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MARKET WATCH 15 APRIL, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Robust textile exports help India reduce trade deficit with China

Robust export of cotton textiles to China has helped India reduce its trade deficit with that country. The recent government move to reimburse all State and Central levies on textile exports boosted shipments to major consuming countries. Cotton textile exports to China increased 69 per cent between April 2018 and and February 2019 to $1.55 billion, against $920 million in the previous year period. KV Srinivasan, Chairman, Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council, said exports can increase further if the Centre addresses the tariff disadvantage of 3.5-10 per cent that the Indian industry suffers vis-a-vis textile exporters in Vietnam, Pakistan and Indonesia. He added that higher exports of cotton textiles — including fabrics and made-ups — will not only help reduce the trade imbalance but also attract investments from the labour-intensive industries shifting out of China. China is an important trading partner for India with imports of $65 billion and exports of $15 billion in the period April 2018 to February 2019. This marked an all-time high in exports and a sharp decline in imports from China. The trade balance between the two countries in FY18 was $63 billion in favour of China, which has now shrunk to $50.13 billion.

Textile policy

In January, the Centre had unveiled a new textile policy to include State-level taxes in the computation of duty drawback. It also granted duty drawback for import of fabrics under Advance Authorisation to make exports cost competitive. Last month, it extended the refund of State and Central taxes on shipments of apparels and made-up goods.

Source: Business Line

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National Investors’ Conclave on ‘Technical Textiles’ to be held in Coimbatore for MSMEs & others

Coimbatore:  In a bid to understand the potential areas of investment in technical textiles, a one-day National Investors Conclave on Technical Textiles is being held here on April 24, 2019. The Conclave is being held jointly by Mumbai-based Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) with Southern India Mills’ Association (SIMA) and Indian Techpreneurs’ Association (ITF). The Conclave would also give necessary inputs to plan for value addition in the existing products apart from planning diversification, the Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA), the organizers said in a release. Union Textile Ministry Secretary Raghavendra Singh will inaugurate the Conclave, with a few eminent speakers from abroad, leading consultants, experts from DRDO, technical textile machinery manufacturers would make the presentation and interact with the delegates during the event, it added. IITA Chief, Dr K S Sundararaman stated “It is time for the existing entrepreneurs as well as the new entrepreneurs to take advantage of the State and Central Schemes relating to technical textiles, techno-commercial advices provided by ITTA and CoEs and plan for huge investments in technical textiles.”

Source: KNN India

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Feb Factory Output Growth at 0.1%, Slowest in 20 Months.

Q4 GDP growth likely to remain muted; RBI may cut rates; data to increase scrutiny of govt’s economic record Industrial growth fell to its lowest in 20 months in February, barely rising from a year ago as manufacturing contracted following muted consumer demand, and public investment slowed toward the fiscal year-end. The index of industrial production (IIP) rose 0.1%, the slowest since a 0.3% contraction in July 2017, data released by the statistics office showed. This was well below the consensus estimate of about 2% for February. January growth was revised down to 1.4% from 1.7% estimated initially. It was 6.9% in February 2018. “Industrial growth at 0.1% came as a shock… all sectors have failed to deliver,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings. The data will increase scrutiny of the government’s economic record as it battles perceptions of poor jobs growth amid the ongoing general election. Manufacturing, which has the highest weight in IIP (77.6%), contracted 0.3% in February. Mining output rose 2% in February while electricity generation was higher at 1.2%. “Clearly, growth does not hold out any promise, and monetary policy must do heavy lifting given lack of fiscal space,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, SBI, pencilling in chances of a rate cut by RBI in June. The advance indicators do not suggest any immediate recovery. Auto sales declined 8% in March with all segments — two-wheelers, three-wheelers, passenger cars and commercial vehicles — reporting lower sales than in the year before. India’s economy is estimated to have grown 7% in FY19 and according to RBI estimates could post a modest recovery to 7.2% in the current fiscal. “This implies that Q4 FY2019 GDP is likely to sequentially lose momentum further,” said B Prasanna of ICICI Bank.

Source: Economic Times

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Demand for Chinese products in India falling: PHDCCI.

