MARKET WATCH 06 NOV, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

“Decision of our government not to join RCEP is bold and courageous”: SRTEC Chief

MUMBAI— Under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi India has pulled out of RCEP pact that has finally concluded between 15 countries in Bangkok on Monday. Responding to the RCEP development Mr. Ronak Rughani Chairman SRTEPC lauded Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for taking this bold step in the larger interest of the Indian domestic industries. He also lauded Commerce Industry Mr. Piyush Goyal for protecting the concerns of the Indian industries. Appreciating the bold step of the Government Mr. Rughani tweeted the following on a tweet of Commerce Industry Mr. Piyush Goyal - “Sir thanks to you too for addressing all the concerns of the Industry and always assuring that decisions will be taken in best interests of the country and Industry. You actually listened to us and put across all our concerns.” It may be noted here that the RCEP is a Free Trade Agreement negotiated between ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners. The RCEP was launched at the 21st ASEAN and Related Summits in Phnom Penh Cambodia in 2012. The negotiations for the RCEP commenced in 2013 between 16 countries viz. 10 ASEAN Australia China India Japan Korea Republic and New Zealand. The agreement of 16 countries makes up 45% of the world population and contributes a third of the world’s GDP. The RCEP initiative aimed to be an ASEAN-led process through which ASEAN would broaden and deepen its economic engagements with its FTA partners. The RCEP was envisioned to lead to greater economic integration support equitable economic development and strengthen economic cooperation among the countries involved. Almost Seven years after India joined negotiations for the 16-nation ASEAN (Association for South East Asian Nations)- led RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) or Free Trade Agreement Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Monday that India was dropping out of the agreement because of its negative impacts on most of Indian industries including textiles. Current position of Indian textile industry is not healthy. Exports have been consecutively falling month-on-month whereas imports have been on rise specially from China. China along with Korea Republic have been major surplus countries as far as Manmade fibre textiles are concerned. Therefore, signing RCEP was a big stress for the Indian Manmade fibre textile industry. Moreover, Indian MMF textile segment has been under huge stress due to nonavailability of raw materials in India at international prices besides other issues like Inverted Duty Structure of GST and pending of huge Government dues to the industry under various Schemes such as MEIS RoSL/RoSCTL etc. “It is the high time that Government needs to put in place a suitable mechanism and release the pending dues so as to enable the Indian textiles segment to become globally competitive” Mr. Ronak Rughani categorically stated.

Source: Tecoya Trend

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India exploring trade agreements with USA & E U; FTAs with Japan, Korea & ASEAN being reviewed; No trade agreements in a hurry says Piyush Goyal

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways Piyush Goyal assured that India will never finalize any trade agreement in a hurry. During trade negotiations the focus will be on India first said the Minister while addressing a press conference, on the decision taken by India on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), in New Delhi today. He said that India’s economic interests and national priorities come first and theconcerns of the farmers, dairy sector, MSMEs and domestic manufacturing will be addressed and these sectors will be protected. Commerce and Industry Minister informed that throughout the seven year long negotiations in RCEP India has consistently stood its ground to uphold its demands particularly over controlling trade deficit, stronger protection against unfair imports and better market opportunities for Indian goods and services.The opening up of the Indian market must be matched by openings in areas where our businesses can benefit and India will not allow its market to become a dumping ground for goods from other countries said the Minister. Commerce and Industry Minister further informed thatthe Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries are being reviewed. The review of the FTA with South Korea,which began 3 years back,is being fast tracked. He further informed that India has already secured agreement in ASEAN for a review of the FTA and a Joint Working Group (JWG) is discussing the issues to be addressed in Japan FTA. Replying to questions Commerce and Industry Minister informed that at present India is exploring trade agreements with the USA and European Union, where Indian industry and services will be competitive and benefit from access to large developed markets.

Source: PIB

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Asean may soon conclude review of FTA with India

The Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) may soon conclude FTA (free-trade agreement) review with India. The aim is to balance China in the Indo-Pacific. The grouping will work with India for early conclusion of the review of Asean-India FTA to keep momentum in the partnership, a senior Asean diplomat told ET. PM Narendra Modi, while addressing 10 Asean leaders, on Sunday welcomed the decision to have a relook at the free-trade agreement between India and the 10-member grouping. Last month, India and Asean initiated a review of the free-trade agreement in goods to make it “user-friendly, simple and trade facilitative”. After India’s decision to stay out of RCEP, some Asean nations, including Thailand, are keen for early conclusion of the FTA review. In 2003, India and Asean signed a Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation to establish an Asean-India Regional Trade and Investment Area, which would provide a basis for subsequent FTAs covering goods, services and investment. The Asean-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) was signed in 2009 and it is this that both sides have agreed to review. Modi said he welcomed “the decision to re-examine the India-Asean FTA. “This will make our economic links stronger and will make our trade more balanced,” he said. Bilateral trade between the two sides increased to $80.8 billion in 2018 from $73.6 billion in 2017. India has its concerns, given that its FTA with Asean is stacking up trade deficits with several Asean partners.

Source: Economic Times

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Exporters, industry laud India’s decision to pull out of RCEP

The industry has lauded India’s decision not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and has said their concerns over a surge in imports from China have been soothed. “The government has had extensive consultations with the wide-spectrum of stakeholders,” Vikram Kirloskar, president, Confederation of Indian Industry said. “The objective was to get the first-hand inputs from industry stakeholders and based on that India articulated its position in the last round of negotiations and Ministerial meetings thereafter.” “Unfortunately, that didn’t find favour with majority of RCEP members,” Mr. Kirloskar added. “The decision taken by India at Bangkok to pull out from RCEP reflects the views of majority of Indian stakeholders.” Indian industry’s reservations against joining RCEP has come from a number of sectors, including agriculture, dairy, steel, rubber, and textiles, and all of these apprehensions were communicated to the government over a series of consultative meetings the Commerce Minister held in New Delhi and Mumbai. “In recent months, serious apprehensions and reservations on RCEP have been expressed by a large number of sectors including steel, plastics, copper, aluminium, machine tools, paper, automobiles, chemicals, petro-chemicals and others,” Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Sandip Somany said. “Further, there were not enough positive developments in the area of trade in services, including easier mobility for our professionals and service-providers.” Exporter bodies too have lauded the decision to stay out of RCEP. “We welcome the decision in opting out of RCEP,” Engineering Export Promotion Council of India chairman Ravi Sehgal said. “Our MSME unit members were concerned about the possible opening up to Chinese imports; and hence it is a wise decision and will provide certainty to the MSME sector.” “Vibrant manufacturing holds the key to exports,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations president Sharad Kumar Saraf said. “Duty-free imports from China, which has economy of scale, and sitting on huge inventory and capacity could have jolted the manufacturing beyond recovery and thus crippling exports.” However, Mr. Saraf called on the government to make manufacturing competitive by reducing the cost of credit, bringing down logistics costs and addressing the inverted duty structure.

