• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021

MARKET WATCH 29 JAN, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Govt to organise national conclave on technical textiles in Mumbai on Jan 29

The government on Sunday said a national conclave on technical textiles will be held here on January 29, which will also see the release of HSN codes for items under the sector. The conclave will be presided over by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. The release of HSN codes by the Government of India for technical textiles will be one of the major highlights of the conclave, an official statement said. "Grateful to PM @narendramodi ji & @sureshpprabhu ji for fulfilling textiles industry's long-standing demand of declaring HSN codes of Technical Textiles items under separate category. 207 items notified as technical textiles will give major boost to the sunrise sector," Irani had said in a tweet earlier. In another statement, the ministry said the "Artisan Speak" event will be held at UNESCO World Heritage site Elephanta Caves to showcase the rich handloom and textile tradition of India. Irani will be present on the occasion. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will also grace the occasion, on behalf of M/s Arvind True Blue Limited. The occasion will witness commitments by the private sector towards development of handlooms, with the signing of collaborative arrangements between the government and leading retailers and textile brands. Under the agreements to be signed between Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles and textile companies, Weavers' Service Centres (WSCs) under O/o DC (Handlooms) will act as a facilitator, linking textile companies and handloom clusters. "The WSCs will enable textile firms to directly source their requirements from handloom clusters, as per defined quality, cost and time constraints. This will also result in better price realisation and improved market understanding for weavers," the statement said. The government recently notified Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) codes for 207 technical textile merchandise that were till now traded as conventional textiles. The technical textile sector is the sunshine sector for the textile industry, and it is one of the fastest growing segments of the Indian economy. The sector is expected to see a double-digit growth in coming years and is projected to reach a market size of Rs 2 lakh crore by 2020-21. As per baseline survey of technical textile industry in India, there are around 2,100 units manufacturing technical textiles in the country and most of them are concentrated in Gujarat followed by Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. India has 4-5 per cent share in the global technical textiles market size across twelve segments. Technical textiles constitute 12-15 per cent of the total textile value chain in India, whereas in some of the European countries technical textiles constitute 50 per cent of the total textiles value chain.

Source: Business Standard

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Government to link industry, handloom clusters

Artisan Speak, an event to be held at the Elephanta Caves on Monday, will mark a new beginning of commitments by the private sector towards the development of Indias handlooms. Handloom promotion will get a boost due to the signing of collaborative arrangements between the government and leading retailers and textile brands. Under the agreements to be signed between the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handlooms) and textile companies, Weavers' Service Centres (WSCs) under the office of DC (Handlooms) will act as facilitators, linking textile companies and handloom clusters, an official statement said. The WSCs will enable textile firms directly source their requirements from handloom clusters, as per defined quality, cost and time constraints. This will also result in better price realisation and improved market understanding for weavers. Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani will be present on the occasion, as will cricket star Sachin Tendulkar on behalf of M/s Arvind True Blue Limited. Arvind True Blue Limited, Raymond Ltd., Welspun India Limited, Titan Co. Ltd. and Reliance Retail Limited are the textiles companies which will sign agreements with the Ministry of Textiles. The strategic partnership between big brands and handloom clusters is aimed at establishing long-term market linkages between key industry players on the one hand and handloom weavers on the other. The event will also include a grand showcase of Indian textiles, through a curated cultural show, with participation of leading designers. The presentation by established and emerging designers along with artisans will be based on GI (Geographical Indication) textiles drawn from various regions across India. Designers Rahul Mishra and Meera and Muzaffar Ali will showcase Chikankari, Payal Khandwala has worked with Banarasi brocades and master weaver Shantilal Bhangade will present works in Paithani. There will be Gaurang who will showcase Kancheepuram silks, Ushadevi Balakrishnan from Kerala presenting Balaramapuram sarees, designer Karishma Shahani Khan showcasing kota doria/Chanderi textiles, Padmaja showcasing Maheshwari textiles, artisan Rajib Debnath (Burdwan) showcasing Jamdani saris, and designer Abraham & Thakore have worked with hand-block prints on handloom cotton. The event, backed by IMG Reliance, will also be marked by a cultural programme, with music and dance performances.

Source: Business Standard

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Ministry signs pacts with leading textile cos to help weavers

The Union textile ministry on Monday signed agreements with leading clothing/textile playes like Raymond, Welspun, Titan, Reliance Retail and the Sachin Tendulkar-promoted True Blue, under which these companies will procure more from the weavers directly. Textile minister Smriti Irani said the initiative aims at exploring the synergy between culture and textiles and the initiative will be extended to rest of the country. She was addressing an outreach programme called the Artisan Speak where these agreements were signed. All our schematic assistance including provision of loans, skilling, provision of yarns etc are aimed at lowering the cost of production and enhance the income of weavers," textile secretary Raghavendra Singh said. He said the ministry is coming with QR coding post registration and pre-registration of all its weavers for geographical indication tags.