India has witnessed a major breakthrough in its exports to China during the last few months while its import of Chinese items is falling, according to Mahesh Y Reddy, secretary general of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), who recently appreciated the remarkable turnaround by Indian exporters during April-January 2018-19.  India's exports to China grew by 31 per cent from $10 billion in April-January 2017-18 to $14 billion in the same period in fiscal 2018-19, Reddy said.Despite substantial volume of imports from China, India's import growth from China shrunk from 24 per cent during April-January 2017-18 to minus 5 per cent during the same period in the successive fiscal, said Reddy. India's trade deficit with China has also eased from $53 billion in April-January 2017-18 to $46 billion in April-January 2018-19, he said. The total trade between India and China witnessed a tremendous jump from $3 billion in 2001-02 to around $90 billion in 2017-18, a PHDCCI press release quoted Reddy as saying. India's top ten imports from China comprise 78 per cent of the overall imports from China (Apr-Jan 2018-19) and its top ten export items to China comprise of 81 per cent of the overall exports to China (Apr-Jan 2018-19). Over the past decade, China has been able to enhance its footprint in India to a greater extent. However, the trend has seen a reversal in the April-Jan 2018-19 period.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Indian MSMEs can create 1 crore jobs in 4-5 years: Report

New Delhi: India’s MSME sector has the potential to create up to 1 crore new jobs in the next 4-5 years by focusing on developing the enterprises in certain segments through partial substitution of imports, a report has said. The report by Nomura Research Institute (NRI Consulting & Solutions) on the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) said dedicated focus on developing MSMEs in select segments can create additional 75 lakh to 1 crore employment opportunities in the next 4-5 years through partial substitution of imports. The manufacturing sector in India needs to shoulder the dual responsibility of accommodating the shift of labour from agriculture, and also cater to the added labour force, the report said. As per the annual report 2017-18 of the Ministry of MSME, the sector contributed around 3.6 crore jobs (70 per cent) in the manufacturing sector. MSMEs are spread across various clusters in India. A detailed look into the product groups manufactured in various clusters such as artificial jewellery, sports goods, scientific instruments, textile machinery, electric fans, rubber, plastic, leather & related products, among others, suggests that a dedicated focus on developing these MSMEs can create additional job opportunities, the report said. Ashim Sharma, partner and group head at NRI Consulting & Solutions, said the manufacturing ecosystem is constantly evolving under the influence of several trends around changing consumer behaviour and technological shifts happening across the globe. “This puts India’s domestic micro and small-scale industries into the driver’s seat to lead the employment generation. To scale-up, the MSME sector needs a market-oriented strategy based on two key areas of demand led manufacturing and advocacy marketing of the products,” Sharma said.

Source: Telangana

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World trade order, or US trade order?

India must join hands with other nations to prevent the US from bending the global trading system in its favour. It has been a year since US President Donald Trump roiled international trade by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum on the dubious ground of protecting security of the US. What has he achieved through this illegal action and other questionable measures? Also, what might be his ultimate aim? Let us examine these questions. First, President Trump has resorted to the time-tested strategy of the US of erecting barriers to exports from other countries, in order to coax them to come to the negotiating table and accept even the most unreasonable demands of the US business and trade. The illegal steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as the threatened withdrawal of GSP benefits to India, should be viewed as integral parts of this line of action by the US. The US had unleashed this strategy during 1986-1993 and arm twisted Brazil, India and Thailand to agree to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The ongoing bilateral negotiations between China and the US for addressing the concerns of the latter is a further testimony to the success of this strategy. Second, by compelling some countries to accept export quotas as a condition for exporting steel to the US, Trump has rendered the WTO prohibition on such quotas as being irrelevant for the US. Through this tactic Trump has pushed countries back to the era of managed trade. In this framework, the pattern of international trade will be determined unilaterally by the commercial interests of the US and not by multilateral rules. This type of power play, which was evident in the textiles sector during 1960s and up to the early years of the 21st century, has staged a come back with greater force for serving the economic interests of the US. The message to the world is loud and clear — a country would be permitted to export to the US exclusively on terms and conditions decided by the hegemon. Third, the US has taken pre-emptive action in order to prevent countries from meaningfully challenging the illegal actions of President Trump under the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism. By refusing to nominate new members to the Appellate Body, the highest judicial body at the WTO for adjudicating trade disputes, the US would have rendered the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism dysfunctional in December 2019.

