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MARKET WATCH 12 MAY, 2015

NATIONAL

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

Textile Raw Material Price 2015-05-11

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

PSF

1319.04

USD/Ton

0%

VSF

2041.49

USD/Ton

0%

ASF

2496.70

USD/Ton

0.66%

Polyester POY

1402.40

USD/Ton

-0.52%

Nylon FDY

3138.24

USD/Ton

0%

40D Spandex

6538.00

USD/Ton

0%

Nylon DTY

1609.98

USD/Ton

0%

Viscose Long Filament

3383.42

USD/Ton

0%

Polyester DTY

5925.06

USD/Ton

0.14%

Nylon POY

1659.02

USD/Ton

0%

Acrylic Top 3D

2942.10

USD/Ton

0.56%

Polyester FDY

2692.02

USD/Ton

0.61%

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2729.62

USD/Ton

0.60%

32S Polyester Yarn

2059.47

USD/Ton

0%

45S T/C Yarn

2991.14

USD/Ton

0%

45S Polyester Yarn

2206.58

USD/Ton

0%

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2566.17

USD/Ton

0%

40S Rayon Yarn

2893.07

USD/Ton

0.57%

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2762.31

USD/Ton

0.60%

10S Denim Fabric

1.14

USD/Meter

0%

32S Twill Fabric

1.00

USD/Meter

0%

40S Combed Poplin

1.36

USD/Meter

0%

30S Rayon Fabric

0.78

USD/Meter

0%

45S T/C Fabric

0.79

USD/Meter

0%

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.16345 USD dtd. 11/05/2015)

The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

In China, Modi to push for expediting industrial parks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to aggressively push for expediting Chinese investment into proposed industrial parks in India, even as China has sought that its investments in this country aren't subjected to undue scrutiny. Modi's much-awaited visit to China on May 14-16 is likely to spur investments worth $10 billion through various trade deals. Chinese President Xi Jinping had already committed to investing $20 billion in India through the next five years, a senior official told Business Standard. Since both sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on setting up industrial parks exclusively for the Chinese here, there has been no movement in this regard in terms of big-ticket investments or setting up a manufacturing unit. This is despite the fact that Chinese authorities have already identified two zones in Pune and Ahmedabad to set up industrial parks, expected to be spread over 1,250 acres.

Apparently, Modi will announce the setting up of three more such industrial zones, in accordance with a joint statement released during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in May 2013. During his visit to China, Modi will be accompanied by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. As such, it is expected the next industrial zone will be set up in that state. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also keen on offering land to the Chinese to set up industrial zones. Modi's top economic agenda will be addressing the widening trade deficit with China, which stood at about 26 per cent of the India's overall trade in 2013-14.

Diplomatic sources say the Chinese government hasn't shown much interest in these zones so far, as it wants an assurance from Modi that none of its planned investments in India will be subject to unecessary scrutiny. "China is keen to invest in manufacturing in India, as well as in infrastructure sectors, if given the opportunity. The government's intention of creating a conducive atmosphere for investors has led to Chinese companies looking at the Indian investment climate," said Xie Guoxiang, China's new consul general (commercial). Earlier, investments by some Chinese companies, especially in the telecom and power sectors, were subject to intense scrutiny by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to an MoU on industrial parks, signed during Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Beijing, these parks will be granted tax concession and fiscal benefits, akin to those offered to special economic zones.

SOURCE: The Business Standard

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Govt awards 10 port projects worth ₹9,300 cr in FY-15 under PPP mode

The government awarded 10 port projects worth ₹9,376.43 crore under the public private partnership (PPP) mode in the last fiscal, Parliament was informed on Monday. These 10 projects will add a capacity of 95.11 million tonnes (mt), according to the data presented by Minister of State for Shipping P Radhakrishnan in the Rajya Sabha. In 2013-14, the government had awarded port projects worth ₹13,208.8 crore under the PPP mode for a capacity expansion of 137.65 mt, the data showed. The minister informed the House that the private sector does not have complete flexibility in designing the scheme or programme for the PPP project. “The broad contours of the port projects are formulated by the Major Port Authorities within which the selected PPP operator implements and operates the project,” he added. PPP projects have been implemented in the port sector since 1996, Radhakrishnan said. To facilitate investments in port projects, the government has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment under the automatic route for port development projects, he added. Besides, bidding documents such as RFQ, RFP and Concession Agreement have been standardised and the port sector has been granted infrastructure status, the minister said.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

