RCEP countries must pay heed to India’s concerns

India’s doubts on issues like exports and its economic relations with China are genuine and crucial for growth. Only when these are resolved, should India consider joining the agreement again. India’s withdrawal from the the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP) was not entirely unexpected, given that key stakeholders had not been in favour of it. India put forward genuine reasons for its decision to withdraw, for the time being, from the negotiations undertaken by 16 countries of the RCEP grouping, which make eminent sense from the economic perspective. The decision brings relief to industry as well as farmers, who were rightly apprehensive about the wide-ranging impact it was likely to have on their livelihood. Following the adverse experience with the Japan and Korea FTAs, the goods segment was concerned with possible impact of the RCEP, since it would effectively mean a FTA with China. For most of the merchandise trade, China accounts for a significant share of the global capacity — in sectors like steel its nearly 50 per cent. Even the slightest variation in demand and supply in China has severe repercussions on global markets and prices. For example, when the Chinese economy slowed down in 2016, steel imports to India from China increased by more than 200 per cent, while prices crashed. The Indian steel industry’s concerns with the RCEP related to trade diversion and regional accumulation for value addition.

Services sector

Work on the RCEP, which was proposed to further lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers on goods as well as expand trade in services and investment arrangements, commenced in 2012. However, it was obvious from the beginning that services and investments were taking a back seat in the negotiation process, with goods trade accorded primacy. Given that the other 15 countries already have very low or zero tariffs for goods traded amongst themselves under the alphabet soup of FTAs in place, India is the only country which would have been bound to cut its tariffs for the other members under the RCEP. However, with its service interests not adequately factored into the discussions over the years, the benefits to India from the RCEP were questionable. India’s services trade has continued to grow robustly, even while the goods trade has been impacted by the global trade slowdown. Exports of services expanded from $16 billion in 2001-02 to $106 billion in 2008-09 and $208 billion in 2018-19. India’s share in global services exports increased from 1.1 per cent in 2000 to 3.5 per cent in 2018, as compared to its share in global merchandise exports, which has remained at 1.7 per cent. Clearly, the importance of the services sector for growth and employment generation in India cannot be overstated, and the short shrift given to it in the RCEP was a disappointment.

Economic stance

One of the key points put forward initially as a rationale to enter and continue in the RCEP initially was that open trade with competitive countries would force India’s hand in undertaking economic reforms. The pace of reforms has indeed been rapid, with introduction of the GST, opening up of FDI, facilitative ease of doing business and numerous sectoral reforms. However, India needs to take up reforms at its own pace and in a manner that is suitably calibrated to meet the interests of diverse sections of the economy, such as farmers and small businesses. While announcing its exit from the arrangement, India highlighted that the rising trade deficit from China was unsustainable and would be further exacerbated as a result of the RCEP. This position has been taken up continuously by India during the discussions as well as in bilateral platforms. It is, for example, difficult to understand why Indian drug exports to China are worth only $46 million. India’s exports of pharmaceuticals to the world stands at over $14 billion in 2018 — including $5 billion to the US — after meeting stringent approval processes, and China itself imports drugs worth $28 billion from the rest of the world. Reciprocity is also crucial. For example, in the steel sector, imports from Japan and Korea after signing the FTAs doubled while exports to these countries continued to remain negligible.

Ties with China

It is unlikely that the unrelenting attitude of China regarding India’s market access interests over a long period of time would have been altered once the RCEP was in force. The possibility of industry sectors in India suffering from import surge would thus have been very real. In addition, Chinese products are already being routed through ASEAN countries, with which India has an FTA. With lax rules of origin proposed in the RCEP, even the longer time period given to reducing tariffs with respect to goods made in China would have been ineffective. It is indeed unfortunate that China could not provide India with a way out of its apprehensions relating to Chinese goods swamping Indian markets, either bilaterally or through the RCEP. This situation extends to the services sector as well. China has seen huge appetite for Indian movies, yet only 3-4 Indian films are allowed entry into its market each year. Our IT sector is similarly disadvantaged in China. India’s competitiveness vis-à-vis China is unlikely to benefit from economic reforms that India may undertake in the future. To assuage India’s concerns, China must bilaterally work with us and resolve our market access issues in areas across pharmaceuticals, agriculture and manufactured goods. Only when we see a real improvement in our exports to China will the Indian industry become confident about lower tariffs for Chinese products and can accede to regional arrangements like the RCEP.