Blow to DSB

However, the US does not appear to be prepared to wait that long. It has recently dealt a deep blow to multilateral dispute resolution by not allowing the meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to proceed on the pretext that the US does not recognise the diplomats at the WTO appointed by President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela. By sabotaging the DSB, the US has ensured that other countries will not have an avenue for seeking redress against its dubious and illegal actions. This provides the US an unfettered environment for brow beating countries through its illegal actions and pressurising them to meet its ever-growing demands. The fourth element in the overall strategy of the US is to undermine the concept of special and differential treatment (S&DT) during trade negotiations. By shredding the concept of S&DT, a fundamental pillar of both the GATT and the WTO, the US wants the same rules to apply to the developed countries and to some of the larger developing countries. This would severely erode the ability of India and similar other countries to protect vulnerable sections — particularly fishermen and farmers — from the market-grabbing designs of the US. India has stood up firmly to the US on this issue and has also succeeded in mobilising about a dozen developing countries to oppose any dilution of S&DT. However, the US may not hesitate to wield the big stick, yet again, in order to coerce countries such as India to ‘voluntarily’ renounce any claims to S&DT provisions in the future.

Digital trade, e-commerce

The final element in this grand strategy is to bulldoze negotiations at the WTO on the key issue of its interest — digital trade and electronic commerce. While there is no multilateral consensus on initiating negotiation on this issue, this has not prevented the US from pushing ahead with negotiations with 74 other countries. It is also using all available platforms, such as the United Nations, to champion the supposed gains for developing countries if they agree to negotiate binding rules at the WTO on digital trade. Further, strong pointers already exist suggesting that at the forthcoming summit of G20 leaders to be held in June, President Shinzo Abe of Japan will lend a helping hand to the US in nudging India, South Africa and Indonesia to join the bandwagon of negotiation on digital trade. The outcome of these negotiations would be totally asymmetric and skewed. Developing countries would be compelled to give up the data generated in their country for free to the digital giants in the developed countries. This would fuel the business of the digital giants, without any benefit accruing to the developing countries. In conclusion, viewed individually, the illegal actions of the US over the past one year may not provide any inkling of an underlying coherent strategy. However, join the dots and it becomes clear that the US is resorting to all tricks, fair and foul, for rewriting trade rules to further bend the international trading system in its favour. So far, India has firmly resisted the US pressure. In order to further strengthen its hands, India needs to explain the dangers of the US strategy to other developing countries and get them on its side. This is the only effective way to prevent the US from pushing ahead with its own commercial interest, while totally ignoring the development concerns of other countries, including India.

Source: Business Line

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Scrapping India's trade privileges could hit US consumers: Senators

A United States (US) plan to end preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion from India could raise costs for American consumers, two US senators have told their country's trade office, urging a delay in adopting the plan, and seeking more negotiations. If President Donald Trump presses ahead with his plan to end the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for India, it could lose the status in early May, Indian officials have said, raising the prospect of retaliatory tariffs. India is the world's largest beneficiary of the GSP, dating from the 1970s, but trade ties with the US have widened over what Trump calls its high tariffs and concerns over New Delhi's e-commerce policies. “While we agree that there are a number of market access issues that can and should be addressed, we do remain concerned that the withdrawal of duty concessions will make Indian exports of eligible products to the United States costlier. Some of these costs will likely be passed on to American consumers”, the senators, John Cornyn and Mark Warner, wrote. In their letter written on Friday, the co-chairs of the Senate's India caucus, of more than 30 senators, called for the withdrawal to be delayed until the end of the general elections, which began on Thursday. Allowing for talks to continue beyond the elections would underscore the importance of the trade ties, presenting an opportunity to resolve market access issues and improve the overall US-India relationship for years to come, they added. If the US scraps duty-free access for about 2,000 product lines, it will mostly hurt small and medium businesses in India, such as makers of engineering goods. Despite close political ties, trade between India and the US, which stood at $126 billion in 2017, is widely seen to be performing at nearly a quarter of its potential. Trade relations suffered in the past few months after India adopted new rules on e-commerce reining in how companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc-backed Flipkart do business. Last June, India said it would step up import duties varying from 20 per cent to 120 per cent on a slew of US farm, steel and iron products, angered by Washington's refusal to exempt it from new steel and aluminium tariffs. But it has since repeatedly delayed adopting the higher duties.