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FICCI working with state govts on skill-building

The Federation of Indian Chambers and Commerce of India (Ficci) is working closely with the central government on skill mapping in each state to develop an accurate assessment of their skill development needs. Talking to Business Standard, Sanjay Bhatia, president, Ficci Council for MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises), said that MSMEs across India need upgradation of skills. "We are working through our state councils to create a bridge with state governments for upgradation of existing skill centres," said Bhatia, who is also managing director of Hindustan Tin Works Limited.

During its executive committee meeting in Chandigarh last week, Ficci also urged the state governments to ensure that state public sector enterprises source their procurement needs from MSMEs. Under the public procurement policy of the central government, PSUs are obliged to procure 20 per cent of their needs from MSMEs, but this has not been strictly implemented. MSMEs, he said, can play the desired role in the 'Make in India' movement if they are provided with the right opportunities and handholding. Punjab and Haryana together have close to 400,000 MSMEs, which employ about 10 million persons. Competition in the international market has rendered many of them unviable.

Bhatia said the chief ministers of the two states have assured Ficci that they will create a more enabling environment for the development of MSMEs, and added that Haryana is coming up with a new industrial policy, in which a major thrust would be given to MSMEs. The new single-window clearance mechanism introduced by the state government in Punjab, where the CEO of the Investment Promotion Board is vested with statutory powers of approval for all clearances, can be emulated by other states, he said. "We have been told by the deputy chief minister that approvals have been granted in 37 days and even less, and this is a landmark step in mobilising investment in the state."

SOURCE: The Business Standard

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GST Bill soon to be referred to select panel

The government’s attempt to bring the Goods and Services Tax Bill in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget session seems to have failed. The Centre is likely to accept the Opposition’s demand to refer it to a select committee. While the Land Bill will be considered by a joint select committee of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, the GST Bill is likely to go to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha. Meanwhile, the acquittal of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case is expected to give elbow room for the government in pacifying the party on issues such as GST and Land Bills.

Delay imminent

If referred to a select committee then the Bill is unlikely to be taken before the monsoon session scheduled in August. This in turn would mean delay in implementation of the new tax regime. The government is targeting April 1, 2016 to implement GST. The Opposition had stepped up its pressure on the government as the Rajya Sabha did not function for the second day over the Comptroller Auditor General’s report naming Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari. The Upper House is unlikely to take up any business on the coming days too. The government had reached out to the Opposition leaders on Monday for a possible compromise on the Bills. A senior leader in the Opposition camp told BusinessLine that, “They have finally agreed for a select panel on GST and a joint select panel on land Bill.” The AIADMK, however, maintains that its approach to the government will be issue-based. “We supported the government in the Insurance Bill. We are opposing the GST Bill as it is against the interests of Tamil Nadu,” said an AIADMK MP. Meanwhile, the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha were disrupted on Monday too over the CAG report naming Gadkari.

The Opposition said an inquiry should be ordered against the Minister and he should be asked to resign. Amid the ruckus, Gadkari read out a statement and said the CAG report has not said anything against him. He said he is ready for any type of probe into the issue. “My respectful submission before this august House is that let us follow the established procedure in the matter of CAG reports and if any wrong-doing is established by the PAC, which will be discussing the CAG report in due course of time, the law should take its own course,” he added.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

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“Prevent possible closure of textile mill”

A group of workers of a private textile mill on the city outskirts and their family members submitted a petition to Collector M. Karunakaran on Monday seeking his intervention to prevent the possible closure of the mill and save them from being shunted out from the quarters. The petitioners said the textile mill at Shankar Nagar with over 500 workers was facing a sudden closure “with mounting debts the mill had borrowed from a few banks.” One of the nationalised banks had issued a notice to the management of the mill to clear the outstanding immediately with interest or face distraining proceedings. “Hence, the management has informed the workers about the imminent closure in near future and asked them to vacate their quarters with immediate effect. If the textile unit is closed, the workers and their family members will be left in a deep trouble. Hence, the district administration should initiate talks with the management of the mill to prevent the closure,” petitioners said.