Source: Money Control

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3 native fabrics to get GI tags soon

The state handloom and textiles department has applied for the geographical indicator (GI) tag for three textile varieties from Tamil Nadu at the GI Registry and would soon apply for three more, said P Sanjai Gandhi, Geographical Indication attorney and IPR attorney. The fabrics for which GI tag applications have been given are Thirubuvanam Silk sari, Kodali Karuppur Sari and Karaikudi Kandangi Sari. “We are waiting for the legal formalities to be completed shortly,” Gandhi said. Soon, GI tag applications for three more fabricsSediputta Sari, Uraiyur Sari and Negamam Cotton Sariwill be filed, the official said. “If a product is given the GI tag, the originality of the product can be verified, and the weavers can benefit directly.” At present, six fabric varietiesKanjivaram Silk Sari, Bhavani Jamukkalam, Arni Silk, Kovai Kora Cotton, Salem White Silk and Madurai Sungudi Sarihave earned the GI tag.

Source: Times of India

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Expo will help find global buyers for Tamil Nadu textiles: Smriti Irani

 

The events would aim at helping the industrialists of Tamil Nadu find buyers from across the world. The State government’s international textile expo ‘TEX TN’ and the fair by Texprocil (Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council) and Pdexcil (Powerloom Development and Export Promotion Council) titled IND TEXPO saw that participation of buyers from both the domestic and international circles. The events would aimed at helping the industrialists of Tamil Nadu find buyers from across the world. Inaugurating the expo on Sunday at the CODISSIA trade fair complex, Central Textile Minister Smriti Irani welcomed the buyers from over 20 countries. She said that the expo was meant to aid all industrialists in the entire textile value chain get good recognition for their goods and services in the foreign markets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has been showing a lot of interest to ensure that the necessary support from the Centre was being given to a State like Tamil Nadu conduct such events, she noted. The minister talked about how the State benefitted by implementing various schemes initiated by the Centre. The power bank scheme was implemented to help the powerloom industrialists get yarn directly from the spinning mills rather than depend on middlemen or brokers, she pointed out. Powerlooom weavers also benefitting from the various subsidy schemes, she noted. State Minister for Textile O S Manian pointed out that the AIADMK-led government was the first to organise an international textile expo in the State. Meanwhile, buyers seemed impressed by the expo. Jenny Bai and Jane Wang from China noted that all products from across the value chain had been put on display under roof to help buyers.

Source: Indian Express

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CPEC and opportunities for India

India has been skeptical of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from its very inception. It recognizes CPEC as a stumbling block for realization of its dream as a great power of Asia. In 2018 India presented 7.5 percent growth rate as a sign of overcoming China with a growth rate of 6.5 percent. In mathematical terms it seems fascinating but its translation into real development of net worth does not make any difference. According to calculations published in the Times of India in March 2018, they clearly rejects the notion of any comparison between China and India in term of gains in net worth during 2017-2018. Calculations show that with 7.5 percent growth India would only be able to add 215 Billion US dollars in 2018 to its GDP. For China, the figure would be 1181 billion US dollar. China’s rate of increase in economy almost equals half of India’s economy every year. There is no doubt that India is a rising middle power and it has its own advantages. It is one of the biggest markets. It has a rising middle class, which is important for sustainable growth. But the point is that India has to be realistic in exhibiting its status and power and play a constructive role. It will reap the benefits of cooperation and economic initiatives. Unfortunately, India’s actions point to another direction. From its perceived imagination India is trying to act as a stumbling block in the region. CPEC is the latest victim of this attitude of India. Although some experts believe that it is due to enmity of India toward Pakistan, but it is not the full story. However, sane voices in India are arguing in another direction. They are asking their government to be a partner in CPEC and reap the benefits of economic development. CPEC has enormous benefits for India. Shyam Saran, ex-Indian diplomat pointed out that looking at the financial health of India, it is wise for India to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and CPEC presents an opportunity. For improving regional connectivity there is a need to improve transport and related infrastructure. South Asia is lagging behind on this by a million miles. The World Bank in 2014 estimated that South Asia needs 1.7 to 2.5 trillion dollars to improve its infrastructure related to transport, service and others till 2020.Annual spread of this required investment shows that every year South Asia will have to invest 6.6 to 9.9 percent of the accumulative GDP of South Asia. Another dimension of the issue is that lack of investment will increase the cost of investment, as we have observed it has increased form 3 percent in 2010 to 6.6 to 9.9 percent in 2014.Pakistan and India stand alone in all these calculations due to increasing population and middle class. CPEC provides an opportunity for the region to benefit from it and become part of the greater plan of BRI. Although CPEC will not be able to provide all required investment but it will help to cover a substantial part of it. Pakistan by recognizing this fact has become part of CPEC. In recent years Pakistan has immensely benefited from investment in energy and transport infrastructure. It is also advisable for India to be part of it and reap the benefit. Inclusion of India will also pave the way for other regional countries and there would be smooth sailing for CPEC and BRI. It is also important for India in context of transition of economy from primary to tertiary stage. Right now, India’s secondary sector i.e. manufacturing sector, did not show much development. It is necessary in transition phase that manufacturing sector takes off to create jobs. The same is true for Pakistan and Pakistan is trying overcoming this through CPEC investments. Planned Special Economic Zones are a step in this direction. Moreover, joining of India to CPEC will also open doors of opportunities for regional connectivity and connectivity to Central Asian States. Being part of CPEC and BCMI, India can benefit by creating linkages between these corridors. It will open Afghan and Central Asian markets for India. India is craving for many years to enter Afghanistan and Central Asia, CPEC can help it. It would also be beneficial for other regional countries, as it will open markets for Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar etc. Fortunately, China and Pakistan are open for inclusion of India or any other country in CPEC. Both countries have reiterated many times that CPEC is a project of the future and for everyone. However, India’s self-perceived fears, assumptions and dreams are hindering the inclusion of India. India can decide anything as a sovereign country, but it has to keep in mind that the opportunity cost of missing CPEC and BRI is very high for India and the region. South Asia needs an investment of 1.7 to 2.5 trillion US dollars, only for infrastructure. This does not include the investment in education, health, skill development or human capital development. Addition of these costs may increase the investment figure to 3-5 trillion US dollars. Therefore, taking any initiative, India must remember that 3-5 trillion is beyond the capacity of any country or South Asia as a region. The writer is Executive Director of the Zalmi Foundation