Source: The Hindu

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Open to join RCEP in future if we get favourable offers: Govt

A day after opting out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal, the government on Tuesday said it was open to being part of the grouping in the future if it got favourable offers addressing India’s concerns. “Every government is always open to discussions and negotiations, but at present, the final decision is to stay out of RCEP,” Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. “Should the other countries come up with better offers in the interest of India’s industry and people, we will discuss it and do what is good for our farmers, industry, and the services sector.” Goyal also said India was exploring trade agreements with the United States and the European Union to allow the manufacturing and services sectors to benefit from access to large developed markets. “We always talk to countries. The doors never shut for anybody,” he said, referring to RCEP. He said reconciliation would follow if the 15 RCEP nations made sincere efforts to address India’s concerns, gave it confidence, and helped it balance this trade inequality. “At present, the final decision is to stay out of RCEP...(We will) do what is good for our farmers, industry and services sector”- Piyush GoyalWhile the other RCEP nations have gone ahead with the deal after concluding the talks in Bangkok, they have also left the door open for India — the largest untapped consumer and industrial market. Negotiations, which started in 2012, will now culminate in a final deal being signed by 2020.  India had a long list of pending issues till Monday night. Goyal said that of the 70-odd issues that had held up the deal, around 50 were India’s concerns. Prime among these is a proposed import cap for China and a mechanism to raise tariffs on Chinese imports if it crossed certain threshold.

This has been furiously refused by Beijing.

India’s hope of greater trade in services, which would have allowed cross-border movement of Indian information technology, medical workers, and teachers was also impeded by opposition from the Asean bloc and developed economies such as Australia. Goyal also raised the issue of other nations pushing for 2014 as the base year for tariff reduction, while New Delhi had pushed for 2019. New Delhi’s demands for assurance on preferential market access to Indian goods in Chinese and Asean markets and removal of non-tariff barriers also proved difficult to secure. On Tuesday, the Federation of Indian Exports Organizations (FIEO) welcomed the decision on RCEP. “Duty-free imports from China, which has an economy of scale, backed by huge inventory, could have jolted the manufacturing beyond recovery and thus crippling exports,” said FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf. Goyal blamed the previous United Progressive Alliance government for compromising its negotiating position during the RCEP talks.

Source: Business Standard

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Trends in commodity prices and rules of trade

There is a distinct shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation in advanced countries and India also must enhance the availability of natural gas for increasingly higher use by steel plants to reduce carbon emission. In general, the movement of commodity prices depends on the demand of the finished goods which it serves as raw material. However, there are a plenty of external factors, natural or political, that disrupt this linkage quite often. For instance, flash floods in Australian coal mines, terrorist attack on Aramco oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, blast in Rio Tinto mines in Brazil as well as specific government policies on environment externalities like the recent Chinese policy on reducing coal consumption to improve environment cleanliness can cause wide fluctuations and uncertainty in global commodity prices in coal, oil and iron ore. While predicting these factors, being difficult to predict, weigh in favour of continuing with minor changes in the current level of prices at least for the coming few months. This pattern is apparent in the report released by World Bank on commodity prices. The current average crude oil price at $60/bbl is predicted to drop to $58/bbl in 2020 before rising to a gradual climb up to $70 by 2030. The subdued demand from the user segments (around 1% per annum) supported by emergence of electric vehicles, the substitution by shale gas and production capabilities by Opec countries, the US, Russia, Indonesia, Nigeria are ensuring adequate supply in the coming years. Almost similar factors are at play in respect of coal which is facing the challenge from cleaner fuels like natural gas. It has been rightly established that prices of substitute products vis-à-vis the prices of major commodities like crude oil and coal has a major influence on demand of commodities. The average coal prices (coking and non-coking) is likely to move down from the current $79/mt to $71/mt in 2020 and further going down to $60/mt by 2030. This is expected as the increasing concern of energy efficiency and carbon emission has already cut down the demand for coal. There is a distinct shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation in advanced countries and India also must enhance the availability of natural gas for increasingly higher use by steel plants to reduce carbon emission. The lower price forecast for coal is good news for steel industry. It would have downward impact on landed cost of coking coal as well as domestic prices of coking and non-coking coal. Coal production by China is likely to go down and supplies are to be maintained by the US, Indonesia, Australia, India and Russia. Natural gas prices at current level of $2.7/mmbtu is likely to be near stagnant till 2022 before rising up to $4/mmbtu by 2030. Under the metal category, the average iron ore prices is projected to drop down significantly from the current level at $92.2/dmt to $81.3/dmt next year and continuously lowering down to $70 by 2030. Australia, Brazil, India, China and Russia would continue to dominate the world availability of iron ore. It is expected that Indian iron ore mines where leases are going to expire by March, 2020 are permitted by the government to continue operations or alternatively these are put on fresh bidding in order to eliminate the possibility of sudden supply shortage in the domestic market. The aluminium prices have been projected to rise by around 23% by 2030 from the current level of $1,790/mt with marginally falling by $30/mt in the next year. The average price of nickel, the major input for stainless steel, is likely to move up from the present level of $14,140/mt by 27% by 2030. The average price of copper would gradually rise by 16.5% from the current level of $6,010/mt in the next 11 years. However, steel industry would be happy to know that average zinc price has been projected to go down to $2500/mt by 2030 from the present level of $2570/mt and the heaviest drop in price of Zinc (by 5%) may happen in 2020. These projections of commodity prices may help Indian steel industry to work out strategies for growth in the next 2-3 years. The stable and marginally downward forecasts made for the average global prices of crude oil, coal, iron ore, aluminium, nickel and zinc are strong signals for achieving a reasonably remunerative spread for the finished steel prices in 2019 and 2020. Last week, the High Level Advisory Group (HLAG) report on Trade constituted by ministry of commerce has been released that contains some straight talks on the trade performance by India since the beginning of the twenty first century and has come out with some pragmatic and effective recommendations for the domestic export players, specifically in sectors like agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, tourism and hospitality, electronics, among others. It talks of a change in the mindset of all the stakeholders to fully appreciate the benefits of global trade, to participate in the global value chain in order to improve the competitiveness of our own industry, agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. Regarding FTAs and RCEPs, the two most disrupting elements for growth and survival for Indian steel industry, it has been rightly mentioned in the report that adequate and comprehensive studies on the participating countries, both tariff and non-tariff barriers, a thorough analysis of their political systems, the internal regulations, environment regulations, standards, labour laws and business culture must precede the initiation of trade negotiations. There has to be a proper institutional mechanism to address the concerns of the domestic industry by implementing an effective and immediate trade measure. The market access to India must be matched with adequate market access to the partnering countries. Hopefully, these recommendations would be considered in the latest RCEP engagement by India.