Source: Economic Times

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Time to soften GST blow on MSMEs

Change is not always easy to adapt to, especially when it is a completely new tax regime like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which even proponents of reforms acknowledge is very complex. No surprises then, that it drew more flak than applause when the Narendra Modi-led government initiated the move and made it a reality on July 1, 2017. Why did the Congress, which claimed it to be its baby, term it Gabbar Singh Tax? And, why does Arun Kumar, an eminent economist, call it a Ground Scorching Tax? Kumar, not known for mincing words, spoke to BusinessLine about the ‘why’, which is the crux of his book Ground Scorching Tax, published by Penguin. he argues that problems with this indirect tax regime are both transitional and structural in India. To correct these problems there have been a few hundred notifications and orders, which instead of resolving them have added to confusion, he says, adding that there is a need to design a simple alternative. “Reform of GST as it stands is essential even to get limited gains. It needs to be simplified. It is time that the political leadership (both ruling party and opposition) takes a wider view of the economy, admits its mistakes and gives up the ‘Ground Scorching Tax’ in favour of a ‘Ground Nourishing Tax’. There is still time to retrieve the situation,” he says in his book. But it is slightly less than two years since this tax regime has come into existence; shouldn’t it be given some time? Weren’t the implications, good or bad, well thought through? “India is not like any other economy; therefore, the argument given that 160 countries have it and why should we not go for it, is not justified. You see, no other economy has such a large unorganised sector. It is the unorganised sector which is facing the problem because of GST. They are the ones who are unable to cope with it even though they are largely exempt from it. The reason is that GST is a very complex tax. It is levied as VAT (Value Added Tax), which in itself is very complex,” he said. “VAT requires value of inputs and value of outputs. This is possible when everything is computerised. Small businesses are generally not computerised, they don’t have accountants, they work in a very ad hoc manner,” Kumar states.

A difficult tax

From the LK Jha Committee in 1978 and the Long Term Fiscal Policy Report in 1985 to the Kelkar Committee Report in 2002, all have said that it is a very difficult tax. The Jha committee had recommended ‘MANVAT’ (manufacturing VAT) as VAT could not be implemented fully. But even MANVAT couldn’t be executed because in the manufacturing sector there are lots of small players and they couldn’t cope with it, Kumar points out. The Arvind Subramanian Committee report in 2015 wanted it to be the best internationally, which could be accepted by other countries, but ended up saying that fixing the tax rates is ‘more an art than a science’, thereby admitting it be very difficult. All the political parties finally agreed after more than a decade of discussion and opposition from some States, because of the pressure of big business. It was projected as a ‘win-win’ for all. The producing States were worried that they would lose revenue to the poorer States, who are the consuming States. Modi, himself was a strong critic of GST, but after the BJP came to power it quickly moved to implement GST and the Congress could not oppose the same as it was their baby to begin with. GST was implemented with all the ruling and opposition parties on board and was presented as an example of cooperative federalism. But, in all this the interest of the unorganised sectors was not taken care of. “This sector, which employs 94 per cent of the workforce and produces 45 per cent of the output now — it produced more earlier — has been adversely hit today. The point is that if you damage such a large sector, then the overall economy will go downhill and so will employment,” says Kumar. And, if 94 per cent of the workforce is adversely affected, demand for food will go down, as a bulk of the demand comes from here, he argues, adding that “because demand has come down, farmers’ prices have declined leading to a crisis there.” He further states that the surpluses in agriculture are not because everyone is eating well, but due to the fact that people don’t have the purchasing power to buy. “So, the crisis in the Indian economy today is because the unorganised sector is adversely hit by GST,” he states. Giving the example of the pressure cooker industry, he says that big players such as Prestige are growing because demand has shifted from the unorganised sector units to them. “That is why I called GST, Ground Scorching Tax — it is at the ground level that the economy is getting damaged,” Kumar argues. GST is based on the input tax credit and reverse charge mechanism. These put the small producers at a disadvantage. “Because of all these components the demand is shifting to large-scale players.” But even the large businesses are suffering due to complexities in the tax, Kumar says, as “there have been more than 500 changes and orders adding to the confusion.” So many returns have to be filed in each of the States in which the company operates — GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3. More than a thousand returns have to be filed by a company operating pan-India. Fortunately, GSTR2 as been suspended for the time being, but then invoice matching is not possible and that was an important goal of GST, he points out. “Many of the critical components of GST had to be postponed or delayed. To add to the complexity there have been changes in the tax rates.” While the government argues it has brought in more transparency in the system and facilitated ease of doing business, Kumar writes: “The promised ‘ease of doing business’ is not yet in evidence.” According to him, fiscal federalism is being dented by the idea of “one nation one tax”. The autonomy of the States is being dented and the local bodies are not provided any tax source.

