 4 or face sanctions. “Broad-based weakness in dollar along with fall in crude oil prices boosted the Indian rupee, which climbed 1.40 per cent to 72.44. Local currency had a single biggest day gain in five years amid improvement in macro environment. Foreign funds have turned buyer in domestic equity and debt market,” an analyst said. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at USD 72.98 per barrel. “Crude oil traded near seven-month lows pressured by higher output from major oil producers... Brent crude has corrected 17 per cent from its recent high of 86.74 registered on October 3,” the analyst noted. Meanwhile, foreign funds on a net basis bought shares worth ₹348.75 crore from the capital markets on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors sold shares worth ₹509.17 crore, provisional data showed. Market benchmark Sensex soared almost 580 points to end at a one-month high of 35,011.65 on Friday. The NSE Nifty leaped 172.55 points, or 1.66%, to 10,553.The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 72.8798 and for rupee/euro at 83.2292. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 94.7530 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen at 64.47.

Source: The Hindu

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China making efforts to make yuan dominant currency, says Gita Gopinath

China is following a recipe of what it takes to become a dominant currency, but currently the yuan remains far behind the US dollar in international financial transactions unrelated to trade, according to prominent Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath. Gita Gopinath, china, IMF chief, US dollar dominance, yuan dominant currencyGopinath, who would become the first woman chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January, is currently the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at the prestigious Harvard University. (IE) China is following a recipe of what it takes to become a dominant currency, but currently the yuan remains far behind the US dollar in international financial transactions unrelated to trade, according to prominent Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath. Gopinath, who would become the first woman chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January, is currently the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at the prestigious Harvard University. “China is following a market recipe of what it takes to become a dominant currency,” Gopinath said in response to a question at the 19th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference on ‘International Spillovers and Cooperation’ organised by the IMF here. China is trying to convince its trading partners invoicing in renminbi, the official Chinese currency, but it does not have the financial institutions as is the case with the US dollar, she said, adding that it has to be both trade and finance. So, if one does not have financial institutions, free capital flows, free exchange rate mobility and free convertibility, it would be difficult for it to become a dominant currency, she said. In her research presentation ‘Banking, Trade, and the Making of a Dominant Currency’, Gopinath said that China is now one of the largest economies in the world, and the biggest exporter, it appears that Beijing is making tremendous effort to internationalise the renminbi. Similar to the US interventions in the early 20th century, they have proceeded by encouraging the use of the renminbi in international trade transactions. Following this push, between 2010 and 2015, the renminbi’s share as a settlement currency in China’s trade has gone from zero per cent in 2010 to 25 per cent in 2015. Also, renminbi has now surpassed the euro as the second most widely-used currency in global trade finance, Gopinath said. But renminbi currently remains far behind other major currencies in international financial transactions unrelated to trade, she said. Giving an insight into her research, Gopinath said in the medium term, the self-reinforcing mechanisms in her model might lead one to predict that the US dollar’s dominance would continue largely undisturbed, and that the renminbi would have a hard time gaining much traction in international banking and finance. “However, in the longer run, if the gap between Chinese and the US shares in the world exports widens far enough, we could eventually get to a point where a renminbi-dominant equilibrium becomes inevitable,” she said in her paper, adding that at this point, the US dollar’s share in global trade and finance could potentially decline quite sharply. While the US dollar continues to be the dominant currency and there is no visible challenge to it, Gopinath warned that in the longer run, if the gap between the US and one of the other economies widens far enough, the US dollar may potentially fall on the world stage to a very substantial extent, much as the British pound sterling did in the early part of the 20th century.