Source: Financial Express

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Textile firms offer suggestions to MP govt at summit

More incentives to new entrepreneurs, increase in participation of women entrepreneurs and expansion of rail and other transport facilities were some of the suggestions offered by major textile industrialists at the session on 'Textile and Garment Manufacturing: Stitching for Young India' in the Magnificent Madhya Pradesh (MP) Investors Summit last month. The summit was inaugurated by state chief minister Kamal Nath, who launched five projects worth ₹800 crore in Indore on its eve. Any industrialist who has land in the state did not need any government approval for starting a unit, Nath told the summit. He said that he helped textile industrialists in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppur when he was textile minister and those industrialists are now ready to invest in MP. The state government is enacting a law so that industries operating in Madhya Pradesh will mandatorily have to employ 70 per cent employees from within the state, he said. The state has provided additional incentives to micro, small and medium enterprises and start-ups, he added. State additional chief secretary for energy Mohammad Suleman told the session on textiles that Nath has directed development of four new textile parks in Indore, Chhindwara, Ratlam and Bhopal districts. Efforts are also being made to encourage small textile entrepreneurs, he said.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Govt may change new base year for GDP to 2017-18; decision likely soon

MoSPI secretary said that earlier when new series with 2011-12 base year was being worked out, the ministry thought of revising it to 2009-10. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation will decide on a new base year for the GDP series in a few months, a senior official said on Tuesday. The ministry is working to bring in a new series of national accounts which would result in change in the existing base year of 2011-12. Though the ministry is considering 2017-18 as the new base year, no decision has been taken as the committees of experts are awaiting some more data before finalising their opinion. "The decision to change the base year (of GDP) would be taken in next few months. We are waiting for Annual Survey of Industries and the Consumer Expenditure Survey. All the preparatory work is getting ready for that. "Once the result is out, we will place it before the respective committees (to decide about the base year)," MOSPI Secretary Pravin Srivastava told reporters at a FICCI conference adding that the decision has to be taken considering global and national scenario as well. He also said that earlier when new series with 2011-12 base year was being worked out, the ministry thought of revising it to 2009-10. But then the economists decided that 2009-10 was not a good year globally and domestically and finalised 2011-12 as the base year for new series of GDP. On whether the economy will see recovery he said, it is too early to comment on it because lot of inputs for tabulation depend upon the IIP (index of industrial production), CPI and WPI data, which would come in the first fortnight of November. The economic growth slowed to over six-year low of 5 per cent in April-June this fiscal. The government has been taking steps to boost investment and perk up the sagging economy. Regarding experts' views that industrial production for September will see a decline after core sector output contracted 5.2 per cent during the month, Srivastava said, "We do not speculate data. We wait for data to come because the data will tell us." When asked about the need for new GDP base year, he said the change in base year actually captures the change in structures of the economy.

Source: Business Standard

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International investors eye Indian technical textile market through Techtextil India 2019

To attract the booming Indian market, international contingents have booked exhibition space at 'Techtextil India 2019' in full force where over 160 exhibitors will showcase exclusive international pavilions, an exclusive area for the composite industry and knowledge focussed forum - Techtextil India Symposium. The 7th edition of Techtextil India 2019 will witness strong participation from major international countries and regions, indicating the booming dynamics of the Indian technical textiles industry. Andritz Küsters GmbH, Europlasma, Hardick Bv, Protechnic S.A.; Laroche SA, Andritz Perfojet Sas, Bombi Meccanica, Sicam, Zimmer, Morchem S.P.A Bookwang Tech, Jr Corporation, KSG Co Ltd and Samwha Machinery are some of the international names presenting on the show floor. With over 160 exhibitors, the international trade fair is a trusted platform organised by well-known B2B exhibition organisers, Meese Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd and a string of successful previous editions has led international companies to choose Techtextil India 2019 as their preferred choice. At the fair, suppliers and manufacturers of functional apparel fabrics and technical textiles, nonwovens, fibres and yarns, which are used in sports, industrial areas, and outdoor clothing, will be represented from countries like India, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Taiwan. The trade fair will also see participation from composite companies that will bring a range of material at “World of Composites”. This platform will host leading companies offering raw materials, metal composites; nano composites; and other composite based industrial products. The conference will attract speakers and delegates representing the entire cross-section and stakeholders at a common platform, including the leading machinery manufacturers, raw material suppliers, fabric suppliers, the end-product manufacturers, consultants, startups/new entrepreneurs, investors, research and development companies, testing, and certification authorities and industry associations, major textile institutions, etc. Poised to be an integral part amidst Indian and international traders for the technical textile market in the country, the show will open an array of opportunities during its schedule from 20 – 22 November 2019 at Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai. Techtextil India is the leading international trade fair for technical textile and non-woven offering complete solutions of the entire value chain of 12 application areas from Agrotech to Sporttech which address all visitors’ target groups. Attracting investors from all over the country, the show will prove to be a lucrative platform for international companies that will facilitate growth by enabling businesses and professionals to build trade relations, evaluate market trends and share technical expertise.

Source: KNN India

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Trends in commodity prices and rules of trade

There is a distinct shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation in advanced countries and India also must enhance the availability of natural gas for increasingly higher use by steel plants to reduce carbon emission. In general, the movement of commodity prices depends on the demand of the finished goods which it serves as raw material. However, there are a plenty of external factors, natural or political, that disrupt this linkage quite often. For instance, flash floods in Australian coal mines, terrorist attack on Aramco oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, blast in Rio Tinto mines in Brazil as well as specific government policies on environment externalities like the recent Chinese policy on reducing coal consumption to improve environment cleanliness can cause wide fluctuations and uncertainty in global commodity prices in coal, oil and iron ore. While predicting these factors, being difficult to predict, weigh in favour of continuing with minor changes in the current level of prices at least for the coming few months. This pattern is apparent in the report released by World Bank on commodity prices. The current average crude oil price at $60/bbl is predicted to drop to $58/bbl in 2020 before rising to a gradual climb up to $70 by 2030. The subdued demand from the user segments (around 1% per annum) supported by emergence of electric vehicles, the substitution by shale gas and production capabilities by Opec countries, the US, Russia, Indonesia, Nigeria are ensuring adequate supply in the coming years. Almost similar factors are at play in respect of coal which is facing the challenge from cleaner fuels like natural gas. It has been rightly established that prices of substitute products vis-à-vis the prices of major commodities like crude oil and coal has a major influence on demand of commodities. The average coal prices (coking and non-coking) is likely to move down from the current $79/mt to $71/mt in 2020 and further going down to $60/mt by 2030. This is expected as the increasing concern of energy efficiency and carbon emission has already cut down the demand for coal. There is a distinct shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation in advanced countries and India also must enhance the availability of natural gas for increasingly higher use by steel plants to reduce carbon emission. The lower price forecast for coal is good news for steel industry. It would have downward impact on landed cost of coking coal as well as domestic prices of coking and non-coking coal. Coal production by China is likely to go down and supplies are to be maintained by the US, Indonesia, Australia, India and Russia. Natural gas prices at current level of $2.7/mmbtu is likely to be near stagnant till 2022 before rising up to $4/mmbtu by 2030. Under the metal category, the average iron ore prices is projected to drop down significantly from the current level at $92.2/dmt to $81.3/dmt next year and continuously lowering down to $70 by 2030. Australia, Brazil, India, China and Russia would continue to dominate the world availability of iron ore. It is expected that Indian iron ore mines where leases are going to expire by March, 2020 are permitted by the government to continue operations or alternatively these are put on fresh bidding in order to eliminate the possibility of sudden supply shortage in the domestic market. The aluminium prices have been projected to rise by around 23% by 2030 from the current level of $1,790/mt with marginally falling by $30/mt in the next year. The average price of nickel, the major input for stainless steel, is likely to move up from the present level of $14,140/mt by 27% by 2030. The average price of copper would gradually rise by 16.5% from the current level of $6,010/mt in the next 11 years. However, steel industry would be happy to know that average zinc price has been projected to go down to $2500/mt by 2030 from the present level of $2570/mt and the heaviest drop in price of Zinc (by 5%) may happen in 2020. These projections of commodity prices may help Indian steel industry to work out strategies for growth in the next 2-3 years. The stable and marginally downward forecasts made for the average global prices of crude oil, coal, iron ore, aluminium, nickel and zinc are strong signals for achieving a reasonably remunerative spread for the finished steel prices in 2019 and 2020. Last week, the High Level Advisory Group (HLAG) report on Trade constituted by ministry of commerce has been released that contains some straight talks on the trade performance by India since the beginning of the twenty first century and has come out with some pragmatic and effective recommendations for the domestic export players, specifically in sectors like agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, tourism and hospitality, electronics, among others. It talks of a change in the mindset of all the stakeholders to fully appreciate the benefits of global trade, to participate in the global value chain in order to improve the competitiveness of our own industry, agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors. Regarding FTAs and RCEPs, the two most disrupting elements for growth and survival for Indian steel industry, it has been rightly mentioned in the report that adequate and comprehensive studies on the participating countries, both tariff and non-tariff barriers, a thorough analysis of their political systems, the internal regulations, environment regulations, standards, labour laws and business culture must precede the initiation of trade negotiations. There has to be a proper institutional mechanism to address the concerns of the domestic industry by implementing an effective and immediate trade measure. The market access to India must be matched with adequate market access to the partnering countries. Hopefully, these recommendations would be considered in the latest RCEP engagement by India.