The way ahead

What is the alternative then? Can GST be reversed and can one go back to the earlier system of indirect tax? Clearly not! But there is still time to correct the course and turn it into a ‘Ground Nourishing Tax’, he says. “First part of the alternative is to collect more direct taxes by curtailing black income generation, for which ideas have been mentioned. This will enable reduction of indirect taxes,” he says. The second part, according to Kumar, is to simplify the GST regime. GST is a destination tax, paid by the final consumer and also collected by the State where the final consumption takes place. So, GST should be levied only on the final consumption leaving out the intermediate stages of production and distribution like transportation, accountancy and raw materials. “It can be further simplified if it is levied as ad valorem rather than VAT, since at the last point, the two amount to the same,” Kumar says. Yes, GST gave the economy a shock as it followed demonetisation. “Political will is needed to curtail the black economy. It is a political choice whether to tackle the black economy and reduce indirect taxes or continue as it is with its negative consequences,” summarises Kumar.

Source: Business Line

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India may move WTO if US denies preferential treatment to exports

NEW DELHI: India could approach the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the US denies it preferential benefits in retaliation for the barriers Washington claims its exports face here. Sources said the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a non-reciprocal programme—when developed countries grant trade concessions to developing countries, they should not expect matching offers in return.Hence, the benefits can’t be unilaterally terminated on such basis. The US wants to review India’s eligibility based on petitions filed by its dairy industry and medical devices industry “given Indian trade barriers affecting US exports in those sectors”. The US GSP is a trade programme instituted on January 1, 1976 to promote economic growth in the developing world by allowing duty-free entry to select goods. As of now, nearly 129 countries benefit from this preferential duty arrangement for about 4,800 goods. Experts say India will have a case if the US takes any unilateral action. “If the US cites so-called market access barriers as the ground for denying us GSP benefits, then we can take them to dispute. This is so because GSP benefits are supposed to be non-reciprocal,” said Abhijit Das, professor and head, Centre for WTO Studies at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in Delhi. As per US norms, a beneficiary country must meet 15 eligibility criteria established by the Congress, including combating child labour, respecting internationally recognised worker rights, providing adequate and effective intellectual property protection, and providing the US with equitable and reasonable market access in order to qualify for GSP.  “The US wants to use GSP as a ploy to get more market access in India... They will find some other way to curb the benefits,” said an expert on WTO issues. The US has said that for India, the GSP country eligibility review is based on concerns related to its compliance with the GSP market access criterion. However, India can challenge the US even if these conditions are not met and benefits are stopped. In 2002, India had challenged the European Union’s GSP regime for seriously drug-affected countries, arguing that it discriminated among developing countries. The WTO Appellate Body later found that the EU’s GSP drug regime then was not based on objective and transparent criteria for the selection of the beneficiary countries. “India should challenge the US because GSP has to be non-discriminatory. It can’t put additional conditions on grant of GSP,” said Biswajit Dhar, professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. US-India bilateral merchandise trade was $64.5 billion in FY17 with India’s exports adding up to $42.2 billion and imports at $22.7 billion.

Source: Economic Times

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 14-04-2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1327.94

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

VSF

1894.08

USD/Ton

1.60%

4/14/2019

ASF

2501.08

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Polyester POY

1357.17

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Nylon FDY

2893.32

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

40D Spandex

4757.57

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Nylon POY

1536.14

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Acrylic Top 3D

3161.77

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Polyester FDY

5637.49

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Nylon DTY

1583.87

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Viscose Long Filament

2729.26

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

Polyester DTY

2684.52

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2542.84

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

32S Polyester Yarn

2035.76

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

45S T/C Yarn

2893.32

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

40S Rayon Yarn

2177.44

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2550.29

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

45S Polyester Yarn

2833.66

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2445.90

USD/Ton

0%

4/14/2019

10S Denim Fabric

1.37

USD/Meter

0%

4/14/2019

32S Twill Fabric

0.83

USD/Meter

0%

4/14/2019

40S Combed Poplin

1.11

USD/Meter

0%

4/14/2019

30S Rayon Fabric

0.63

USD/Meter

0%

4/14/2019

45S T/C Fabric

0.71

USD/Meter

0%

4/14/2019

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14914 USD dtd. 14/04/2019). 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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Senators urge Trump administration to delay decision on India's GSP review