Shutters sought

A group of farmers having their holdings under the Nainarkulam irrigation system in Tirunelveli Town submitted a petition seeking the construction of three shutters in the waterbody providing succour to 586 acres. They said the construction of shutters from 6 to 8 at Nainarkulam would increase the area of cultivation. “The Public Works Department, which has to maintain Nainarkulam, had been refusing to construct these shutters for the past 11 years though the farmers have submitted petitions for the past several years. Hence, the Collector should instruct the PWD officials to take up the construction of these shutters at the earliest,” said C. Nellaiyappan, the president of Nainarkulam Farmers’ Association.

SOURCE: The Hindu

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893 textile units in Sanganer, Jaipur served closure notices

Following a high court order, the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) has issued closure notices to 893 textile units in Sanganer. All these units have failed to install a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) and are discharging 17-18 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated chemical water into Dravyawati river.  The power department and PHED have been asked to snap all electricity and water connections of the identified units. The court has asked to shut 213 units by May 31 and rest by June 30. The district administration and police have been asked to support the departments concerned in implementing the court order.

According to the RSPCB officials, the board has to submit a compliance report on May 18. "A total of 893 units were asked to stop their operations. The action-taken report will be presented before the court," said Aparna Arora, chairperson, RSPCB.  As per a study conducted in 2012, a total of 650 units were functional, discharging 12.3 MLD of effluents. However, officials maintain that the actual figure is much higher. They said that more than 17 MLD effluents are being discharged.  The confrontation between the textile unit owners and the government is on the cost of setting up the common effluent treatment plant (CETP). It is estimated to cost around Rs 110-120 crore.

The Textile Unit Owners' Association said that it didn't have this much money and urged the government to set up the plant. The court has asked that state and the Centre to share 50% of the cost while the association would bear the remaining 50% cost.  The issue of CETP is pending since year 2003 when the high court had instructed the owners to set up the plant.  Later, the Supreme Court had also asked them to follow the orders. In the year 2014, after receiving the environmental clearance from the RSPCB, they gave their consent to set up the plant under the Water Act.

SOURCE: The Times of India

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Global crude oil price of Indian Basket was US$ 63.56 per bbl on 11.05.2015

The international crude oil price of Indian Basket as computed/published today by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was US$ 63.56 per barrel (bbl) on 11.05.2015. This was lower than the price of US$ 64.05 per bbl on previous publishing day of 08.05.2015.

In rupee terms, the price of Indian Basket decreased to Rs 4058.31 per bbl on 11.05.2015 as compared to Rs 4102.40 per bbl on 08.05.2015. Rupee closed stronger at Rs 63.85 per US$ on 11.05.2015 as against Rs 64.05 per US$ on 08.05.2015. The table below gives details in this regard: 

Particulars

Unit

Price on May 11, 2015 (Previous trading day i.e. 08.05.2015)

Pricing Fortnight for 01.05.2015

(April 11 to April 28, 2015)

Crude Oil (Indian Basket)

($/bbl)

63.56              (64.05)

60.30

(Rs/bbl

4058.31          (4102.40)

3789.86

Exchange Rate

(Rs/$)

63.85              (64.05)

62.85

 

SOURCE: PIB

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Vietnam to showcase investment prospects in textile sector