Source: Financial Express

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View: Opting out from RCEP hurts India's interests

Fears that China’s gains would exceed India’s made the Narendra Modi administration hold out on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal in Bangkok on Tuesday. The decision has generated both cheer and sneer. Arguments on both sides have some merit. RCEP was launched in November 2012 “to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian] member states and Asean’s FTA [free trade agreement] partners”, that would “cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues”. The negotiations that began in May 2013 were stalling. But they picked up after the US, driven by protectionism, exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and ratcheted up a tariff war with China. At the heart of RCEP is not free trade but South Asian countries’, especially China’s, keenness to safeguard their economic growth by accessing newer markets in face of growing US and European protectionism. Does RCEP in its current form represent mutual gain for India, the odd one out in the grouping? For, Southeast Asian countries are competitive vis-à-vis India for merchandise products, while India is more competitive in professional services categories. Clearly, if potential losses in the Asean market on the merchandise front were going to get compensated for by the gains in services, then the RCEP deal could be mutually beneficial for India. For India, greater openness in services with these trade partners is essential to counter the challenge of global resistance to immigrants in the US and Europe. Commitments from India for lower tariffs on merchandise imports should be reciprocated with commitments from RCEP countries for lower barriers to Indian exports of services, and easier and more work visas for its pool of skilled labour. India’s experience of negotiating for removing barriers to trade in services in Indo-Asean trade following the FTA in merchandise products is instructive. The sluggish pace of those negotiations has forced India to seek access for services to key Asean markets through bilateral agreements. But is staying out of trade pacts a good strategy? India does not have trade agreements with the EU or the US. The exports category of T-shirts and singlets demonstrates how staying out of trade pacts is not sustainable. The US, a key market for India, imposes 32% tariff rate on India’s exports in this category, but nothing on exports from South Korea, as it enjoys zero tariffs under the US-Korea FTA. South Korea, a key competitor of Indian apparel exports, also enjoys zero tariffs under the EU-Korea FTA. So does Turkey. Not having trade agreements, thus, puts India at a disadvantage by impacting price competitiveness of its exports. Further, because of their FTAs, the competitors’ exports remain immuneto the growing threat of tariff hikes as protectionism grows in the US and Europe. Under the provisions of the trade agreements, countries such as South Korea and Mexico can seek compensations from the US if it extends its protectionist tariffs to their exports. India has no such cushion. In fact, earlier this year, the Donald Trump government in the US withdrew the preferential treatment India enjoyed under its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). But can India gain competitiveness merely by signing FTAs? As research (bit.do/ff4uN) by Arpita Mukherjee, Angana Parashar Sarma and Soham Sinha of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Anusree Paul of the Indian School of Business and Finance shows, preferential tariffs don’t automatically boost apparel exports from India. Japan, a major apparel importer, operationalised the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India from August 1, 2011. Both countries dropped tariffs on apparels to zero. But India’s share in the Japanese market remains an abysmal 0.09%. While competing economies like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh have cornered shares of 6.46%, 1.17% and 0.34% respectively. This is because Indian exporters tend to underutilise trade agreements. The FTA utilisation rate, at under 25%, is among the lowest in Asia, according to the Asian Development Bank. As a result, India’s trade deficit with Asean nearly trebled from under $8 billion in FY10 to $22 billion in FY19 after the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed in 2010. The trade deficits with South Korea and Japan have expanded similarly after India operationalised trade agreements with them. The reasons for underutilisation include faulty commitments and strict rules of origin. Logistics, compliance and transaction costs twice as high than in other countries erode competitiveness of Indian exports. It’s, therefore, imperative for the policy objective to graduate from mere ease of doing business to ease of being globally competitive. Rather than simply run away from trade agreements.

Source: Economic Times

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MNCs eyeing Punjab amidst US-China trade tension

Amid US-China trade tension, Multi National Company (MNCs) are eying Punjab for the investment and are likely to firm up their investment plans during the upcoming investor summit 2019 scheduled on December 5-6 at Mohali. Major industrial groups from Japan, Taiwan and Germany will participate during the two day event where the state plans to showcase manufacturing skill of Punjab based Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) during the third edition of the event. Japan is one of the partner countries for Progressive Punjab Submit and event is expected to unveil new investment plans in pipeline. A slew of companies from Taiwan are companies is also likely to ink their plans to invest in Punjab. “Many global companies feel that they are over-invested in China and now seeking investment in India,” Vini Mahajan, additional chief secreatry, According to media reports, world's leading contract manufacturers of electronics, Taiwan based Foxconn is likely to invest in a cycle tyre manufacturing plant in Punjab, while a plastic products manufacturing park is also being mooted in Bathinda to benefit from existing HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) refinery. Punjab’s top companies including Trident Group, Nahar Group are also likely to unravel their expansion plans. On display during the event would be expertise of Punjab based companies that have successfully build global value chains in partnership with international players including Sonalika Tractors, Aarti Steels, Savi International, Hero Cycles, Shingora Textiles etc.