Source: Business Line

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India, Japan to hold annual summit during December 15-17

India on Friday said the annual summit of the prime ministers of India and Japan will be held during December 15-17 but other details such as the venue and the agenda for the meeting were not announced. People familiar with planning for the summit said the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will be held in Guwahati city and the two leaders will also travel to the Manipur capital of Imphal to visit the Peace Museum, which commemorates on the fiercest battles of World War 2 in 1944 in which thousands of Japanese troops were killed. External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the summit would be held during December 15-17 but declined to give details. “We expect our ties will become stronger,” he said. As first reported by HT, the two leaders are expected to have interaction at a 19th century colonial riverside bungalow in Guwahati and take a cruise on the Brahmaputra river. The two sides zeroed in on Guwahati as the venue because of the focus on India’s northeastern states under the Act East Forum launched by India and Japan almost two years ago and the substantial development assistance provided to the region by Tokyo. The trip to Imphal is expected to be short, with the two leaders flying to Manipur only to visit a World War 2 peace memorial built by the Japanese in 1994 and the Imphal Peace Museum at Red Hill or Maibam Lokpa Ching, which was opened in June. Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and Indian and Japanese officials visited Guwhati and Imphal last month to assess arrangements for the meeting.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Govt should provide strong stimulus package for economy: Kumar Mangalam Birla

NEW DELHI: Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla on Friday said the government needs to do more than corporate tax cut and provide a strong fiscal stimulus for the economy. He said fiscal prudence should be shown in business but a fiscal policy is also required in the year of slowdown to counter its impact. "I am not an economist to begin with but I think we are nearing the bottom...I don't see credit growth to large corporates to pick up anytime soon. Most are still getting large debts in their balance sheets which I think they need to lop off. I also think there is a case for the government to give greater fiscal stimulus to the economy. Anyway FRBM Act (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) provides half a per cent deviation," Birla said at a media event here. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday cut the economic growth projection for the current financial year to 5 per cent from 6.1 per cent earlier, on the back of weak domestic and external demand. Birla said the government needs to do more than a corporate tax cut. The government on September 20 announced lowering of the base corporate tax rate to 22 per cent from 30 per cent for companies that do not seek exemptions and reduced the rate for some new manufacturing companies to 15 per cent from 25 per cent. Including surcharges and cesses (levies to raise funds for specific purposes), the effective corporate tax rate will drop by nearly 10 percentage points to 25.2 per cent. The corporate tax cut followed other measures by the government to prop up slowing GDP growth. These include efforts to reduce red tape and boost foreign direct investment (FDI) and plans to consolidate state-owned banks. "Tax cuts are always welcome. If the government decides to give us more tax breaks, that will be most welcome. They increase our cash flows; give us more elbow room to grow. The government has done a lot. I am not taking that away from that. One of the things that it could also do is to give stronger fiscal stimulus," Birla said. He also said that some of the corporates would like to use the package to repay debt and some would like to use it for capacity expansion. Birla played down that push to consumers spending by way of income tax rate cut would help the economy in the present scenario. "We can't come out of this through a consumption story because as of now, people don't want to spend more, incomes are low. You have unemployment happening. The best to get out of it is only through fiscal stimulus. If GST (goods and services tax) is brought down to 15 per cent, that would be huge stimulus," he said. The Aditya Birla Group's chairman also said the increase in government spending on infrastructure will have an impact that would be quite unparalleled. In response to a question around the global economy and impact on the group's business, he said the global economy is already in a sombre mood but two of the group's overseas subsidiary due to their location have been able to mitigate the impact on business. He said that now, countries seem to be moving away from globalisation. "As of now, we seem to be moving away from globalisation. Some economists are calling it 'slowbalisation'. You are having a phase where you see more of localisation and regionalism. A global company must also focus on each region by itself and even within focal market. Regionalisation seems to be order of the day," Birla said. While endorsing regional business pacts, Birla defended India's stand to refuse signing of proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) saying that there were several clauses in the pact that were against the interest of the country.