Vietnam’s textile industry is hoping that some of the world’s biggest garment and textile groups such as Puma, Levi Strauss, Li & Fung, Tal Group and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) will participate in the 2015 edition of Vietnam Garment and Textile Forum, the Vietnamese media has reported. The event begins in Hanoi on June 25 and will end on June 27. During the event, foreign groups and leading economists are expected share information on the international garment and textile market, the size of Vietnam’s garment and textile industry and its market, the world trend, and global supply chain of leading trademarks. Participants in the event will be taken on a fact-finding tour of Rang Dong industrial park in the northern province of Nam Dinh to assess the favourable investment climate for investors in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s garment and textile industry has rapidly developed recently. The country has become a leading garment and textile exporter alongside China, India, Turkey and Bangladesh. Last year, the industry’s export turnover surged nearly 17 per cent to $24.5 billion and its products have been exported to 180 countries. With more than 4,000 businesses operational, the country’s garment and textile industry has generated 4.5 million jobs. The industry is expected to enjoy preferential tariffs from the signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Le Tien Truong, vice president of the Vietnam textile and apparel association (Vitas) said local businesses have seized opportunities to expand market and attract foreign investment. Nine years after joining the WTO, Vietnam’s share in the US garment and textile market has increased constantly from 3 per cent to 10 per cent , second only to China. Last year, Vietnam’s garment and textile export revenue achieved an impressive growth in major markets with 17 per cent in Europe, 12.5 per cent in the US, 9 per cent in Japan and 27 per cent in South Korea. This year, Vietnam is targeting $28.5 million from garment and textile exports.

SOURCE: Fibre2fashion

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Vietnam seeks FDI quality, not quantity

Vietnam has licensed 448 new FDI projects worth US$2.67 billion in the first four months of the year, down 17.1% compared with the same period last year, and permitted investors to infuse US$1.01 billion in 167 existing projects. While the commitments may have shrunk from last year, the actual disbursement has risen by 5% to US$4.2 billion, according to the Foreign Investment Department. Authorities have been paying more attention to the "quality" rather than "quantity" of investment. "[While considering an FDI project] authorities should ignore the idea of ‘more the better'," said Phan Huu Thang, a former head of the department.

Recently the central city of Danang rejected two multi-million dollar foreign projects over environmental issues. To ensure the city's sustainable development, Danang authorities have adopted policies to attract FDI in hi-tech projects and supporting industries with high value addition, especially in "clean" projects. Other provinces like Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Dong Nai have also rejected projects that could cause pollution, require large tracts of land, and employ unskilled workers. The northern province of Hai Duong has decided to stop licensing FDI projects in sectors like textile and dyeing, leather and footwear manufacturing, plastics and composites, rubber processing, and paper production from pulp. This year Hai Duong has also stopped seeking investments in production of construction materials and manufacturing that mainly involves exploitation of natural resources like minerals.

"Vietnam has sound policies for FDI which are on the right track," said Nguyen Mai, Chairman of the Foreign-invested Enterprises Association in Vietnam. International organisations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, European, American, Japanese, and Korean business associations and the media had praised these efforts, Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted him as saying. Mai believed foreign investment would pick up this year due to the Government's efforts at institutional reforms and improving the business environment. HCM City revokes land for Metro Line No 2.

HCM City authority has announced plans to take over land in District 1 for the metro line No 2 connecting Ben Thanh Market (in District 1) and Tham Luong Bus Station (in District 12). At a meeting to announce the acquisition plans on May 5, Luu Trung Hoa, deputy chairman of the District 1 People's Committee, told people affected by the acquisition that the total area to be taken over was 16,550sq.m. Twenty four households and eight organisations will lose their lands, three households fully and the rest, parts of them. Hoa said District 1 authorities had arranged for replacements for them, including nine apartments in Tenement No 203, Nguyen Trai Street. District 1 will also collaborate with the city Department of Construction to arrange for more houses for the families to be relocated. City authorities are scheduled to pay compensation and take over the lands in September this year. The lands will then be handed over to HCM City authorities for handing over in turn to the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways in July 2016. Construction of line No 2 is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Though domestic steel production is two times the demand, imports of steel products are rising relentlessly, putting local manufacturers under even more pressure. According to figures from customs, in the first quarter of this year Vietnam imported 2.88 million tonnes of steel products worth US$1.72 billion, an increase of 30.7% in volume and 15% in value from a year earlier. Notably, imports from China accounted for nearly 50% of the total, with the quantity of steel containing boron (which qualifies for zero per cent import tariff) increasing year after year.