Source: KNN India

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Govt mulling setting up mega parks near ports to attract FDI: Textile Secretary Ravi Capoor

NEW DELHI: The government is mulling setting up around ten integrated mega parks with state-of-the-art infrastructure near ports to attract foreign direct investment, a top official said on Monday. Addressing a conference, Textile Secretary Ravi Capoor said there has been a "very good response" from state governments on the proposed mega parks. He noted that there are serious issues regarding India's competitiveness as far as exports, cutting across all sectors, are concerned, and that the fear of all Free Trade Agreements essentially comes down to the fact that India is not so competitive. "A country which is competitive need not fear about anybody, no country. Our fears stem from the fact that we know we cannot sustain the onslaught of the most competitive country or that particular product," Capoor said. "The government is very seriously contemplating mega parks in this country...limited, maybe ten and compete with the best of the world. Provide...integrated parks close to the port. Today when you say about China-US trade war, they are looking for places to invest," the Secretary said while addressing a CII event here. The government needs to provide this type of infrastructure to global players to attract FDI and also to the country's people, he added. Highlighting that world-class manufacturing can only happen if India is competitive globally, the Secretary said India needs to create mega-brands in textile sector and the ministry was working on all these issues. Besides, he said, he may lead a delegation of manufacturers to Bangladesh in a fortnight to request the country to source fabric from India, as it cannot unilaterally impose a fabric forward policy with the neighbouring nation since it is not covered under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). "Normally under these agreements you have a rule called fabric forward policy, which means you can sell the apparel to me, provided you take fabrics from me. It is an old agreement, this element did not find place there, therefore it is not possible unilaterally for India to introduce a fabric forward policy with Bangladesh," Capoor said.

Source: Economic Times

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Weaves textile fair in Erode from November 27

Event will focus on promoting the power loom and handloom industry and will feature over 250 exhibitors, organisers say. Weaves, South India’s premier textile fair, will be held from November 27-30 at Texvalley, the largest wholesale textile market in Erode district. The four-day event is being jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Texvalley. Over 4,000 to 5,000 weavers are expected to participate in the fair. The event will focus on promoting the power loom and handloom industry and will feature 250 plus exhibitors from across Tamil Nadu showcasing their products. The exhibitors will be from processing and finishing, ethnic wear and knit fabric, handlooms and khadi, home textiles, textile accessories and machinery segments. “This year, we have met the Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Jordan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh and invited them and the trade delegates from the respective countries to participate in the WEAVES 2019 event B2B meetings and to set up country pavilion in the exhibition,” said, C. Devarajan, Vice-Chairman, Texvalley. He said that Texvalley will, shortly, provide a Common Facility Centre (CFC). This CFC will provide design development, product sampling, quality testing and certification, fabric library and meeting cabins for the buyers/ sourcing professionals. S. Chandramohan, chairman, CII Tamil Nadu, said that the Indian textiles and apparel is a $100 billion plus industry providing direct employment to over 45 million people and accounts for 14% of India’s industrial production.  “Tamil Nadu is the leading state in the country which provides direct employment to around 31 lakh people, more than Rs 50,000 crore exports and 1/3 of textile business in the country,” Mr Chandramohan said. The four-day fair would see participation from brands including Birla (Liva), Reliance, Arvind, Jockey, Fazo, Loyal Textiles, KG Fabriks, BKS – Swass, Jansons Group, Ramraj Cotton, Chennai Silks – SCM, KPR Mill, VSM Weaves, Mothi Spinners, Lenzing, Twin Birds, KG Denim, MCR, Hi-life Labels, Lucky Yarn, Balavigna, KIBS, Green Ware India, Paramount looms, Symphony, etc. In addition to the above brands, handloom from Kannur, Kancheepuram, Arni, Madurai, Pochampalli, Chirala and major cooperative societies would also be participating in the expo.

Source: The Hindu

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 05-11-2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

976.64

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

VSF

1506.90

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

ASF

2181.45

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Polyester    POY

976.64

USD/Ton

-0.72%

11/5/2019

Nylon    FDY

2274.56

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

40D    Spandex

4094.21

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Nylon    POY

2317.21

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Acrylic    Top 3D

1108.85

USD/Ton

-0.64%

11/5/2019

Polyester    FDY

2516.23

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Nylon    DTY

5373.65

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Viscose    Long Filament

1232.53

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

Polyester    DTY

2139.51

USD/Ton

-0.33%

11/5/2019

30S    Spun Rayon Yarn

2125.29

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

32S    Polyester Yarn

1613.52

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

45S    T/C Yarn

2430.94

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

40S    Rayon Yarn

1777.00

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

T/R    Yarn 65/35 32S

2288.78

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

45S    Polyester Yarn

2388.29

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

T/C    Yarn 65/35 32S

1968.92

USD/Ton

0%

11/5/2019

10S    Denim Fabric

1.26

USD/Meter

0%

11/5/2019

32S    Twill Fabric

0.69

USD/Meter

0%

11/5/2019

40S    Combed Poplin

0.97

USD/Meter

0%

11/5/2019

30S    Rayon Fabric

0.56

USD/Meter

0%

11/5/2019

45S    T/C Fabric

0.67

USD/Meter

0%

11/5/2019

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14216 USD dtd. 11/05/2019). 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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Pakistan's textile industry faces serious liquidity crunch

KARACHI: The yarn manufacturers have expressed inability to pay taxes due to liquidity crunch, aggravating the tax collection situation for the government, which remains dismal so far. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has relaxed the tax collection target by Rs233 billion under its $6 billion loan programme for Pakistan following Islamabad’s failure to pace up tax collection at the required level. The taxes paid by the textile export sectors are refundable, but such collections for documenting them do impact total collection numbers. The yarn manufacturers have lamented that they are unable to pay wages to employees as they are facing acute liquidity shortage partly due to massive delay in release of tax refunds by the government. “We may not pay due taxes to the government for the ongoing month (of November) due to liquidity crunch,” All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) Chairman Dr Amanullah Kassim Machiyara said at a press conference on Tuesday. The refund claims of the five leading textile export sectors in pending total at Rs180 billion. “They have eroded the financial viability of textile export sector, which is tantamount to slaughtering the only available hen that lays golden eggs.” The textile industry pays the refundable taxes under the heads including duty drawback (Customs rebate), income tax, income tax credit and provincial sales tax. He complained that the new refunds claim procedure has been made so complicated that the industrial players remained unable to file errorless refund claim form (Annexure H). The situation was causing unnecessary delay in release of the due refunds. The sales tax refund filing procedure has been made so complex that it is impossible for most of the exporters to file the claim in such a way that it fulfils all the requirements prescribed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which makes the refunds possible, he said. “For example, toll manufacturing sales tax refund claims cannot be filed because GST (general sales tax) on services is a provincial subject and there is no coordination between provincial revenue authorities and the FBR,” he said. He said the government issued promissory bond in place of cash in refunds in the recent past due to shortage of funds with the government. The bond, however, remained invaluable as they cannot be enchased, nor do banks accept them since they lack government guarantee. “Alternatively cash payment in lieu of promissory bonds should be made immediately,” he said. The FBR stated some 10 days ago that the bonds issue would be addressed through a supplementary Finance Bill. “Clarification is requested in this regard,” he added. The prime minister has tasked the ministries of commerce and textiles with a new vision of doubling the textile exports from $13 billion to $25 billion. “We are completely committed to this vision, but to achieve that, the industry needs to be fully facilitated.”