Source: Economic Times

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Industrialists urge Punjab CM to fast track growth in Textile, Agro, Steel, Automotive sectors

Mohali: Leading industrialists on Friday urged Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to put growth in the of Textile & Garments, Agro & Food Processing, Steel, Automobile & Auto Parts on fast track in view of the immense potential in these sectors. A special session on the concluding day of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit-2019 projected consensus on this count, in view of the state’s strong industrial base coupled with peaceful and skilled workforce.  The participants exhorted the Chief Minister, in whose presence the session was held, to accelerate the pace of development in these key sectors. The session was moderated by MD Vardhman Special Steel, Sachit Jain, and the panelists were Vice Chairman of International Tractor A S Mittal, Chairman Trident Group Rajinder Gupta, MD Nahar Group Kamal Oswal, Chairman Bunge India Samir Jain and Air Asia’s CEO Sunil Bhaskaran. The majority of panelists, being sons of the soil, pledged their full support and cooperation to the state government in its endeavour to make Punjab the frontrunner on the country’s industrial map. Initiating the discussion, Sachit Jain said that Punjab had a strong industrial eco-system, which could play a vanguard role in promoting industry, especially in the manufacturing sector. He noted that the state had wide scope for the growth of IT and ITeS, especially in the light of the new industrial policy, which had been finalized on the personal initiative of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh after due deliberations and consultations with the Industrialists so as to make it industry-friendly. Citing his personal experience about the pro-investor approach of the State Government, Jain said that Invest Punjab had gone a step forward in motivating industrialists to set up their ventures after removing the bottlenecks in the existing policy. Taking part in the deliberations, Rajinder Gupta said that he owed his company’s success to the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation as had it facilitated his venture by advancing loan, and now it was his turn to pay back to the state. Gupta said he had made massive investments in his textile units in Barnala district, besides investing nearly Rs. 10 crores on the education of children and women welfare in the rural sector as part his Corporate Social Responsibility. He advocated the concept of ‘Dasvandh’ and urged fellow industrialists to generously contribute for the social cause in the state. AS Mittal shared his experience with the Japanese company Yanmar, which had led to marked quality improvement in the manufacturing facility at Hoshiarpur. He also emphasized the need to encourage Japan-based suppliers and vendors to invest in the local MSMEs dealing with auto parts, in order to enhance the quality of their products in line with international standards. Sunil Bhaskaran said that his group was exploring all possibilities to ensure maximum air connectivity so as to facilitate the trade and commercial activities in the region. Kamal Oswal said that the Nahar Group was setting up a Logistics Park over an area of 45 acres at a cost of Rs. 300 crore in Ludhiana, besides another Industrial Park over an area of 100 acres at a cost of Rs. 2000 crore to house green industry i.e. IT & ITeS, with facilities of housing, malls and retail. Samir Jain said that Punjab had a congenial investment climate and the concerted efforts of Invest Punjab to organize the summit were a step in the right direction to attract major investments in the state. Earlier, the COO, Verbio Global from Germany, Oliver Ludtke shared his experience with the Punjab Government in setting up biofuel from paddy straw. He said that the project will utilize paddy straw, thereby creating a local supply chain, which will in turn generate employment resources in rural areas, as well as resolve the problem of crop residue burning to make the state free from pollution.

Source: PTC News

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Centre to boost handloom sector, more BLCs to come up under NHDP: Irani

Centre to boost handloom sector, more BLCs to come up under NHDP: Irani Team MP6 Dec 2019 10:58 PM New Delhi: Boosting the handloom sector country-wide, the Centre received the proposal of 294 more Block Level Clusters (BLCs) under the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP) from state governments, textile minister Smriti Irani informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Friday. These BLCs further cover 1.6 lakh handloom weavers across the India, she added. In the last five financial years, the textile ministry has sanctioned a total of Rs 165.99 core. Centre funds 90 per cent for the diagnostic study, corpus for raw material etc., whereas components like lighting units, technological upgradation of looms and accessories are also included under the Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS). Other components such as the creation of infrastructure for design studio or marketing complex or the garment unit, marketing development, assistance for exports and publicity are also 80 per cent funded by the ministry, Irani mentioned. Also Read - Police resorted to 'retaliatory' firing: Sajjanar on encounter Total of eight Mega Handloom Clusters (MHCs) in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sivasagar (Assam), Virudhunagar(Tamil Nadu), Murshidabad (West Bengal), Prakasam and Guntur districts (Andhra Pradesh), Godda and neighbouring districts (Jharkhand), Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Trichy (Tamil Nadu) have also been taken up for development under the CHCDS. The scheme is targeted at the development of MHCs in clearly identifiable geographical locations, covering at least 15,000 handlooms with the Centre's contribution of up to Rs 40 crore per cluster for five years. Also Read - Encounter triggers tsunami of reactions The textile ministry has been implementing training and skill development in all segments of the textile sector across all value chains, with a view for capacity building and employment generation in the sector.  In the span of seven years (2010 to 2017), 11.14 lakh persons have been provided training under the Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) in the textile sector, the minister informed the Lower House. 8.43 lakh, among them, were given employment. Tamil Nadu has got the highest employment of 1,79,350 persons, where Karnataka is in the second position with 1,27,676 persons, followed by Uttar Pradesh (1,16,671) and Gujarat (1,11,166).

