• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021






Indian businesses could access Europe, West Asian & African markets through Egypt

Egypt is a politically stable country and has a liberal economy which has enabled Indian industry to invest more than $ 3.15 billion in Egypt mentioned Ajit Gupte, Ambassador of India to Egypt in the virtual inaugural session themed “India – Egypt Business Promotion, Challenges, and Opportunities” of the 3P Egypt International Expo 2021 being held from June 15-16. Indian Companies need to consider the advantage of Egypt’s geographical location to access Europe, Middle East and Africa market. Egypt is a politically stable country and has a liberal economy which has enabled Indian industry to invest more than $ 3.15 billion in Egypt mentioned Ajit Gupte, Ambassador of India to Egypt in the virtual inaugural session themed “India – Egypt Business Promotion, Challenges, and Opportunities” of the 3P Egypt International Expo 2021 being held from June 15-16. While deliberating about the historic and bilateral relation shared between India and Egypt, Gupte mentioned that bilateraltrade and export has been increasing between the two nations in a calibrated manner. India has been Egypt’s one of the largest export destinations and one of the largest forces for imports. Upsurge in the ecommerce segment, the rising awareness of the usage of sustainable, biodegradable and recycling printing and packaging among the Egyptian market population is also driving the growth of the Printing, Packaging and Paper market. Dr. Srikar K Reddy, Joint Secretary, FT (WANA) Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, informed that with an increase in the trade, there is significant potential to diversify India’s trade baskets which will help to enhance the bilateral trade between the two countries. He mentioned that due to its strategic location and multiple free trade agreements, there is a significant opportunity for Indian businesses to increase trade and investment.

Source: Economic Times

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Growing convergence between India, G7 on China threat makes Cornwall meet crucial for New Delhi

 The references to China, direct and indirect, at the G7 Summit are helpful from India’s point of view in taking cognisance of the mounting Chinese threat with which the country is now confronted more openly and durably. The G7 meeting at Cornwall has received great publicity, largely because of the reassertion of international leadership by the Joe Biden administration and a radical change in the atmosphere of negotiations, in stark contrast with the 2018 summit which saw Donald Trump hectoring the other six countries on their trade policies, reneging on the agreed summit communiqué and making personal attacks against Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. The serious differences between the US and the rest of the G7 members on the issue of climate change because of Trump’s agnosticism on the subject of central international concern put a lot of strain on the group. Trump’s national security adviser at the time spoke disparagingly about the G7 as just another meeting “where other countries expect America will always be their bank”. Trump also treated the G7 as an obsolescent group and questioned the exclusion of Russia from it in 2014.

How relevant is G7?

For a long time now the relevance of G7 as a kind of financial management directorate of the world has been widely questioned. The group, set up almost four decades ago, with five countries to begin with and then expanded to seven to include Canada and Italy, has as members-only western countries barring Japan, and represents a world that has radically altered economically and politically over time, with the dispersal of economic and political power with the rise of China, India, Brazil and others. The West, led by the US, is still a powerful global force no doubt, but it can no longer dictate global policies unilaterally, though it can still set the direction and agenda in many areas in an internally coordinated manner, especially through Western-dominated institutions, such as the World Bank, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and some existing multilateral financial coordination mechanisms. There is a pressing demand at the international level that the existing international political and economic institutions must reflect the shifts in global political and economic power. The functioning of the UN Security Council with its veto mechanism is questioned in the interest of more democracy and less privilege. The principle of reform of the international institution is widely accepted though introducing reform has proven difficult in practice. In this background, the G7 that is rooted in Western power and privilege seems an anomaly. This recognition that the G7 was a narrow base to handle, in particular, the global financial issues that came after the 2008 financial crisis, which then led to the emergence of the G20 as a forum of the world’s largest economies, a more representative group that includes India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa (BRICS), and one that is considered indispensable for solving global issues now and in the future. A PWC report projects that emerging markets could grow twice as fast as G7 economies on average, and six of the seven largest economies in the world would be the emerging economies in 2050, with India as the second-largest economy behind China. The EU27’s share of the world GDP could fall below 10 percent by 2050. The UK could be in 10th place then, France out of the top 10 and Italy out of the top 20. This underlines the need to broaden the base of international consultations to deal with international governance in general. The G7 in its communiqué has reaffirmed its commitment to multilateralism and to working with the G20, the UN and the wider multilateral system.