Source: Tribune

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Pakistan: Value-added textile sector demands restoration of zero-rated regime

Value-added textile sector on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to immediately restore zero-rating of sales tax (0%) No Payment No Refund System to save the very export industry. Also, it appealed to the PM to direct the FBR for instant release of refunds otherwise thousands of SMEs will close down in next few months with drastic downfall in country's exports and foreign exchange earnings which will create an economic fiasco affecting all segments of the economy. Addressing a joint press conference at PHMA house, Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum, Muhammad Jawed Bilwani said around 45 SMEs of value-added textile units in Karachi closed down due to stuck-up liquidity in shape of Sales Tax with the FBR. He said the government's anti-business taxation policy has compelled more than 45 SMEs units for closure as their major working capital/liquidity has been stuck up with the FBR. Monthly exports of textile USD 1.1 billion equals to Rs 171 billion, if we deduct 14 per cent sales tax on Rs 171 billion, it amounts to Rs 24 billion. In just last four months of the current fiscal year around Rs 96 billion of textile exporters' liquidity held up with the government. Approximately, Rs 72 billion in shape of 14% sales tax is stuck up in advance purchases of raw material to meet the future export orders. Total Rs 168 billion of textile exporters are held up in sales tax in July-Oct 2019. Approx. Rs105 billion of textile exporters are pending in old sales tax refunds, customs rebate, withholding, DLTL & DDT Claims. He said Promissory Bonds worth of Approx. Rs 22 billion against their Sales Tax Refund claims prior to 1st July, 2019 are issued to exporters which are useless as banks are not accepting these bonds. Accumulated amount of Rs 295 billion of textile exporters are held up with the government. Four months (33% of the FY2019-20) have been passed but FASTER system is not 100% operational and the government has failed to honour its commitment to refund in 72 hours of filing of sales tax return and refund claims. Before abolishing SRO 1125 – 0% sales tax for five export oriented industries – the government committed that sales tax refund claims payments will be paid immediately after submission of GD like Bangladesh Model and if the government fails to make swift payment to exporters and unsuccessful in the implementation of new refund system in three months, will restore SRO 1125 – zero rating of sales tax (0%) – no payment no refund regime for the five export sectors. Later, the government has introduced FASTER refund system for five export sectors by which sales tax refunds for exporters to be paid within 72 hours. FBR also gave assurances to exporters the new refund system will be user-friendly and refund will be processed without human involvement. However, this system is very cumbersome and complicated process. To crown this all, irony of the situation is that FASTER system is still under-process and not completed yet. Chairman (SZ), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Khawaja M Usman, Chairman, Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparels Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Ahmed Chinoy, Chairman, Pakistan Cloth Merchants Association, Haroon Shamsi, Chairman, Towel Manufacturers Association, Kamran Chandna, Chairman, Pakistan Knitwear and Sweater Exporters Association, Shaheen Merchant, Chairman, Pakistan Denim Manufacturers & Exporters Association, Arif Lakhany, Chairman, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association, Shaikh Safiq, Central Chairman, Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers & Exporter Association also spoke on this occasion. They said it is a great irony that FBR vide SRO 747(I)/2019 dated 9th July, 2019 has withdrawn the exemption of sales tax and federal excise duty on buying of locally procured input goods by Export Oriented Units under SRO327. The then Member Customs, FBR during his visit to PHMA in October, 2018 announced that effective from January, 2019 onwards, Custom Rebates shall be paid electronically with Export Proceeds as a result of system automation, however, the plan has not been turned into reality as currently eleven months backlog is prevailing.

Source: Brecorder

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Vietnam: Textile and garments likely to hit 40 billion USD in exports this year

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Vietnam’s textile and garment industry was likely to reach its target of 40 billion USD in export turnover this year despite facing difficulties in some markets. The statement was made by Cao Huu Hieu, managing director of the Vietnam National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex) after the industry reported export earnings of 29.3 billion USD in the first nine months of the year. Hieu said the result was due to the industry's efforts to overcome difficult global economic conditions. To achieve this figure, solutions had been implemented synchronously to remove difficulties, especially input prices which had dropped sharply due to the impacts of the trade war. “After a quiet period, the fibre sector has started to prosper. Customers are showing more interest in it while the price has also recovered. We hope the market will correct itself over the next year and return to the highs seen in 2016-17,” he said. With new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) which took effect this year, Vietnamese businesses will need to make efforts to take advantage of the preferences they offer. Technology application is seen as a key factor to help Vietnam’s textile and garment industry to promote its business and expand its markets. According to Hieu, many Vinatex firms had invested in automatic cutting and spreading machines to replace workers, and in 3D design. Meanwhile, yarn and dyeing were also under pressure from the fast development of technology. He said in the fashion industry, creativity was very important, so there are stages that machinery cannot replace humans. “A Vinatex survey of about 150 enterprises showed that employment opportunities within the industry over the next 10 years would still be high.” “The domestic market is expected to earn 9 billion USD this year, so it's a massive sector. Besides, top global brands have already invested here, and Japan's Uniqlo will be arriving in 2020,” Hieu said.  Under such pressure, he said the industry needed to find its own path for Vietnamese fashion to reach the domestic market. “Vinatex is focusing on Vietnamese designs with materials suitable for Vietnamese people and the industry, ensuring quality and reasonable prices and increasing competitiveness,” he added. Many businesses have set up e-commerce systems deals or invested in their own online sales services to increase domestic market share. Viet Tien Company has invested in a fashion design centre, while Duc Giang Corporation has focused on building and developing its own brands such as Paul Downer, HeraDG and Forever Young. Other enterprises such as Nha Be and May 10 are also offering fashionable products in various styles and categories to meet diverse consumption needs, ensuring quality and design to follow international trends. According to economic experts, Vietnam’s accession to a series of FTAs had increased the openness of the domestic market by 200 percent. Along with efforts to improve domestic market share, authorities needed to create favourable conditions for enterprises to restructure, especially when it came to raising capital, expanding production, and improving technology and management to compete with foreign brands.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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Will resolve outstanding issues raised by India for not joining RCEP: China