Source: Millennium post

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At investor summit, call for Ludhiana textile industry to learn from Tamil Nadu

Mohali: Textile giants in Punjab admit to the need to adopt the work culture of textile industry in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, and work together. Instead of spending on luxury cars and farmhouses, they said they needed to come together in clusters by shunning their ego and spend on technology. Though Ludhiana was the first to emerge as a textile hub in India, textile industry of Tirupur has over time left Ludhiana far behind in terms of production and exports. Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman H K L Maggu decribed work culture in South India as the best. “In Tirupur, textile industries got together in cluster and made it happen by dedicating themselves to business growth,” he said. “We in north prefer to spend on Mercs and farmhouses if we earn something,” he added. Sharing his experience, Maggu said Tirupur textile industry had upgraded their units with latest technology. He was speaking at one of the sessions on the last day of the two-day Progressive Punjab Investors Summit 2019 on Friday. Amit Jain, MD of Shingora Textiles Limited, said in a lighter vein: “I will request the state government to help Punjabi people shed their ego and work together.” He was moderating the session on ‘Punjab: New Destination for Garmenting and Technical Textiles’. It was the need of the hour that Ludhiana textile industries work in clusters if they want to grow, said Million Exporter Private Limited MD Narinder Chugh. “Punjabis carry both tags of entrepreneurs as well as improvisers,” said Rajinder Gupta, chairman of Trident Group. He opined that information technology could play a very big role and this needed to be from end-to-end. Gupta added that wih the advent of e-commerce and digital marketing, value of money had become more important than building a brand. “Days are gone when the government wanted to subsidise capitalists. Industry cannot ask seek subsidy labour for profits,” Gupta said. Textile industry captains were also of the view Punjab government could help them in upgrading technology and by opening skill development centres in and around Ludhiana to train local manpower, so that they need not to remain dependent on migratory workforce. In response to this, Punjab industry and commerce minister Sunder Sham Arora said Punjab government had set up skill development centres in many districts. Recently, the industry department had sought suggestions from industrialists about their need regarding the type of workforce. Thereafter, the department had started several courses in ITIs to prepare a skilled workforce locally, he said.

Source: Times of India

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Pakistan: Textile exporters perturbed by partial payment of refunds