Last year out of 11 million tonnes imported, steel containing boron from China accounted for nearly five million tonnes. The Chinese steel was sold for construction at VND1 million to VND2 million per tonne lower than local products. This has forced many local steel manufacturers to scale down production, some by 60%, or even shut down their plants. The import of scrap iron is another headache for local steel producers. Demand for domestically made steel remains sluggish as due to the import of cheap steel from neighbouring countries. Despite promotions, in the first quarter only 300,000 tonnes of local products were sold in the market, down 30% year-on-year.

The Vietnam Steel Association said demand in the local market this year would be around six million tonnes, 8 per cent higher than last year. But the capacity in the country is around 11 million tonnes a year, nearly double the demand, creating bruising competition. According to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the competition would become even more intense when steel imports from a number of countries enjoy lower taxes under bilateral trade agreements Viet Nam has signed or will sign with countries like China, Russia, the Republic of Korea, and Belarus. In addition, local supply has been increasing with the opening of new plants by Posco SS, Formosa, and Vinakyoei. "The licensing of new steel plants at a time when there is a surplus in local steel supply (though the existing plants are not operating at full capacity) has led to a demand-supply imbalance," an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Market Department said.

Faced with such a situation, local steel firms have demanded protection against imports in the initial stages of global integration. Relevant agencies should impose "technical and commercial barriers" on steel products containing boron imported from China, they said. They also want the Government to reject investment projects that use outdated facilities to keep supply lower. "To ensure sustainable development of the steel industry, the Government should allow non-state enterprises to submit tenders for projects funded by State budgets," said Tran Minh Ngoc of the HCM City University of Technology.

SOURCE: The Vietnamnet Bridge

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Pakistan-Last budget incentives for textile sector not implemented yet

 More than 30 per cent working capital of textile sector is stuck-up under refund regime, while several incentives announced in previous budget 2014-15, including ‘Rationalization of Refund Regime’ and ‘Complete Settlement of all Outstanding Refund Claims till 2014’ could not be implemented so far. “Pakistan textile policy for 2009-14 with outlay of Rs188 billion could be implemented only 15 per cent while textile policy 2014-19 with total outlay of Rs 64 billion was announced with a long delay and its notification is not issued yet.” These views were expressed by the PRGEMA central chairman, Ijaz Khokhar, and vice chairman, Malik Naseer, at a meeting held here on Saturday. The participants of the meeting, organized by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, called for giving special status to export-oriented value-added textile industry allowing it zero rating facility to boost new investment and revive economic growth.

“Value-added textile sector should be given special status by separating it from other textile chains as it is generating more employment and more revenue.” ‘No Tax-No Refund’ formula should be applied on value-added textile chain, including it in zero rated regime in order to get rid of liquidity crunch. Ijaz Khokhar suggested that the FBR to evolve a mechanism to eliminate liquidity problems of refund claimants and frivolous litigation pertaining to refunds. “Sales tax refund should be processed in minimum possible time in a transparent manner and FBR should streamline the entire refund verification and sanctioning process to facilitate the whole export-oriented sector”

PRGMEA's Central Chairman also called for setting up more training institutes for skill development in textile industry by utilizing Export Development Fund (EDF). The association is already playing its role in setting up and successfully running these institutes. The EDF is purely for development of export infrastructure but it is collected from value-added textile sector and consumed anywhere else. PRGMEA Vice Chairman, Malik Naseer, said that Punjab industry is not utilizing its installed capacity fully due to severe energy shortage and exports would not get momentum unless the government takes serious measures to pull textile sector out of crisis that holds back the textile industry. He was of the view that value-added textile sector is the most important segment of textile sector and the national economy, but it is facing crisis, as production is not in accordance with the built up manufacturing capacity. Due to this under-utilization, the country is not fetching the full potential of foreign exchange earnings. Malik Naseer asked the government to enhance industrial production to accelerate economic growth and generate vast opportunities of employment. Textile sector is getting just one third of allocated gas supply though domestic demand has dipped significantly on rising temperature. Insufficient energy supplies, rising cost of doing-business and lack of necessary funds are the major causes for the erosion in the industry's viability. Value-added textile industry is the only hope for revival of country's economy which is currently jolted by high cost of doing-business.