Source: Daily Times

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Gujarat approves shifting textile units outside Surat city.

The Gujarat state government recently approved specified shifting zones in Surat’s outskirts for the polluting textile dyeing and printing mills in the city by adding a few clauses to the General Development Control Regulation (GDCR). The decision followed suggestions by the South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA) and state industries minister Saurabh Patel. While approving the development plan (DP) for the Surat Urban Development Authority (SUDA), the Gujarat government has made provisions for construction of wider roads. The SGTPA has urged the state government to allocate 100 hectares land for developing a new industrial zone to facilitate the shifting of the textile mills located in the old city, Ashwani Kumar Road, Katargam, Varachha, Kadodara and Udhana areas, according to a report in a top Indian newspaper. About 65 textile mills are operating in the city’s residential areas, including Khatodara, Udhana, Ashwani Kumar Road, Ved Road, Bombay Market and Puna Kumbharia, where particulate matter (PM10) levels is exceedingly higher than the national annual average at 184 per micrograms per cubic meter of air (UG/M3) per annum.

Source: Fashion Network

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SIMA makes pre-budget recommendations to CITI

Removal of import duty on man-made fibres (MMF) and reduction of goods and services tax (GST) on it from 18 per cent to 12 per cent and fixing of corporate tax rate for large companies at 30 per cent including surcharge and cesses are part of the pre-budget suggestions made by the Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) to the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI). Large companies are defined as the ones with a turnover of more than ₹50 crore. Though the tax rate for such units is only 30 per cent now, the surcharge and cesses add up to 34.94 per cent. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had allowed refund of accumulated credit on account of inverted duty structure to fabric manufacturers. However, the input tax credit (ITC) accumulated on account of GST paid on capital goods and input services are not be eligible for refund. SIMA feels all services attract 18 per cent GST and denying the refund of GST on such services makes the provision unrealistic and does not seem to serve the purpose. Hence, it has suggested allowing refund of accumulated GST in services. Before the GST regime, exporters were allowed to utilise the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) scrip for the payment of all taxes like –excise duty, service tax, value-added tax and basic customs duty. However, with the introduction of the GST, the government has permitted the use of such scrip for the payment of basic customs duty only. This has resulted in minimal usage of the duty scrips. So SIMA wants the government to consider allowing the usage of the MEIS scrips for payment of integrated GST and continue the same till other export benefits are phased out as per pact with the World Trade Organisation. The association also suggested provision of adequate funds to clear the long pending Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (TUFS) subsidies of committed liabilities of over 9,000 cases as per the recommendations made by the office of the textile commissioner.

 

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Crude Oil prices to remain range-bound between $55-65 per barrel