Textile exporters have expressed concern over deferment of some payment against sales tax refund claims under the Fully Automated Sales Tax e-Refund System (FASTER) without providing any substantive reason. They urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that FASTER should be equipped with required ‘gadgets' to define the reason of rejection. Muhammad Jawed Bilwani, Chief Coordinator, Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) has sent a written complaint to Seema Shakil, Member (IR-Operations) FBR. In his letter, Bilwani has mentioned that exporters of five leading sectors are required to submit annexure-H form (stock statement) with sales tax return for receiving sales tax refunds into their bank accounts under the FASTER. However, he said that, a number of issues are being faced by the exporters for refunds. According to the letter, the FBR has made partial payments against the sales tax refund claims and exporters are unaware as to why the FBR had withheld the remaining refund amount. This situation has created unrest among member exporters. Exporters want to know why the sales tax refund payment has not been made and some part payment has been deferred/withheld without assigning any reason, he added. Upon review of the outcome of the refund claims and feedback of our members through their professional teams, it has been observed that rejection of the refund claim is largely attributed to the objection of “Risky" and “No amount is admissible for refund," Bilwani said and added that these objections by and large are issuing to refund claimants having a substantial amount of carried forward in their sales tax return and Risk Management System (RMS) particularly in Jun 2019 but not appearing in Refund Pay Orders (RPOs) of the Jun 2019. In the past, electronically rejected claims were processed by local Regional Tax Offices and subsequently RPOs were generated with a lapse of considerable time by processing officer. The carry forward amount in those RPOs are though appearing in RMS but due to skip of sequence the same were not incorporated in subsequent months' electronic claims and therefore the carry forward amount in electronically issued RPO of June 2019 is not tallied with sales tax return or carried forward amount available in RMS, he maintained. PHMA has requested for the necessary instructions for incorporating verified carried forward amount appearing in RMS into FASTER and reprocess such refund claims which were rejected due to this technical constraint. In addition, objections namely “Risky" and “No amount is admissible for refund" are not understandable, since all the purchases are made from registered suppliers & exporters for export purposes. It also needs a review. In some cases, one month claim is approved by the FASTER and the very next month claim is rejected by the FASTER without giving any reason. Therefore, FASTER should be equipped to define the reason of rejection. “Risky" and “No amount is admissible for refund. It has also been observed that the FASTER system runs once a month due to which large numbers of claims are rejected. It is proposed that FASTER system should run preferably once a week to avoid rejection of large number of claims, Bilwani said. He said that the time limit of 120 days for filing of Annex ‘H' also needs to be extended. “It is proposed to extend time limit for at least another 60 days for submission of Annex ‘H' for July, 2019 and August, 2019, so that genuine amount of refund claims due to this shift of regime and technical problems should not be lapsed," he said.

Source: Brecorder

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OPEC+ agrees to cut output target by 500,000 barrels a day

OPEC+ will adjust its output target and redistribute production cuts between its members under pressure from Saudi Arabia, which has long carried an outsized share of the burden. The group, which pumps more than half the world’s oil, agreed in Vienna on Friday to reduce its output target by 500,000 barrels a day, said delegates, bringing it in line with recent production levels. Under the new deal, the size of the OPEC+ daily production cuts target will be increased from 1.2 million barrels to 1.7 million barrels, compared to a baseline of October 2018, according to ministers, including Russia’s Alexander Novak and Iran’s Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. That doesn’t require the group as a whole to pump less oil, since it was already implementing an additional cut of that size in October 2019. The new 500,000-barrel-a-day quota reduction will only apply in the first quarter of 2020, said Novak. The group will hold an extraordinary meeting in March to discuss what to do next, said a delegate. Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman gave a clear signal before the meeting that his priority was to get some members to stop ‘cheating’ and implement the cuts they have promised. Abdulaziz said: “The market will have to trust us. The analysts will have to believe us. And, if they don’t, we cannot deliver what we want to achieve, adding, “It is as simple as that, and sometimes it is as tough as that.” After days of rumours and mixed messages that whipsawed prices, the shape of the adjusted deal between the OPEC and its allies gradually emerged. Oil futures fell in New York on Friday as it became clearer that the group wasn’t planning to remove any additional barrels from the market. Instead, delegates said it would rejig its deal to formalise the extra supply reductions some of its members, notably Saudi Arabia, have already been making. Then it would share them out more equitably among the countries that have consistently failed to meet their targets. Saudi Arabia will continue to pump at current levels under the new agreement, said the delegates.

Source: Business Line

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U.S. criticizes 5-year World Bank plan to lend billions to China

The U.S. government said it objects to a new five-year plan by the World Bank to grant China more than $1 billion in new loans, to carry out fiscal reforms and stimulate economic growth in the private sector. The World Bank issued the framework of the deal on Thursday, which earmarks between $1 billion and $1.5 billion for projects in China. Other goals of the aid are to improve green development and healthcare and help Beijing lower carbon emissions. The World Bank's executive directors said there is broad support for its lending plan, which was granted after discussions about China's structural and environmental reforms. "China has achieved substantial development success since it started structural reform and opening up policies in 1978," the bank said in a statement. "China's [gross domestic product] and income growth accelerated dramatically as it developed, and over 850 million people were lifted out of poverty." "Our engagement will be increasingly selective," said World Bank Director Martin Raiser. "Future World Bank lending will primarily focus on China's remaining gaps in policies and institutions for sustainable graduation." U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin criticized the bank's move, telling lawmakers Thursday it should slow lending to Beijing -- and cut China's overall borrowing this year from the current $1.3 billion to below $1 billion. In 2017, the bank lent $2.4 billion in Chinese loans. "We negotiated significant reductions in China lending with a path to get below $1 billion," Mnuchin said. "We submitted our objection to the current country plan." White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday U.S. and Chinese negotiators are close to a trade agreement to end the conflict that's been going for more than a year. A new phase of the conflict, $160 billion worth of new U.S. tariffs for Chinese products, will take effect Dec. 15.