SOURCE: The Global Textiles

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China overtakes US as world's top crude oil buyer

China overtook the United States as the world's leading importer of crude oil for the first time in April. China's purchases are expected to remain robust despite slowing economic growth, Reuters reported, moves that will have sweeping implications for the global oil and commodities markets. China's crude oil imports hit a record of almost 7.4 million barrels a day (bpd) in April 2015, putting it ahead of the US's estimated imports of 7.2 million bpd for April, Reuters data showed. While China may drop back to the second place in the coming months, it is clearly headed towards overtaking the US as the world's top crude importer on a permanent basis, the news agency added.

China is already the world's biggest energy consumer. Overtaking the US will see China become the top user of almost all commodities, including coal, iron ore and most metals, with far-reaching consequences for markets that continue to shift from West to East. Seng Yick Tee, director of SIA Energy in Beijing: "They will definitely continue to buy more crude to fill up new storage capacity, both strategic and commercial." Philip Andrews-Speed, head of energy security research at the National University of Singapore said: "Being the world's biggest crude importer should give China more buying power. China's engagement in the Middle East will continue to change, and it will no longer be the minority player. "China becomes not only more important to Middle Eastern states, but the Middle East becomes progressively more important to China relative to other countries that are importing less oil."

In March, Saudi Aramco, China's largest crude oil supplier, said it aims to boost oil supplies to the world's second-largest economy. Saudi Arabia is the world's top crude exporter. Its state-owned oil firm has an over 10% market share in China and it expects its Chinese operations to grow with Chinese demand. A 60% drop in global oil prices between June 2014 and January, owing to a supply glut prompted China to build stocks.

SOURCE: The IB Times

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Trade pacts are signed, but not implemented: Pak envoy

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Monday termed terrorism “a big issue” and peace in “mutual interest” of the two countries that could be achieved through dialogue. He also pitched for economic ties between India and Pakistan to go beyond trade to mutual investment. “Terrorism is a big issue. We have suffered a lot in the last 35 years and lost as many as 50,000 lives. It’s a common challenge,” Basit said during an interactive business meeting organised by industry body FICCI. “If you have faced it in Mumbai, then we too have faced it. If you have complaints, then we too have our own,” he said. He said after Afghanistan, Pakistan had suffered the most because of terrorism.

Complex relations

Acknowledging the “complex” relations between the two countries, he said: “Peace is of mutual interest and can be achieved through dialogue... (but) there has been no dialogue for almost a year.” The top Pakistani diplomat in India said political inhibitions, doubts and trade barriers had resulted in “minuscule” trade between the two neighbours.

Inter-dependence

He stressed upon the need for greater “inter-dependence” for the economic ties to be sustainable. In the absence of inter-dependence, Basit said: “It may continue for a while, but it will not sustain for a long period.” “It’s a slow process. One would like to change things overnight, but I doubt if it could happen,” he said. “Agreements are signed, MoUs are signed, but at the end of the day, they are not implemented.” “But still, I would say that since the end of cold war and (beginning of) globalisation, the two countries have come a long way,” he said.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

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Top trade official says TPP pact will aid Alabama exports