WASHINGTON: Two top American Senators have urged the Trump administration to delay until the end of the general elections its decision to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preference due to a lack of compliance. The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designate beneficiary countries. The US Congress in March last year voted to renew the GSP through 2020. In a letter to US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, Senators John Cornyn from the Republican party and Mark warner from the Democratic party argued that India-US relationship was too important to rush such an important decision in the middle of an election cycle. "As you know, India's elections will conclude on May 23, 2019. We believe that the election season may serve as a hindrance for our Indian counterparts in negotiating and concluding a deal on difficult political issues," the two Senators wrote in the letter to Lighthizer on Friday. It was in April last year that the USTR announced that it planned to review the GSP eligibility of a number of countries, including India. The USTR's announcement specifically cited "concerns related to its compliance with GSP market access criterion," based on petitions filed from the US medical device and dairy industries. "If another round of negotiations during the election season does not resolve the outstanding issues, we would ask you to consider delaying the issuance of a Presidential proclamation to withdraw India's GSP benefits by at least 30 days, beyond the 60-day calendar, in order to move the negotiations beyond India's elections," the Senators said. Allowing for continued negotiations beyond the elections would underscore the importance of this bilateral relationship and provide a real opportunity to resolve these market access issues, potentially improving the overall US-India relationship for years to come, said Cornyn and Warner, who are co-chairs of the powerful Senate India Caucus."We understand that the Trump administration may issue a proclamation withdrawing India's GSP benefits 60 days or later from the congressional notification date," the two Senators wrote. The letter comes in the middle of an intense Indian election cycle, during which the ruling government cannot take a major policy decision, which holds officials from making substantial progress on the crucial negotiations between India and the United States. "As Co-Chairs of the United States Senate's India Caucus, we fully appreciate and support your efforts to address a host of market access issues facing American businesses in India. "Congressional support for the GSP programme was made clear last year when the US Senate and US House of Representatives reauthorised the programme, in nearly unanimous fashion, for three years," they said. On March 4, 2019, Congress was notified of USTR's intention to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under GSP due to a lack of compliance. "While we agree that there are a number of market access issues that can and should be addressed, we do remain concerned that the withdrawal of duty concessions will make Indian exports of eligible products to the United States costlier, as the importer of those products will have to pay a 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN)  duty which is higher than the rate under GSP," the Senators said.

Source: Economic Times

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Problems for Bangla textile mills due to unsold yarn: BTMA

The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) recently demanded reduction in income tax rate from 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent till 2028 and inclusion of yarn and fabric as items exempt from value-added tax (VAT) as the sale of local yarn and fabric, which are being imported under false declarations and duty-free facilities, has drastically declined. More than half—around 50,000-60,000—power looms are closed for a long period, according to BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon. BTMA apprehends more mills to shut down due to lack of new work orders, according to Bangla media reports. In the country’s spinning mills, only 80 lakh spindles are running out of 1 crore 10 lakh, said Khokon. Woven dying mills have reduced their capacity below 40 per cent while export-oriented spinning mills are forced to sell their products at a lower rate compared to their production cost resulting in huge stockpiling of yarn and fabric, he noted. If the situation continues, factories may be unable to pay wages, he cautioned. Over 8 to 10 lakh pieces of apparel are illegally entering Bangladesh annually through 17 border markets and the items were being taken to Dhaka city through the railways. BTMA leaders also urged the government to stop the misuse of bonded warehouse facilities.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Pakistan-Turkey to increase bilateral trade volume

ISLAMABAD– Pakistan and Turkey agreed to increase the bilateral trade up to 5 times of current volume. Both countries have decided to make Pak-Turk business council in order to increase cooperation in trade and economic development. According to official document, Pak Turk Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would be finalized in June. FTA would increase the volume of bilateral trade from $90 crore to $4.5 billion. The proposed agreement said Turkey would provide technical support to Pakistan for the construction of Textile Technology Park. Garments centers would be established under these agreements in Faisalabad, Lahore and Karachi.