Oil prices expected to remain range bound at USD 55-65 per barrel due to a rise in supply from the US, debt crisis in Venezuela and the limited clarity on the sanctions on Iran, a report said. "The crude price to remain range bound at USD 55-65 per barrel, driven by a rise in supply from the US, which would be offset, to some extent, by the recent production cut announced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the continued debt crisis in Venezuela and the limited clarity on the sanctions imposed on Iran," the ratings agency India Ratings said on Monday. "Thus, the range-bound crude price would limit large inventory gains or losses. We expect the bulk of the subsidy to be borne by the government as against FY19, when the government, for a brief period, asked oil marketing companies to absorb marketing operations-related losses," it said. The agency has maintained a stable outlook for the oil and gas sector for FY20 mainly on the back of healthy domestic petroleum product demand and petrochemical expansion by refiners. The stable outlook is driven by continued strong domestic petroleum product demand, healthy gross refining margins, petrochemical expansion by refiners mainly to improve downstream value addition and rise in the usage of natural gas, it said. However, the credit profiles of public oil and gas undertakings continue to depend on government policies on subsidy sharing, shareholder payouts, and large capex for refinery upgrade and expansion into new growth areas like the upstream and city gas and LNG distribution. With regard to refining margins, Ind-Ra believes that the new regulation introduced by the International Maritime Organization against the use of high sulphur fuel oil is likely to lead to a shift in the product slate of refiners towards the production of lower sulphur fuel oil to meet new demand. Meanwhile, reduced high sulphur fuel oil spread could have some negative implication on refining margins, it said. As refiners globally are looking at breaking down a part of their petroleum stream into petrochemicals owing to the increasing penetration of electric vehicles, Indian refiners are also looking at such conversion, given the strong domestic polymer demand. Ind-Ra also expects the city gas distribution business to witness strong momentum in FY20, given 78 geographical areas were awarded in the ninth city gas distribution bidding round and 50 more areas were tendered in the 10th round. The agency further said that given a moderate increase in domestic natural gas production and priority allocation to the compressed natural gas and domestic piped natural gas connections, the demand from other sectors like commercial piped natural gas, fertilizer and power, is likely to lead to a rise in LNG imports, even as globally LNG prices remain strong.

Source: Money Control

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 28/1/2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1327.51

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

VSF

1968.31

USD/Ton

0.04%

1/28/2019

ASF

2386.86

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Polyester POY

1264.55

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Nylon FDY

2740.96

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

40D Spandex

4741.12

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Nylon POY

1540.86

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Acrylic Top 3D

2563.17

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Polyester FDY

2533.54

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Nylon DTY

1466.78

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Viscose Long Filament

2992.83

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

Polyester DTY

5585.63

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2726.14

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

32S Polyester Yarn

1992.75

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

45S T/C Yarn

2874.30

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

40S Rayon Yarn

3022.46

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2518.72

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

45S Polyester Yarn

2148.32

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2533.54

USD/Ton

0%

1/28/2019

10S Denim Fabric

1.36

USD/Meter

0%

1/28/2019

32S Twill Fabric

0.83

USD/Meter

0%

1/28/2019

40S Combed Poplin

1.11

USD/Meter

0%

1/28/2019

30S Rayon Fabric

0.65

USD/Meter

0%

1/28/2019

45S T/C Fabric

0.70

USD/Meter

0%

1/28/2019

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14816 USD dtd. 28/1/2019). 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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Pak-Uzbekistan removes basic hurdles to promote bilateral trade

FAISALABAD: Uzbekistan Ambassador Mr. Furqat A. Siddiqov said on Monday that direct and basic hurdles had been removed to promote bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Steps are underway to promote banking and air services in addition to ensuring safe transit of trade consignments through Afghanistan. Addressing the members of the business community at Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, he said that Uzbekistan was an historic center of Islamic heritage and culture. “I have come here from the land of ‘Imam Bokhari’ with a message of peace and love for Pakistani brethren,” he said. Regarding trade, he said that it had recorded a three times growth as compared to last year. He said that Uzbekistan Air was managing weekly flight between Lahore and Tashkent while steps were being taken to start direct flights between Karachi and Tashkent. About banking channels, he said that a branch of National Bank of Pakistan was already operating in Tashkent while a Swiss bank was also expected to establish its branch to provide international banking facilities. To a question, he said that Uzbek government was also contemplating to start Islamic banking and in this connection steps were underway. He further said that Uzbekistan was importing sugar, pharmaceutical and potato from Pakistan while it could export agriculture machinery to Pakistan. The Uzbek Ambassador said that Pakistan and Uzbekistan were cotton producing countries and his objective to visit Faisalabad was to encourage cooperation in textile sector. He said that many Pakistani companies were already doing business with Uzbekistan while there were huge opportunities to launch joint ventures in this specific field. In this connection, Uzbekistan had taken bold decisions by establishing Cotton technical centres which could equally benefit both the countries. He also mentioned the facilities extended to the Pakistani investors and told that credit facility would also be provided to the foreign investors. Regarding trade through road, he said that Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were considering a joint proposal to open land route through Afghanistan by offering logistic, trade and transit facilities to the exporters of this region. He further said that road distance between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was only 700 miles through which it could also have access to the other landlocked Central Asian states in addition to making exports to the European Union countries. He said that efforts in this connection were underway which would yield positive results very soon. The ambassador said that there are 14 Export Processing Zones (EPZ) across Uzbekistan where protection and incentives would also be provided to the foreign investors, who will invest at least 100 million dollars. During the Question-Answer session, Furqat A Siddiqov said that old information was rife among business community as the ground realities had altogether been changed now. He said that Uzbek exports recorded 59 per cent increase during 2018, while his country was exporting cotton, cotton yarn and cotton fabric. He offered businessmen of Faisalabad to launch joint ventures to avail benefits from the high quality and long staple cotton of Uzbekistan for the benefit of the two countries. He rejected apprehensions about Uzbek Air and said that people prefer to travel through the airline. Earlier, Mian Tanveer Ahmad, acting president FCCI, introduced Faisalabad and the FCCI. He said Faisalabad is the third thickly populated city of Pakistan. “It contributed 45 per cent share towards the total textile export of the country,” he added. Regarding the FCCI, he said that it is serving the business community of Faisalabad for the last 44 years while the total numbers of its members are 7000. He further told that although textile is the iconic identification of this city, other sectors are also playing their role in overall exports of Pakistan. He observed that the bilateral trade between the two countries is far less that their existing potential and hence efforts should be expedited to ensure increase of $300 million per annum. He also stressed the need for direct links between the business communities of the two countries and offered a proposal to ink a MoU between FCCI and Uzbekistan Chamber. During the session, it was disclosed that Uzbek Business Council is organizing a business-cum-tourism delegation from April 19 to 20. Two separate documentaries about FCCI and Uzbekistan were screened while kashif Zia, Engineer Ahmad Hasan and Shoaib Sana participated in the question-answer session. Later, Engineer Ahmad Hasan offered vote of thanks and presented the FCCI shield to the Uzbek ambassador along with other members. Uzbek Ambassador Furqat A Siddiqov also reciprocated the gesture and presented a memento of Uzbek Embassy to Acting President Mian Tanveer Ahmad. The ambassador also recorded his impressions in the Visitors’ Book and thanked the people of Faisalabad for their love and hospitality.