In a little more than five years, Alabama exports have grown by more than $3 billion, and it is now a $19.5 billion industry. But U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said during a stop in Montgomery that this could just be the beginning. "Alabama is exporting everything from agricultural products, poultry, cotton, soy beans, forest products, automobiles, auto products, steel, and machinery — Alabama excels in all these things," said Froman, the chief United States official on international trade and a member of President Obama's cabinet. And the state is finding new markets for its products. "I was telling the story before about chicken claws, which isn't something we have much of a taste for in the United States," he said. "But by opening up these markets abroad, chicken claws are now selling for 50 cents rather than 10 cents, and 200,000 pounds of chicken claws are being exported through the Port of Mobile."He said these opportunities will only increase when trade barriers decrease. Many of these barriers are in Pacific countries, he said "Alabama faces a 10 percent tariff on cotton, a 40 percent tariff on poultry, a 70 percent tariff on autos," he told the Montgomery Advertiser editorial board. "If we can eliminate those barriers, the items Alabama exports are going to increase greatly." He said Alabama's exports will also grow with these Pacific economies.

"There is a well-established link between an emerging middle class and its demand for more protein and better nutrition, so ... we know as we see these emerging middle classes that they are going to want our beef, and our poultry and our pork and our soy beans and corn to feed their livestock," he said. "They are also very concerned about food safety, and that makes American food a premium import for them.

Froman said the U.S. is already the world's leading exporter of services and he believes that too may grow. But he said a key in how much it grows will be whether Congress approves a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. He said the question isn't whether there will be a trade agreement setting up the rules and principles of international trade with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, but whose agreement it will be. "The question is who is going to write the rules of the road," said Froman, adding that China is promoting its own trade agreement — one with regulations highly favorable to China that don't focus as much importance on quality controls or honoring intellectual property rights.

He understands there are still many who blame the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement for destroying not just thousands of jobs, but entire industries, such as the textile industry. But he said that the critics may be mixing the effects of NAFTA with the effects of globalization. "It's a very significant issue," he said. "You can debate what the effects of NAFTA were, but there is no debating the effects of globalization." He said advances in transportation and communication have eliminated much of the separation of world economies, and industrial countries including the U.S. now compete with low-wage labor from around the world. "We have seen the number of manufacturing workers decline in every industrialized country since WWII," he said. "The question becomes can you use trade agreements to shape globalization." Froman believes if the U.S. can negotiate treaties ensuring free markets in other areas of the world, it will prevail, exporting more products and attracting more industrialized businesses, such as Hyundai, to set up operations in the U.S.

SOURCE: The Montgomery Advertiser

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China, South Korea, Japan to hold talks on trilateral FTA in Seoul

China, South Korea and Japan will hold top-negotiator talks for the trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) this week in Seoul. South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Monday that the seventh round of negotiations among chief negotiators of the three Asian powerhouses will be held from Tuesday to Wednesday in Seoul. Since the sixth round, the three countries divided the negotiating groups into working-level and chief negotiators to make a rapid advancement in the talks. The seventh round of working-level negotiations was held in Seoul last month.

Participating in the upcoming negotiations will be Wang Shouwen, vice minister of China's Ministry of Commerce, South Korean assistant Commerce Minister Kim Hak-do and Japan's deputy Foreign Minister Yasumasa Nagamine. The top negotiators will discuss key issues, including modality, or basis guideline, on how to liberalize goods and services about which the three sides have yet to reach a conclusion. Under the principle of the comprehensive and high-level FTA, the three countries have discussed a wide range of issues, including goods, services, investment, country of origin, customs, trade remedy, intellectual property rights and e-commerce, since the negotiations began in November 2012. In 2012, combined gross domestic product of the three countries reached 14.3 trillion U.S. dollars, taking up some 20 percent of the world total and 70 percent of Asia's total. The combined volume of exports and imports was 5.4 trillion dollars, or 35 percent of the world total, in 2012.

SOURCE: The Turkish Weekly

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All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) group leaders want the Pakistani government to take over the country’s textile industry

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) group leaders want the Pakistani government to take over the country’s textile industry, the Pakistani media has reported. APTMA chairman SM Tanveer and a group leader Gohar Ejaz have said, "The textile industry has become unviable because of the heavily subsidised textile industries in the competing countries of the region." In a separate development, the Pakistan readymade garments manufacturers and exporters association (PRGMEA) has called for giving special status to export-oriented value-added textile industry allowing it zero rating facility to boost new investment and revive economic growth.