China-Pakistan FTA

Moreover, the technology would be transferred from Turkey to Pakistan for the betterment in the fields of ginning, dining and finishing

Source: Dunya News

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Czech media highlights significance of boosting economic ties with Vietnam

Prague (VNA) – The media in the Czech Republic have carried a number of stories about the upcoming official visit to the country by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc from April 16 to 18, underlining the development of the bilateral economic partnership. The Czech government’s website vlada.cz reported that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis will chair an official welcome ceremony for his Vietnamese counterpart on April 17. One of the key contents of the talks between the two PMs will be the enhancement of bilateral economic cooperation, it said, adding that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will help promote bilateral trade. The two leaders will open the Czech-Vietnam business and investment forum, according to the website. This will be the second meeting between the two PMs after their meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2019, it added. The Czech-Vietnam Friendship Association also highlighted PM Phuc’s upcoming trip to the Czech Republic on its website www.cvs-praha, saying the association’s Honorary President Marcel Winter and President Milos Kusy are glad to meet the Vietnamese leader. The Parliament of the Czech Republic posted on its website parlamentnilisty.cz an article titled “Potential to boost economic cooperation between Czech and Vietnam”, emphasising on the bilateral long-standing friendly cooperative relations and potential collaboration in economy, trade, and investment. The article said the bilateral cooperative relations have been stepped up in recent years, particularly through the visit to Vietnam by Czech President Milos Zeman in June 2017 and the visit to Czech by Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in April 2017. The sound political ties between the two countries have created a momentum for the development of the bilateral cooperation, including economy and trade, it said. The Czech Republic considers Vietnam a traditional and potential trade partner and a bridge to export its products to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Notably, in the Czech Republic’s national export strategy for 2012-2020, Vietnam was listed as the only country in ASEAN in its 12 prioritised markets. Two-way trade enjoyed an annual growth of over 15 percent to reach 1.2 billion USD in 2018, doubling that of 2013, according to the article. Vietnam exported coffee, pepper, fruits, tea, rubber, aquaculture, footwear, garment-textile, and fine art products to the Czech Republic while importing electronics, machinery, chemicals, dairy products, and pharmaceutical products from the market. As a member of the European Union, the Czech Republic is willing to cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of machine manufacturing, mining, food processing technology, agriculture and beer production, the article said. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will create opportunities for Vietnam and the Czech Republic to access to each other’s market effectively and increase trade flows in agriculture and food, it added. The article concluded that the Czech Republic always attaches great importance to the traditional friendship and cooperation with Vietnam and considers the Southeast Asian country an important partner and a gateway to boost cooperation with the ASEAN.-VNA

Source: Vietnam Plus

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Alchemie launches waterless smart dyeing technology.

Alchemie Technology, a UK-based digital materials science company that bridges the gap between the digital world and the physical domain, has launched a breakthrough new technology in textile dyeing: The Alchemie Endeavour waterless smart dyeing process, at Interdye in Shanghai, delivering a step change in sustainability at a radically lower cost. The Alchemie Endeavour waterless smart dyeing process is capable of throughputs of over 2,000 square metre per hour and will reduce waste water and energy by over 80 per cent. This delivers a greater than 50 per cent reduction in cost. The waterless process can deliver dyed fabric that does not require post dyeing washing steps to deliver finished product; a remarkable sustainability advantage, the company said. The technology delivers exceptional results with high colour consistency and colour fastness. Based on Alchemie’s proprietary digital manufacturing technology, the system can deliver any colour shade required and enables on-demand digital colour changeovers in any run length from a few metres to several kilometres. “At the heart of the system is a unique new dyeing process that distributes dye molecules deep into the fabric enabling very high absorption, homogeneous distribution and excellent fixing efficiencies. This results in minimal wash out, even at very high saturation levels of dye: this is an industry first,” an Alchemie press release said. The Endeavour technology includes a fully automated colour lab sampling system to perfectly match a customised colour in a very short time making the system a truly ‘end-to-end’ high performance sustainable dyeing solution with ultimate performance.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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