Source: Financial Express

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Vietnam to ratify Pacific Rim trade pact

Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong on Friday submitted a Pacific Rim trade pact to the National Assembly for approval, the government said. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will take effect at the year’s end after Australia became the sixth nation to ratify it, earlier this week. President Donald Trump pulled out of the pact just days after taking office last year. The remaining 11 members account for more than 13 percent of the world’s GDP. Addressing lawmakers, Trong said the pact reflects Vietnam’s strong commitment to reform and comprehensive international integration. It also “affirms Vietnam’s role and important geo-political position in Southeast Asia as well as Asia Pacific,” the government website quoted Trong as telling the national assembly. But the pact presents challenges for communist-ruled Vietnam and will require adjustments for its legal and other institutions, he said. The Communist-dominated assembly is expected to ratify the accord next week. Addressing the assembly, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is also deputy prime minister, cited a government study as saying the trade pact will boost Vietnam’s GDP by 1.3 percentage points. Exports will also gain momentum. The agreement is expected to improve Vietnam’s investment environment and to create between 20,000 to 26,000 more new jobs a year, he said. Vietnam is expected to be one of the members that would most benefit from it with its strong base of exports of garments, shoes, seafood and agricultural products.

Source: The Tribune

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Vietnam garment exports surge on U.S.-China trade war

Vietnam’s garment exports are set to rise by 14.8 percent this year to $35 billion, an industry official said on Friday, as U.S. retailers diversify their product sourcing to keep costs under control amid an escalating trade dispute with China. The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods. Garments, Vietnam’s second largest export-earner after smartphones, are not yet subject to U.S. tariffs, although some manufacturers have sought to move at least some production to the Southeast Asian country, anticipating potential penalties. “We are seeing more and more orders coming in, especially from the United States,” Vu Duc Giang, chairman of Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association, told Reuters. Garment exports to the United States rose 12 percent in the January-October period to $10.5 billion, while exports to China surged 40 percent to $1.1 billion, according to a government statement released on Thursday. Ngo Quang Thoa, chairman of Swimax International Joint Stock Co, a contractor which produces swimwear and underwear products for U.S. companies such as Target and Express, said he had received a large increase in orders from the United States since January. “This is because of the trade war between the U.S. and China,” said Thoa, who added that he expected to see his exports to the United States increase by up to 20 percent by the end of the year. “Some U.S. clients are already making strategic adjustments to their business plans to diversify their supplies, even though Trump hasn’t targeted Chinese garments in the tariff war yet,” he said. Vietnam is home to over 6,000 textile and garment factories which employ around three million people, Thursday’s government statement said. Giang, chairman of Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association, told Reuters those figures were likely to grow, thanks to a plethora of Vietnamese free-trade agreements, and not just because of the U.S.-China trade spat. Vietnam has signed around a dozen free-trade agreements that will remove or reduce taxes on several imports and exports. Foreign investors poured in $2 billion in Vietnam’s garment and textile production in the first eight months of this year, Giang said. Most investors were from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China, he added. “They have been upping their investment in Vietnam for years,” said Giang. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by James Pearson and Gopakumar Warrier)

Source: Reuters

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Europe and Asian stocks rally on hopes of trade war thaw