PRGEMA central chairman Ijaz Khokhar said in Lahore that value-added textile sector should be given special status by separating it from other textile chains as it was generating more employment and revenue. The APTMA also briefed journalists in Lahore on the plight of the textile industry after comparing it with the Indian textile industry on the basis of a study conducted by the Gherzi International, a Switzerland-based textile industry consultancy. Tanveer said that the duration of gas load shedding for Punjab’s textile industry has been increased by two hours and now the industry gets gas for only 6 hours. He said that the shortage of gas in summer is beyond understanding and if the gas shortage continues, the export target could not be achieved. "The government is not responding to the problems of the textile industry despite repeated calls," Ejaz lamented, and demanded that the association chairman be swiftly appointed as textile industry minister. "The premier should constitute a task force on the textile industry with the industry leadership on board and address the industry's issues on the war-footing. The government in Korea has built up its textile industry by doing the same," Ejaz added.

The APTMA leadership said declining exports, shrinking domestic market and capacity closures were a source of concern for the industry. "This situation has arisen out of high cost, energy shortages, old technology, absence of zero rating, shortage of raw materials, marketing disadvantages, absence of institutional support and policy-implementation divide." Tanveer said Pakistan's textile industry had registered a decline of 16 per cent in exports in March and warned that exports could worsen. "Already Pakistan's growth has been stagnant to 22 per cent against 160 per cent of Bangladesh during 2008-2013," he said.

SOURCE: Fibre2fashion

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Jakarta Textile sector to get Rp 3 trillion investment this year

The country expects to receive Rp 3 trillion (US$230.15 million) in investment that will go to the textile and garment industry this year despite rising challenges by way of new electricity prices and increase in labor costs. A sizeable portion of Rp 1 trillion will derive from a local firm, while the majority will come from foreign investors, particularly from China, South Korea and Taiwan, according to Indonesian Textile Association (API) chairman Ade Sudrajat. “Most of the investment will be poured to Central Java,” Ade said on the sidelines of a recent seminar hosted by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The manufacturing facilities to be financed by the planned investment were to produce apparel as investors anticipated greater market access that Indonesia was targeting through potential trade agreements with key buyers, such as the EU, he added.

Without free trade deals, Indonesian textile and garment producers are currently being charged duties ranging from 11 to 30 percent to main export destinations, including the EU and US. The trade arrangement may push down levies to as low as zero percent, resulting in an enhanced edge of traded goods in terms of price. The country is preparing to commence talks on a long-delayed comprehensive economic partnership agreement with the EU, which is expected to boost the competitiveness of its products to the 28-member bloc. The country’s main destinations of textile and textile products are the US, Japan, Turkey, Germany and South Korea, according to the latest data available in 2013.

Indonesia has seen its shares decline in textile trading with major partners from 2007 to 2013, excluding Japan, with which it has inked an economic partnership agreement, the data from the business group shows. New challenges were faced in recent years, including automatic electricity-price adjustments. Power prices fluctuate each month depending on the rupiah exchange rate, crude oil price and inflation. Depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar has been pushing up electricity rates, which contributes between 18 percent and 26 percent to costs in the textile and garment industry. The association reported that least 18 firms in Java had shut down operations, laying off around 30,000 workers. The situation could worsen and the industry may further lay off up to 50,000 workers by August or September, according to its estimate.

Ade said that amid various obstacles, the business group was still upbeat about achieving its export target of $12.6 billion, similar to the figure recorded last year, driven largely by improved demand for garments, which accounted for 70 percent of exports, starting from August or September. “We hope the manufacturing industry in several countries recover by August or September so that the buying power of our overseas buyers strengthens,” he said. API has yet to announce its first-quarter export result, but data from the Trade Ministry shows that exports of non-knitted clothing dipped by 2.9 percent to $984.1 million, while shipment of knitted goods fell by 4.9 percent to $812.8 million in the first quarter of this year from last year.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post

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