China said on Tuesday that it will follow the principle of "mutual understanding and accommodation" to resolve the outstanding issues raised by India for not joining the Beijing-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China also said it would welcome India joining the deal at an early date. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conveyed India's decision not to join the RCEP deal at a summit meeting of the 16-nation bloc, effectively wrecking its aim to create the world's largest free trade area having half of the world's population. "The present form of the RCEP Agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirt and the agreed guiding principles of the RCEP. It also does not address satisfactorily India's outstanding issues and concerns. In such a situation, it is not possible for India to join RCEP Agreement," Modi said. India has been forcefully raising the issue of market access as well as protected lists of goods mainly to shield its domestic market as there have been fears that the country may be flooded with cheap Chinese agricultural and industrial products once it signs the deal. Asked for China's comments on India not joining the RCEP deal over concern of cheap Chinese products potentially harming its domestic industry, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here on Tuesday that China welcomes India joining the deal. "The RCEP is open. We will follow the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation to negotiate and resolve those outstanding problems raised by India and we welcome an early joining by India," he said. He said the RCEP is a regional trade agreement and mutually beneficial in nature. "If it is signed and put into implementation it is conducive for the Indian goods entry into China and other participating countries. In the same vein, it will also help Chinese goods to enter the markets of India and other participating countries," he said. "This is two-way and complementary (deal) and I should point out that China and India are both emerging major developing countries. We have a huge market of 2.7 billion people and there is a big potential in the market," he said. Geng said, "over the past five years' Chinese imports from India have been increased by 15 per cent. We do not deliberately pursue trade surplus against India. We can expand and increase our cooperation in investment, production capacity and tourism and make a bigger pie out of cooperation for sustainable and balanced development." Asked whether India's decision not to sign the deal would dent the RCEP deal, Geng reiterated that China is willing to work with all parties on the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation and continue to solve the outstanding issues. "We welcome India joining at an early date," he said and referred to the joint statement issued after the RCEP summit on Monday which stated "India has significant outstanding issues, which remain unresolved. All RCEP Participating Countries will work together to resolve these outstanding issues in a mutually satisfactory way. India's final decision will depend on satisfactory resolution of these issues".Chinese President Xi Jinping also referred to the RCEP deal in his address on Tuesday at Shanghai while inaugurating the China International Import Expo but skirted India's decision to opt out of the deal. "I am happy to note that yesterday, 15 countries taking part in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) concluded text-based negotiations, and I hope the agreement will be signed and enter into force at an early date. China will be happy to conclude high-standard free trade agreements with more countries, Xi said. The RCEP negotiations were launched by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders and six other countries during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012. "India conveyed its decision at the summit not to join the RCEP agreement. This reflects both our assessment on the current global situation as well as fairness and balance of the agreement. India had significant issues of core interests that remained unresolved," Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Thakur Singh, told reporters in Bangkok on Monday. The negotiations for the proposed free-trade agreement included 10 member countries of the ASEAN and six of the bloc's dialogue partners -- China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. (Ed the above paras from PTI story of Monday).

Source:  Business Standard

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Obaseki seals $200m investment for textile industry

In furtherance to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) determination to revive the nation’s ailing Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) industry sub-sector, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has secured a $200 million investment for a cotton-weaving and spinning industry at the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park in Benin City. The governor, who disclosed this during the maiden convocation of the Edo University Iyamho, said the CBN had been instrumental to the economic growth being recorded in the state, especially in the areas of industrialisation and agriculture. The governor said: “A $200 million deal had been struck with a reputable, world-renowned textile company to establish a cotton-weaving and spinning industry at the Benin Enterprise and Industrial Park, where construction is expected to begin next year.” Obaseki, however, added that the initiative was in line with the CBN’s plans to revamp textile industry in the country with a view to reducing importation of textile. While noting that the state government was promoting investment and real growth in the agricultural sector so as to get people out of poverty, he said the CBN’s N5 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit scheme in the state had led to employment of about 5,000 people and cultivation of 5,000 hectares. Therefore, the governor advised that the CBN’s monetary policies be followed up with robust fiscal policies, especially infrastructural development to ease the movement of locally produced goods and services. He commended the CBN for having a specialised window to support the entertainment and tourism industry, adding that the state is solidly behind the apex bank’s policies. Meanwhile, the Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said that the apex bank’s unconventional monetary policies have yielded positive results, helping to stabilise the Nigerian economy. Emefiele noted: “The favourable outcomes and strengthening outlook of the Nigerian economy is traceable to the timeous adoption of unconventional monetary policy tools. The CBN has been able to reduce inflation, build the forex reserves, maintain forex market stability and foster real growth. “Nonetheless, challenges still remain. The pace of population growth at about 2.6 per cent still outstrips real growth rate while inflation is outside our tolerance band. Unemployment rate and incidence of poverty remain at unacceptable levels. Our economy still faces headwinds from expected declines in global growth and its resulting impact on oil prices and capital flows to emerging market countries.”

Source: New Telegraph

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Indonesia starts to gain from trade war: business chamber

Indonesian textile and garment manufacturers have started benefiting from the US-China trade war, leading to optimism that the country may overcome global economic turbulence expected next year, according to Rosan Roeslani, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), who recently said he expected the trade war to continue for some time. Rosan was participating in a discussion titled ‘2020 Economic & Capital Market Outlook’ in Jakarta. Indonesian exports to the United States fell by 1.5 per cent year-on-year to $12.9 billion in the first nine months, according to Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data. Exports to China were meanwhile 1 per cent lower at $18.3 billion during the same period. "In 2020, there will be a lot of pressure. However, Indonesia will not experience a huge amount of pressure, compared with other countries," Rosan said. He emphasised the situation is not at all bleak, according to an Indonesian media report. Indonesia exported garments worth $63 million to the United States last year, according to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. Rosan said the increase in exports was due to a fair-trade agreement and the implementation of a reciprocal system between both sides. He said exports only account for a third of the Indonesian economy and that the country has yet to fully integrate into the global supply chain, making its economy more resilient to global shocks. Indonesia still had to reform its labour laws, improve productivity and integrate further into the global value chain to improve the investment climate, he added.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Warning over Cambodia's garment workers as EU tariff threat looms

Tens of thousands of garment workers in Cambodia could face exploitation if proposed EU trade sanctions cause major fashion brands to downsize there, labour rights activists have warned. The garment industry is Cambodia’s largest employer and generates $7 billion annually, but it faces uncertainty after the European Union (EU) this year began a process that could see tariffs reintroduced next August. The European Chamber of Commerce estimates that 90,000 jobs would be at risk if the EU suspended special trade preferences over Cambodia’s record on democracy and human rights. A sourcing manager at Britain’s Primark said last week that European companies would “pull out of production” in Cambodia if trade preferences ended, while the head of production at Sweden’s H&M warned of a “substantial backlash”. Workers who lose their jobs - mainly women - would likely end up in the entertainment or service industries, at bars and massage parlours, and be exposed to sexual exploitation, said Khun Tharo of the Center for Alliance of Human and Labor Rights. “There is no safety net in those sectors,” the charity’s program coordinator told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The alternative would be migrating to Thailand where two million Cambodians are estimated to work, many of them undocumented and vulnerable to modern-day slavery, he said.

“Either way, serious risks will be taken.”