Source: Recorder

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Donald Trump's China tariffs likely to be investigated by the WTO

 

Tensions between the US and China are about to get more complicated, with the World Trade Organization poised to begin an investigation into President Donald Trump’s tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods. On Monday, the Geneva-based arbiter of trade disputes will likely launch an inquiry into whether the US duties run afoul of a requirement that all WTO members give each other the same tariff treatment, as China asserts. The investigation comes at a delicate moment between the world’s two largest economies. A new round of trade talks is scheduled to begin on 30 January, and if a deal isn’t reached by 1 March, the Trump administration has threatened to raise the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%. “This WTO case is especially significant because it deals with the central international legal issue in the US conduct of its trade war with China — whether the US can impose trade restrictions on China in response to alleged Chinese WTO violations without first seeking dispute settlement in the WTO," James Bacchus, a former Democratic congressman and onetime head of the WTO’s appellate body, said in an email. “I believe these US tariffs are inconsistent with WTO obligations, but it will be left to my successors on the WTO appellate body to decide."

Existential threat

The WTO is already facing an existential threat over a hold the US has placed on new appellate judge nominations. Absent any reforms, the decision-making wing of the organization will have too few judges to rule on cases by the end of the year. This new investigation could further antagonize the US, which sees the WTO as overstepping its authority. This is China’s second request for an inquiry on the matter, the first one last month was vetoed by the US. The investigation is likely to move ahead on Monday because WTO rules prevent members from blocking a dispute inquiry a second time. But China won’t be expecting a resolution to the investigation any time soon due to a backlog in the WTO dispute settlement system. So far, 23 disputes have been brought against the current US administration, including an EU inquiry into tariffs levied against aluminum and steel imports. “These trade tensions are not only a threat to the system, they are a threat to the entire international community," Roberto Azevedo, the director-general of the WTO, said on a panel in Davos on 24 January. “The risks are very real and there will be economic impacts."

Intellectual property

The case cuts to the heart of the US-China trade conflict because Trump says the tariffs are necessary to counter an alleged Chinese campaign to steal American intellectual property. China’s dispute alleges the US tariffs violate the WTO’s most favored nation provision because the measures fail to provide the same tariff treatment that the US offers to imports of all other WTO members. The US counters that the tariffs fall outside the WTO’s remit because they address trade issues that are not specifically covered under WTO rules.

Source: Live Mint

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Bangladesh moves up seven spots on economic freedom index