Source: UPI

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Vietnam: Exporters urged to properly prepare for CPTPP

HCM City (VNA) - With preferential tariffs provided under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam has the opportunity to increase exports of garments, footwear, timber products, and beverages to other member countries. But whether Vietnamese enterprises can cash on the opportunity depends on their preparation, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s WTO and Integration Centre, said. Speaking at a conference titled 'Opportunities and Challenges from CPTPP for Vietnam’s Garment and Textile, Footwear, Timber Products and Beverage Sectors' held in HCM City on December 5, she said: “Our exports of footwear, garment and textile, timber products, and beverages to CPTPP member countries account for 12.5 percent, 16.04 percent, 20 percent and 23.46 percent of their total exports. “We export a lot to CPTPP member countries, but our market share remains modest, for instance at 2-2.9 percent of their footwear imports and 0-6 percent of garment and textile imports. Therefore, there is still much more room for Vietnamese firms to boost exports,” according to Trang. She noted that Canada, Mexico and Peru are countries that Vietnam does not have free trade agreement with, thus CPTPP offers great opportunities for Vietnamese firms to access these markets through preferential tariffs. But to capitalise on the opportunities, the products must meet the CPTPP’s rules of origin and conform with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements and technical barriers to trade (TBT), she said. “If we do not meet their requirements, we cannot utilise the preferential tariffs that CPTPP member countries offer to us,” she stressed. Khuu Thi Thanh Thuy, general secretary of the HCM City Textile and Garment - Embroidery Association, said Vietnamese garment and textile firms have faced difficulty in meeting the CPTPP’s rules of origin since their raw material imports from countries outside the CPTPP remain high. Local and foreign firms are now investing in the underdeveloped textile, dyeing and fabric segments to increase the local content rate, she said. Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch, said tariff commitments in the CPTPP come with relatively detailed and complex rules of origin, which not all businesses know how to comply with. “Therefore, understanding CPTPP commitments, the conditions required to take advantage of the opportunities, their impacts on market prospects and development trends in these sectors are important for Vietnamese enterprises to take advantage of the exciting opportunities arising from the CPTPP,” he said.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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Intertextile expo highlights sustainability in fashion

The recently held 25th autumn edition of Intertextile Shanghai trade fair focussed on the various aspects of sustainable future of the fashion industry. Global climate targets and powerful consumer action are a major influence on the future of fashion. Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics is a platform that displays supreme apparel fabrics and accessories. Sustainable products were the first on display for many trade buyers. A display area of eco-friendly fabric samples was positioned next to the main south entrance, attracting a high volume of buyers to highlighted exhibitors from the outset. Inside the international halls, the ‘All About Sustainability’ zone housed a selection of green fabric suppliers and testing services, as well as Forum Space, the fringe event area dedicated to sustainability topics, according to a press release on the show. Even more eco-friendly exhibitors could be found throughout the fair, especially in product zones such as Functional Lab and Beyond Denim. Communication is the key to ensuring a consistently green supply chain. So, with more consumers demanding traceability, Intertextile facilitates industry-wide communication, with a high visitor flow from concurrent events spanning the entire supply chain from fibre to garment. Forum Space is a platform for company product announcements, expert insight and high-profile discussions. This year, a major highlight of the fringe programme included FASHIONSUSTAIN, a conference by Messe Frankfurt that brings together key opinion leaders in the sustainable textile industry. Previously held in Berlin, New York City, and Los Angeles, the fair was FASHIONSUSTAIN’s first event in Asia. Other fringe highlights included a panel discussion with Elevate Textiles and their brand, A&E, on sustainability in the supply chain, and a seminar by Testex on Oeko-Tex updates. Although not every consumer prioritises sustainability when purchasing, some take it into serious consideration and may even pay more for it. Testex, who exhibited in the All About Sustainability zone and participated in a seminar, believe that a good move forward is to focus on making information easily accessible for these consumers, and have introduced a QR code system for product labels. At Intertextile, Testex demonstrated this on a pair of Primark jeans. When scanned by a consumer, every process of the item is instantly indicated on an interactive map. From raw material processing to dyeing, spinning to cutting – every factory was highlighted, as well as the route that the garment took during production.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Pak FBR directed to ease tax process for textile sector