‘BIG CHALLENGE’

Cambodia benefits from the EU’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade programme, which allows the world’s least-developed nations to export most goods to the EU free of duties. The bloc is Cambodia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 45 percent of its exports in 2018. Clothing factories in the country employ 700,000 workers, and garments make up a large share of exports to the EU, worth about $5.5 billion. Yet the value of exports to Europe fell by about $600 million in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year, according to Ken Loo, secretary general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC).  “You can already see the impact, just on the threat of withdrawal,” he said, predicting mass job losses from the second quarter of 2020 should the trade preferences be revoked. David Savman, head of production at H&M, said the company would do less business in Cambodia if the trade benefits ended and named China and Indonesia as alternative sourcing countries. He said H&M, which has about 50 factories in Cambodia, had an exit strategy to allow its suppliers to transition to new buyers, but that the firm had no further obligation to workers. Xiaoxu Liu, sourcing manager for China and Southeast Asia at Primark, which has about 20 factories in Cambodia, said staying in the nation without the trade deal would be a “big challenge”. Attending the Textile and Apparel SEA Summit in Phnom Penh last week, the firms said they were working with suppliers in Cambodia to boost productivity in a bid to minimise job losses. Cambodia’s garment factories are estimated to employ one in every 25 people, most of them young women who provide for their extended families. “These young women ... in the garment industry, they are not just working for themselves,” said Sok Chea Hak, national coordinator at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. “It impacts close to one million households.” (Reporting by Matt Blomberg @BlombergMD; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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Yarn producers still depend on Swiss tech: Swissmem

For both high-volume segments and niches, Swiss textile machinery members have the innovative strength and the market focus to drive business success for spinners and synthetic fibre producers worldwide. Even today, when global yarn production has largely migrated eastwards, Switzerland continues to provide the innovative technology those mills need. Switzerland has historic roots in the yarn spinning business, stretching back more than 200 years. Its thriving mills were among the earliest to embrace industrialisation, at the start of the 19th Century – initially importing equipment from Britain, but soon switching to the first Swiss-made spinning frames which were the foundation for the modern successful machine-building sector, according to Swissmem. The world-leading status of Swiss machinery for yarn production has recently been demonstrated with the huge contracts secured by the Rieter Group at ITMA 2019. Seven new modernisation projects are being planned for the Egyptian textile industry worth a total of ?180 million. For these, Cotton & Textile Industries Holding Company, Cairo, has ordered for the first six projects Rieter ring and compact spinning machinery in the amount of ?165 million. Other sectors require a more specialised approach, as competitive pressures change the business environment. For example, viscose production is now centred in China. Swiss textile machinery member Maurer is a pioneer in the supply of viscose manufacturing plants and machinery, but nowadays competition from China is an issue. To diversify and establish new fields of business, Maurer has consequently extended its activities to include engineering and consulting services. Its portfolio has also been enhanced by activities in alternative fibres – derived from more sustainable sources – based on eco-friendly processes for application of solvents, and recycling systems. In synthetic fibres, Swiss textile machinery also has a leading player. Retech develops and markets systems for drawing and processing high-performance synthetic fibres and yarns. Specialised components such as godet rolls, heaters and tension controllers are designed to cope with operating temperatures as high as 400°C, with the strength to withstand the extreme strains of the drawing processes. Retech manages to blend ongoing innovation with cost-optimised production, enabling it to compete at the top level of technology for polyester, polyamide and polypropylene yarns. Key components play a vital role in every area of yarn production – for both new installations and replacement parts – and Swiss textile machinery members such as Bracker, Graf, Heberlein, Loepfe and Rotorcraft are all class-leading manufacturers. These companies have based their success on long-term investment in R&D and the development of sophisticated solutions for their customers worldwide. Changing priorities in the digital age create new challenges for textile producers and new solutions. One such is the worldwide shortage of qualified and knowledgeable personnel, for which Saurer now offers a way of managing an entire production operation with a single intelligent programme. ‘Senses’ is the name of its digital mill management system. It can cover machines from third-party manufacturers as well as Saurer brands. Process automation extends to management of supporting processes (maintenance, workforce, etc) and interconnection of production and quality data. Digitalisation is essential for profit-oriented quality management in spinning. Ideally data from laboratory testing and in-process quality control should be combined. Uster’s quality management platform integrates information from key production processes. It offers ‘value modules’ which alert textile producers to quality problems but can also provide optimisation guidance to prevent the production of poor quality at source. Steinemann CVS takes care of quality in a more basic, but equally essential way: protecting quality and enhancing profit by ensuring the mill environment is kept clean, by means of central vacuum cleaning. Steinemann’s latest technology ensures that dust and fibres are collected and logistically autonomously transported away from the manufacturing units, so as not to harm the production process. The Central Vacuum System is most suitable for automatic yarn waste disposal from the filter chambers of the end-spin-machinery, as a cost-efficient and more reliable solution than manual methods. There are many more illustrations of the contribution Swiss Textile Machinery companies make to modern yarn production and processing, on every level from ingenious manufacturing techniques to essential service solutions. Amsler’s fancy and effect yarn devices and the air conditioning and humidification systems from Luwa Air Engineering, for example, may have differing functional roles in the spinning industry, but both can be key success elements for their customers. They are typical of the products, components and services of Swiss Textile Machinery members: the advantages offered by their innovations make life easier for spinners all over the world. Rieter underlines this statement with the substantial shift from mechanical design towards software and digitalisation, creating the all-in-one spinning mill management system ‘Essential’. Among the wide range of beneficial possibilities users can select modules that best suit their requirements and add them individually. “Thinking big in scenarios when customers demand products made without solvents, or eco-friendly versions, and fostering investments in highly-automated mills would mean that industries like viscose production would come back to Europe,” said Dirk Weber, CEO of Ing A Maurer SA. For current export business and any future home markets, there is one certainty: innovation is in the Swiss DNA and that’s why Swiss Textile Machinery companies will shape the future for their customers and the whole spinning industry in the years to come. Swissmem is the leading association for SMEs and large companies in Switzerland's mechanical and electrical engineering (MEM) industries and related technology-oriented sectors. Swissmem enhances the competitiveness of its 1100 or so member companies both at home and abroad by providing need-based services. These services include professional advice on employment, commercial, contract and environmental law, energy efficiency and technology transfer. Swissmem operates a number of strong networks, including 27 specialist groups. The Swiss Textile Machinery Association is the oldest division, founded in 1940. It represents the interests of the Swiss textile machinery manufacturers.Swissmem and the Swiss Textile Machinery Association are headquartered in Zurich.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Recycled fabric percentage to rise to 60-70% in a few yrs

The percentage of fabric made from recycled materials to increase to 60-70 per cent in the next few years, highlighting the industry’s shift towards making sustainability a stable of textile production, according to experts who addressed the Taiwan smart & functional textiles press conference at the Functional Fabric Fair in Portland, Oregon, recently. Hosted by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the event featured presentations from three of Taiwan’s leading manufacturers of sustainable functional fabrics: Singtex Industrial Company Ltd, Men-Chuen Fibre Industry Co Ltd and Hyperbola, according to a release from the organisers. Singtex introduced visitors to STORMFLEECE™, a single layer woven fabric that combines the traditional two-layer soft-shell and fleece into one without the need for a laminated membrane. This method reduces the chemical use and energy consumption at the production phase. This water-repellent, wind-resistance fabric is widely used by many well-known outdoor brands. Men-Chuen, a textile knitting and dyeing and finishing manufacturer, showcased its computer jacquard, which allows the company to offer custom designed fabric that’s comfortable, breathable and supportive. Hyperbola, a new textile company, walked attendees through the process of finding the sweet spot where the elements of fashion and trends meet the technical performance features of functional textiles.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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