Heritage Foundation says Bangladesh’s economic freedom score is 55.6, making it the 121st freest economy in 2019. Bangladesh's ranking on economic freedom has moved up seven notches to 121st from 128th this year, according to the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. According to the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom released by the organization on Thursday, the government’s reforms have improved the freedom of doing business in the country. However, slower implementation of the reforms are undermining economic development. “Bangladesh’s economic freedom score is 55.6, making its economy the 121st freest in the 2019 index,” said the report. While the country's overall score has increased by 0.5 points, it scored higher in terms of property rights and "government integrity countering declines in investment freedom and fiscal health", the report added. In the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, Bangladesh’s position was 128th, with a score of 55.1 points. Bangladesh also ranked 27th among 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages, showed the report. The world average freedom score is 60.8 points, while the Asia Pacific regional average stands at 60.6 points. As per the report, robust annual economic growth of approximately 6% for two decades has been driven by a rapid increase in private consumption and fixed investment. "Nevertheless, Bangladesh still grapples with poor infrastructure, endemic corruption, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms," the report stated. On the other hand, the report found that the "fragile rule of law" continues to "undermine economic development", while "corruption and weak enforcement of property rights" force workers and small businesses into the informal economy. Furthermore, despite some progress in "streamlining business regulations, entrepreneurial activity is hampered by an uncertain regulatory environment and the absence of effective long-term institutional support for private-sector development", according to the report. The report also stated that although a well-functioning labour market has not been fully developed yet, labour productivity growth has been slightly higher than wage hikes. The index also revealed that in the South Asian region, Nepal ranked 136th, Sri Lanka ranked 115th, Bhutan ranked 74th, India 129th, Pakistan 131st, and the Maldives achieved the status of 141st economy. Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand each logged increases in their index scores, finishing first, second, and third in the rankings, respectively scoring 90.2, 89.4, and 84.4 points. The Index of Economic Freedom evaluates countries on four broad policy areas that affect economic freedom—rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. Additionally, property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom are also taken into account while measuring the economic freedom of a country. Economists and industrialists have expressed almost identical views on the report, stressing on doing more regulatory and on-site initiatives to improve the ease of doing business to take the country to a faster and sustainable economic growth trajectory. Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Abdus Salam Murshedy, managing director of Envoy Textile, said: “Access to finance and getting a business registered is now better compared to previous years. This is because of government initiatives ensuring faster services.” He added that steady growth and political calmness have also helped Bangladesh in improving on the index. “Some initiatives have been undertaken in recent times to improve the business environment. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority has taken steps to make vibrant the one stop services. But the implementation is not yet at satisfactory level,” former caretaker government adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune. Since there is no significant improvement in regulatory efficiency and good governance, the rise in ranking does not mean significant improvement in the country’s overall “doing business” situation, said the economist. He urged the government to implement the projects within the deadline to keep the costs within limits. “Upward movement in the economic freedom index is a good sign, but it is not enough in terms of improving quality,” said Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem. On economic growth and other improved economic and social indicators, Bangladesh’s status is comparable to other developing countries, but the ease of doing business is comparable only to African nations, said Moazzem.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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Sri Lankan Apparel Industry Seeks Government Help To Enter Emerging Markets.

 

As Sri Lanka’s apparel sector has embarked on a journey to achieve US $8 billion in exports by 2025, the industry requested the government’s to assistance to enhance access to emerging markets with more free trade pacts and consistent policies. This comes in the light of Sri Lanka’s traditional apparel export markets, such as the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) becoming stagnant. “Our traditional market share is static. Therefore, in the final analysis, the Sri Lankan apparel industry needs to penetrate more into emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil. Thus, market promotion is the need of the hour,” the newly elected Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA), Rehan Lakhani stressed. He was addressing the post business session of the 36th Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association held in Colombo this week. SLAEA outgoing Chairman Felix Fernando pointed out that the growing apparel markets of China and India are projected to surpass several developed markets, thereby representing a significant portion of the global apparel consumption. “All four BRIC nations appear among the top markets having a cumulative share of approximately 23 percent. “Combined apparel consumption of the US and the EU is 40 percent while they are a home to just 11 per cent of the world’s population, implying a very high-level per capita expenditure on apparel compared to the rest of the world,” he noted. The US and EU account for nearly 87 percent of Sri Lanka’s apparel exports. “It is true that the US and EU were vital markets in the past and the present, and that without their help, Sri Lanka’s apparel industry could not have achieved its glory, and we are indeed grateful to buyers from the US and the EU for having their faith in Sri Lanka during this glorious journey. However, we simply cannot dwell on past successes. We need to adapt to the aforementioned market changes to continue our industry growth,” Fernando asserted. Meanwhile, as global apparel industry is increasingly focusing on near-shoring due to developments in logistics management, where holding minimum number of inventories and fulfilling small orders in time deliveries gaining traction, Lakhani stressed that Sri Lankan apparel industry must diversify its markets to adapt to these developments. Former Export Development Board (EDB) Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Indira Malwatte highlighted that Sri Lanka’s apparel exports to India have nearly doubled to US $80 million in 2018.