Adviser to Pakistani prime minister on finance and revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh recently directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take suggestions from textile exporters and simplify the H-Form to expedite the processing and payment of sales tax refunds to exporters. He was attending a meeting of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). He also directed FBR to expedite the payment of nearly Rs 10 billion worth of customs duty drawback to the exporters. Shaikh told the exporters that the government is not at all interested in keeping their money held up for long, according to Pakistani media reports. Adviser to the prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity Ishrat Hussain; adviser to the prime minister on commerce, textile, industry and production Abdul Razak Dawood; chairman of the task force on textile Ali Habib; FBR chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi; former finance minister Shaukat Tareen and finance secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch were also present at the meeting.

Source: Fibre2fashion

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The Future Of Textiles Introduced In The Presidential Palace Of Finland

HELSINKI, Finland — Finland celebrates today its 102 years of independence and Maria Ohisalo, Interior Minister of Finland, will be walking the red carpet tonight wearing the future material for Finland’s No 1 annual reception at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki. The stunning evening dress material is made by Finnish Infinited Fiber Company (IFC), which is said to be the rescuer of the world’s fashion and textile industries. Interior Minister Ohisalo wanted to wear a dress that underlines our future direction for sustainable consumption of textiles. The Finnish circular economy top innovation, awarded by WWF, solves one of the worst environmental problems in the world. “I am proud to wear a Finnish circular economy innovation. We need solutions to cope with the escalating textile waste problem caused by fast fashion. The problem can be solved by increasing the life cycle of garments, developing repair and rental services and innovations for recycling the textile waste,” says Maria Ohisalo, Interior Minister of Finland. The dress is made from post-consumer cotton-based textile waste that would have been either burned or sent to landfills. Now the fibers got a new and enhanced life ahead. And the best part is when the dress has come to the end of its new life it can be put through the same process again. And again, and again. Endlessly. The fabric, born as a result of Finnish engineering, has the same appearance, touch and feel as cotton but the fiber as enhanced qualities that beat conventional cotton both technically and ecologically. The material preserves it dyes better and it needs less rounds in the washer. Several global fashion brands, like Lee, Wrangler and Tommy Hilfiger, have tested the IFC fiber in their production with success. Last week Swedish Weekday brand announced their stunning denim garment designed together with the Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. Designer of Minister Ohisalo’s beautiful long evening dress Anne-Mari Pahkala has always been interested in technology and new innovations in fashion industry. “I find it important that industry and science seek for new solutions for the drastic problems of the textile industry. My interest towards IFC awaked when I was visiting their mill together with Maria Ohisalo. Soon after the visit we began our common project that aimed to design and make a luxurious evening dress from the basis of this material of the future,” says fashion designer Anne-Mari Pahkala. New and better man-made cotton made in IFC’s revolutionary process excludes huge amount of carbon and methane emissions not to mention fertilizers, fresh water and chemicals used by cotton farming. Still, the end result is not a compromise in quality, nor in appearance. The emissions caused by the textile industry already exceed the amount generated by the international flights and maritime shipping together².The technological breakthrough in IFC’s process is that it can separate the synthetic fibers from cotton. The remaining pure biodegrading natural cellulose can be recycled through the same process endlessly without weakening the fiber quality. “Waste generated by textile industry is one of the heaviest burdens to our planet. We have the technology that can be easily scaled up to industrial level, solve the problem and make a true climate action. The future of fashion industry is based on circular economy,” says Petri Alava, CEO of IFC.IFC’s fiber is born in nearly carbon neutral process. Besides cotton-rich used garments the genius technology can also digest other cellulose based materials, like cardboard and paper waste but also agricultural waste like rice straws that are burned vast amounts in Asia. IFC is manufacturing fiber from post-consumer textile waste at its pilot plant in Finland 50 tons per year and is building another 500-ton mill to provide more fiber for global fashion brand’s tests and capsule collections.

Source: Textile World

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