European stocks were on track for their best week since 2016, with Asian markets also rallying on Friday as hopes of a thawing in US-Chinese trade tensions added momentum to a global rebound in markets following a grim October. Hopes that an escalating trade war could be averted were raised on Friday after US president Donald Trump posted on Twitter that he had “a long and very good conversation” with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. In Europe, the Stoxx 600, a benchmark for the region, was up 0.5 per cent in afternoon trading on Friday, putting it on course for its best week since early 2016. Germany’s Dax and France’s CAC 40 were both trading higher but the FTSE 100 retreated after early gains. Wall Street opened higher, but also relinquished those gains as another robust US jobs report raised fears of further interest rate rises. A 4 per cent drop in the shares of Apple following the iPhone maker’s disappointing guidance for the holiday shopping season also weighed on the wider market. The S&P 500 was down 0.4 per cent, while the Nasdaq, which is home to many of the world’s largest technology companies, was 0.8 per cent weaker. US employment data beat forecasts, showing the creation of 250,000 jobs in October, with the year-on-year growth in average earnings crossing above 3 per cent for the first time since 2009, in line with forecasts. While global equity markets have staged a robust start to November, recent days have also offered investors reminders of the risks of an escalation in the US-China trade war. A snapshot of US manufacturing in October showed companies were anxious that more tariffs would send their costs higher, while figures showed that eurozone third-quarter growth slowed to its weakest pace since 2014. “Positive comments from Mr Trump over US-China trade tension are cheering the market in the short term,” said Tai Hui, chief Asia-Pacific market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. Hong Kong stocks were among the biggest beneficiaries on Friday, with the Hang Seng jumping 4 per cent — one of its best weeks since April 2015. The hopes for an easing in tensions rippled out to the foreign exchange market, as the renminbi rallied by the most in more than two months. The onshore renminbi was up 0.5 per cent to Rmb6.8897. China’s foreign ministry did not comment on the latest reports, beyond reaffirming the importance for healthy bilateral relations between the two countries. While analysts welcomed the latest positive signs, they cautioned that concrete progress on US-China trade relations was required. Sue Trinh, head of Asia foreign exchange strategy at Royal Bank of Canada, said Mr Trump’s comments came “as the US justice department is stepping up actions against China in cases of suspected economic espionage”. On Thursday, the US filed criminal charges against Fujian Jinhua, a Chinese state-owned chipmaker, over allegations that it stole trade secrets from American semiconductor manufacturer Micron. JPMorgan’s Mr Hui said an easing in the strength of the dollar and further stimulus from Beijing “will be the key ingredients to revive market confidence in Asia”.

Source: Financial Times

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Pakistan: Readymade Garments Worth US$ 599.260 Million Exported In 3 Months

Readymade garments worth US$ 599.260 million exported in first quarter of current financial year as compared the exports of US$ 608.688 million of the corresponding period of last year. The exports of readymade garments during the period under review in dollar terms decreased by 1.55 percent as compared the exports of first three months of last year, according the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. During the period from July-September, 2018-19, about 10,235 thousand dozen of readymade garments exported as compared the exports of 8,939 thousand dozen of same period of last year, it added. However, the knitwear exports during the period from July-September, 2018-19 grew by 9.80 percent as over 30,912 thousand dozen of the knitwear worth US$ 710.210 million exported as compared the exports of 25,587 thousand dozen valuing US$ 648.805 million of same period of last year, it added. Meanwhile, country earned US$ 583.627 million by exporting about 93,472 metric tons of bedwear as compared the exports of 93,391 metric tons valuing US$ 587. 756 million of same period of last year, showing an increase of 2.89 percent. About 49.954 metric tons of towels worth US$ 184.229 million also exported in first quarter as compared the exports of 50,478 metric tons valuing US$ 185.239 million of same period of last year. The exports of towel decreased by 0.55 percent during the period under review. On month on month basis, the exports of knitwear grew by 6.66 percent bedwear by 3.26 percent, where as towel decreased by 13.52 percent respectively in month of September, 2018. About 9,472 thousand dozens of knitwear worth US$ 221.395 million exported in month of September as compared the 8,595 thousand dozens valuing US$ 207.580 million of same period of last year. Meanwhile, about 30,254 metric tons of the bedwear US$ 188.650 million exported during the period under review as compared the exports of 30,665 metric tons US$ 182.702 million of same month of last year.

Source: Urdu Point News

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Textile importers, traders resist single corridor policy-Minister says policy not negotiable

Importers and retailers of textile prints in Accra are opposing the government's policy to use the Tema Port as the single corridor for the importation of textile products. According to the traders, any move to adopt the single port policy would put undue financial burden on them and throw them out of business. The government has announced that a tax stamp policy and the single port policy for the textile industry will start on November 15, this year. The move by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is meant to check tax evasion and guard against the piracy of textile designs. That arrangement means that the Aflao Border, which has been the most patronised for the importation of textile prints, can no longer serve that purpose. The policy was supposed to have started in July this year but was postponed to November 15 to make way for consultations with traders and other players in the textile Industry.