Source: Daily Star

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PTI govt foregoes Rs125b to textile, fertilizer, power industries

The incumbent government has forgone approximately Rs125 billion to the owners of fertilizer, textile, captive power plants, and general industry – which they had collected from farmers and masses under the head Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). Sources in the finance ministry informed that the ministry had obtained an approval from the federal cabinet to forgo more than Rs125 billion under GIDC, which the influential owners of fertilizer, textile, captive power plants, and general industry had already collected from the farmers and the masses in last three years, without consulting relevant ministries. They said that although a 50 per cent waiver to owners under GIDC was not part of the federal cabinet’s agenda, the finance ministry, however, got approval from the federal cabinet. The finance ministry in an apparent bid decrease the rate of GIDC has prepared a draft to get amendments in the GIDC Act approved by the parliament, said sources. It is relevant to mention here that the cabinet on Thursday decided to bail out three major defaulters by waving off 50 per cent outstanding amounts to the tune of Rs200 billion. However, major losers in this decision would be the poor farmers who had paid around Rs125 billion in GIDC to the fertilizer industry. Last year, through an amendment to the GIDC Act, the government had notified to collect 50 per cent of the cess levied or charged from January 2012 to May 2015 in two tranches for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) sector. As per that notification, the All Pakistan CNG Association agreed to pay the due amount of Rs12 billion. It is relevant to mention that fertilizer producers, captive power plant owners, and CNG filling outlets had owed the government Rs400 billion on account of GIDC, a big amount which they had kept with them after obtaining stay orders from courts. Rates of this cess per mmbtu varies industry wise, where fertilizer is required to pay Rs300/mmbtu for feed gas and Rs150/mmbtu for fuel gas which increases urea manufacturers cost by Rs400/bag. Meanwhile, industries and captives power plants are required to pay Rs100 and Rs200 per mmbtu respectively. In the last five years, the government had missed its actual collection target of GIDC by an average 56 per cent, as Sindh High Court (SHC) in its verdict concluded that GIDC ultra vires the constitution. Currently, this case is pending with the Supreme Court (SC). The sources further said that the fertilizer industry has been charging farmers with Rs405 under the head GIDC over the sale of each bag of urea. They said that the industry has so far collected approximately Rs40 billion from the farmers but have still not paid GIDC to the government. The owners of fertilizer plants have withheld this amount in the company’s bank accounts since October 2016 and they are reaping benefits from the amount withheld, said sources. The GIDC was imposed by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) government on gas consumers, including fertilizer, captive, and CNG to raise funds to execute gas pipeline projects like gas pipelines and the LNG project. However, the levy became controversial when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, instead of spending the amount on building pipeline projects, made it part of the budget. Later different sectors approached the court and obtained stay orders.

Source: The Profit

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Making Vietnam’s textile industry sustainable

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam are collaborating to transform Vietnam’s bourgeoning textile and apparel industry into a more sustainable one. The project was launched this month and will be carried out from 2018 to 2020. It will involve engaging the sectoral players to better manage their water and energy use – focusing specifically on the Mekong and Dong Nai deltas, where more than half of Vietnam’s apparel factories are located. The project also targets raising the sustainability profile of Vietnam’s textile and apparel industry by introducing better river basin governance to improve water quality. This is expected to bring about social, economic, and conservation benefits to the country. It follows a similar project funded by HSBC Bank to reduce the impact of the textile industry along the value chain in China, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. According to VITAS’ Chairman, Vu Duc Giang, the project is timely as it reinforces the need for better management of the textile and apparel industry by holding it to higher environmental and social standards. This is parallel to the increasing awareness of customers worldwide who demand global brands to become more ethical in their business practices. "Vietnam ranks as the fifth largest exporter of apparel goods in the world but our industry is more famous for low-cost production with limited environmental standards. If we do not change our practice now, Vietnam could lose its competitiveness. That is why this project is so important and timely," he said. "In the long run we want to see factories, industrial parks and other actors come together to take more proactive collective actions to address risks and impacts beyond their factory fences and more responsibly manage shared resource uses across-sectors," said WWF-Greater Mekong’s Water Lead, Marc Goichot.

Environmental footprints

Taking advantage of their young population, low-cost labour, and natural resources, countries such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam have targeted investments in the textile and apparel industries. The textile industry, however, consumes a lot of energy and water in its operations throughout the value chain and along the products’ lifecycle. The consumption of energy and water takes place in the processing of the raw materials all through to the production stage. This overconsumption is also seen in the logistics, sales and marketing of the products. Other factors can also affect how much energy and water is consumed. Different fibres – whether they are made from renewable materials such as cotton, bamboo and silk or non-renewable sources like petroleum – have different water and energy footprints. For example, polyester fabrics which are made from petroleum consume over 70 percent of the total energy used at the production phase. For cotton products, most of the energy consumption occurs during the post-retail phase by consumers. In terms of water usage, cotton is one of the most water-intensive agricultural crops. Energy consumed by the textile industry raises the national greenhouse gas (GHG) levels and because of this, the industry is seen as one of the main drivers of climate change. Meanwhile, the water footprint during these processes include overconsumption and release of improperly treated or untreated chemical effluent into waterways. The industry is also responsible for generating solid waste such as fabric waste. In the face of domestic environmental issues such as having rivers that are too polluted for human contact, water scarcity and air pollution, China has recently adopted greening measures for its own textile and apparel industry. The country is responsible for more than 50 percent of the world’s fabric. According to a report by United States (US) based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 33 Chinese textile mills serving brands such as Levi Strauss, H&M, Target and Gap are collectively saving US$14.7 million annually by adopting simple greening and efficiency measures. With increased consumer awareness of ethical and environmental standards, enterprises will need to improve their practices or lose out to global competition. The introduction of greening measures that will give Vietnam a leg up over the rest of the world will require additional commitment from the authorities and industry players. However, with Chinese businesses leading the way, it will surely make the transformation easier to swallow.