Fierce resistance

As part of the engagement, the Trade Ministry has been holding regional town hall meetings to educate the key stakeholders, especially the traders. One such meeting was held in Accra yesterday that brought together importers and retailers, mainly from the central business district of Accra. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, while addressing the traders, reiterated that the single port policy would be rolled out as planned. However, the traders mounted a spirited defiance of the initiative, stressing that they would resist the policy. In what appeared to be a well-rehearsed agenda, the traders, in a chorus, stated that they wanted to be allowed to import from other ports. They also complained that the cost of imports was high and asked for a reduction in duties. Mr Kyerematen and the President of the National Cloth Sellers Association, Mrs Christiana Laryea, had a tough time controlling the traders, who chanted intermittently to register their opposition to the policy.

Resolute stance

The minister, nonetheless, stood his ground and said the government would not relent in its effort to implement policies to salvage the local textile industry from pirates and tax evaders. He explained that the tax stamp, the single corridor and other policies that were being rolled out in the textile industry were meant to strike a balance for local textile manufacturers, importers and consumers. "We are determined to go ahead to implement policies that will save the textile industry. We want to stop illegal importation and also ensure that importers pay the right duties at the port to ensure that local companies are not treated unfairly," he stressed.

Pay tolls

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, urged traders in the various markets to pay their rent and market tolls religiously to help the assembly and the government undertake development projects that would benefit them. He said, for instance, that the AMA would rebuild all dilapidated sheds at the Makola Market next year to improve on conditions there. "The AMA spends about GHc60,000 a week and GHc240,000 a month on fuel alone to cart refuse from the markets. We are including the rebuilding of sheds at the Makola Market in the 2019 budget. We need money to do all these and so if you do not pay what you are supposed to pay to the assembly and the government, it will be difficult to undertake projects to benefit you," he said.

Source: Business Ghana

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Dubai set to host International Apparel and Textile Fair

International Apparel and Textile Fair (IATF), the industry's biggest showcase platform in the MENA region and the sourcing hub for fabrics, textile, apparels and more, will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from November 12-14, 2018. The event, being organised by Nihalani Events Management, will have nearly 110+ exhibitors from 14 countries. IATF will bring together manufacturers and their agents along with some of the most influential buyers and designers to the MENA region. The event will provide an extensive platform to connect and network with industry professionals, create long and promising professional relationship and giving all exhibitors an opportunity to expand their business boundaries. The show's new and past exhibitors would be showcasing fabric, haute couture, machineries and ready-made apparels and garments along with a new edition to the categories this year, footwear and hand bags. The exhibitors would be travelling from Turkey, China, Japan, Thailand, India and so on to name a few. They would also be introducing new fashion trends, colour creations and design solutions to the MENA markets while making an impact within the industry, organisers said. (PC)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Economic Report 2019: Impact of US-China trade war

MALAYSIA'S exports and its GDP will likely be impacted over 2018 to 2020 due to the fallout from the on-going US-China trade war, which are the country’s two major trading partners, and this could decline further if the spat continues over the next few years. Almost 50% of Malaysia’s exports are incorporated into China’s nal products which are then exported to the US. “Based on this assumption, Malaysia’s exports will likely decline by 0.08 percentage points, while the GDP by 0.02 percentage points over 2018-2020,” the report says. If the trade war escalates and drags down global output by 0.4 percentage points by 2020, the Malaysian economy could lose up to 0.7% percentage points. This is based on an econometric analysis by then Finance Ministry that indicates a 10% drop in global growth will reduce Malaysia’s GDP by 14%.To recap, China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for nine years accounting for 13.5% of RM126bil of total exports in 2017. The US is the third largest export destination accounting for 9.5% or RM88.7bil. The tariffs imposed by the US on Malaysia products such as solar panels, washing machines, steel and aluminium is “relatively minimal” – 0.8% of total exports or US$7.3bil in 2017. However, exports which will be indirectly impacted following the US$250bil worth of Chinese products account for 12% of Malaysia total exports or RM108bil (US$25.1bil).Bulk of the products are E&E, ofce machines and automatic data processing equipment as well as electrical machinery and appliances. Other products are crude oil and gas, metal ores, chemicals, plastics and other rubber products.

Source: The Star

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