Source: ASEAN Post

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Have China-Japan relations entered a new era?

Years from now when people look back at the China-Japan relationship during the first half of the 21st century, they could find that 2018 was a special point in time. It was during this year that ties between the two sides literally entered a new era. Their mutual understanding of one another underwent fundamental changes. Amid the rise of the trade protectionism worldwide, the consensus between China and Japan on safeguarding the global free trade system and transforming their bilateral ties from competition to collaboration became the new ballast for their relations. Before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's China visit in October, he announced that Japan would end its official development assistance (ODA) to China. The move reflects a fundamental change in the total strength of both countries. Moreover, it means the two will have a cooperative relationship rather than one based on assistance and support. It is here that the China-Japan relationship entered a new era in the truest sense. The change will influence future cooperation between both nations in various fields. Ties between Beijing and Tokyo will continue improving in 2019. But they must also safeguard against potential threats that could undermine relations. US trade protectionism has placed Japan under economic pressure. Due to US President Donald Trump's capricious policies, Abe sought a stable relationship with Beijing while developing Tokyo-Washington ties. This means China-Japan relations will unlikely experience a retrogress of any kind. In 2019, Abe will pursue a balance between China and the US. This year, Beijing will preside over the rotating China-Japan-South Korea trilateral summit, and Abe will use the opportunity to visit China once again. With the upcoming Japan G20 summit in June, Tokyo is expecting Chinese President Xi Jinping's official first visit to Japan. Even if Abe is not as enthusiastic in seeking amicable relations with China like last year, the bilateral ties will at least remain steady. Although the overall tone of China-Japan relations for the new year is expected to remain stable, potential threats exist, with some having already appeared since last year. Abe's cabinet approved the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the accompanying Mid-Term Defense Program in December which involve the acquisition of new stealth fighters and long-range missiles and highlight the "China threat theory." The NDPG and the Mid-Term Defense Program will guide security and defense policy trends through to 2023. Under these two measures, it is foreseeable that Japan will boost its military forces and continue to advocate the "China threat theory. " If Japan acts too radical in promoting its military capabilities, it will not only threaten regional peace and stability in Northeast Asia but will also be detrimental to warming China-Japan ties. Thus, Tokyo's continued militarization development will be a potential threat to bilateral relations this year. Another perceived threat lies within Japan's attitude toward Chinese companies and capital. As one of the most loyal US allies in the Asia-Pacific region, Tokyo often follows Washington's foreign policy. For example, after Washington banned Huawei products from the US market, Tokyo followed its lead and implemented a similar ban. Such behavior by the Japanese government was harmful to China-Japan ties. If the US continues to impose unfair sanctions on Chinese companies this year, whether Japan will follow suit shall determine the direction of its relations with China. The author is an editor at the Global Times and a research fellow on Japan issues.

Source: Global Times

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ITM 2020 mobile app helps textile firms apply for the show

 

ITM 2020 show has launched the ITM 2020 mobile application, which will guide participants and visitors during the expo and also help make applications for ITM 2020. Preparations and innovations are continuing at full speed for the expo, which will host the innovations of leading companies in textile technology, from June 2-6, 2020, at Istanbul, Turkey. IOS and Android users need to fill in the application form in order to apply from ITM 2020 application that can be downloaded from App Store and Google Play. ITM 2020 application provides many conveniences in terms of its design and functionality. At the same time, the application offers a chance of usage in five languages, especially English, German, Italian, and Chinese. Additionally, you can directly and rapidly access to from the exhibition layout to participant lists, from the exhibition area to the current news and announcements, and from the application form to the online invitation requests in order to participate to the exhibition with a single click. The international textile machinery exhibition is organised by Teknik Fairs and Tüyap in cooperation. The expo, which will transform into a show with the participation of industry professionals, exhibitor companies, press members, and guests, will last for five days. Many textile machinery leaders will announce their world launches. The great meeting held in Istanbul, where countries are geographically close to each other, will allow sector representatives to introduce their latest technologies in ITM 2020 for the first time. Acting as a bridge between the Eastern and the Western textile worlds, ITM 2020 will continues to take the pulse of the sector as it was in the past years. Hundreds of manufacturers developing pioneering technologies will turn ITM 2020 into a textile technology show. Global investors from cotton to yarn, from weaving to knitting, from digital printing to dyeing and finishing, all the sub-branches of the sector serving companies will bring together the latest technological products. ITM exhibitions, which are the most important textile technology shows of the region, is attended by many companies from home and abroad and visited by thousands of people. (GK)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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