Cooperating and competing with China Today

China is the second-largest economy in the world and India the fifth largest. EU’s trade with China now surpasses that with the US. China is the biggest trade partner of the US and so is the case with Japan. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) too has become China’s largest trade partner. Many key challenges that the world faces require wider and deeper cooperation at the international level, be it climate change, green energy, environment, biodiversity, terrorism, least developed countries issues, and now health more than ever before because of the pandemic. The pandemic has shown that no country can now be an island unto itself and protect its security with a massive defence capability. This again underlines that the G7 despite all the visibility it has got is not in a position to address global issues on its own, though it can act as a catalyst in terms of analysis, ideas, technology, economic and financial resources and media influence. The G7 summit has recognised the crucial importance of combating the pandemic. Its communiqué devotes several paragraphs committing the G7 to end the pandemic by “driving an intensified international effort … to vaccinate the world by getting as many safe vaccines to as many people as possible as fast as possible … by increasing and coordinating on global manufacturing capacity on all continents”. It recognised that ending the pandemic in 2022 will require vaccinating at least 60 percent of the global population, and the G7’s international priority is to accelerate the rollout of safe and effective, accessible and affordable vaccines for the poorest countries. This would be welcomed by India as the country is in a position to help achieve this objective. China figures directly and indirectly in the G7 communiqué, indicating that the US has succeeded to some degree to overcome the hesitations of some major EU countries like Germany and even France to have their autonomy in dealing with the China challenge diluted. They would like to establish their own balance between cooperating, competing with and confronting China. The communiqué hits at China indirectly in the reference to forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, lowering of labour and environmental standards to gain competitive advantage, use of forced labour in global supply chains, market-distorting actions of state-owned enterprises, and harmful industrial subsidies, including those that lead to excess capacity. In terms of securing supply chains, the G7 recognise the foundational role that telecommunications infrastructure, including 5G and future communication technologies, plays and will play in underpinning their wider digital and ICT infrastructure, which will promote secure, resilient, competitive, transparent and sustainable and diverse digital, telecoms and ICT infrastructure supply chains. The reference to promoting shared values as open societies in the international system, as reflected in the Statement on Open Societies signed with the leaders of countries from the Indo-Pacific region and Africa, namely, Australia, India, South Africa and the Republic of Korea, and committing to increase cooperation on supporting democracy also targets the challenge from authoritarian political systems. The direct reference to China is contained in the decision to consult on collective approaches to challenging non-market policies and practices which undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy. While the G7 will cooperate where it is in their mutual interest on shared global challenges, but in so doing, it will promote its values, including by calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. The G7 reiterates the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law, underscores the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourages peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, expresses serious concern about the situation in the East and the South China Sea and opposes strongly any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions. All these references to China, direct and indirect, are helpful from India’s point of view in taking cognisance of the mounting Chinese threat with which the country is now confronted more openly and durably.

What sets the Quad apart

The Quad too, of which two are G7 members, shares similar concerns about China, but as in the case of the European component of the G7 and their approach to China, the Quad members share an overarching view about the China challenge but have to cope with some realities as well, as the degree of political, economic, security and territorial issues that each has with China is not identical and each country within the larger framework of cooperation and coordination will have to find an individual balance. More so, as the Quad is based on shared interests and is not an alliance. France is already active in the Indo-Pacific area; Germany is developing its own IndoPacific concept and so is the EU and the UK. There is thus a growing convergence in thinking about the realities of the China threat between India and the G7 members in general. The Quad and the Indo-Pacific concept are gaining strength and acceptance as part of the armoury against China’s disruptive ambitions.

Source : First post

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Economy likely shrunk 12% in June quarter amid Covid-19 crisis: UBS

The economy had its worst contraction on record in FY21 at 7.3 per cent as the 2.5 months of unplanned lockdown announced by the Centre Lockdowns imposed by the states in April and May to contain the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic has likely led to the economy contracting 12 per cent in the June quarter as against 23.9 per cent contraction in the same quarter in 2020, says a brokerage report. The economy had its worst contraction on record in FY21 at 7.3 per cent as the 2.5 months of unplanned lockdown announced by the Centre with just a four-hour notice had crippled the economy in the first quarter with a massive 23.9 per cent contraction, which improved to -17.5 per cent in the second quarter. But the economy showed a sharp V-shaped recovery from the second half when it posted a 40 bps positive growth and in Q4 clipping at 1.6 per cent, containing the overall contraction at 7.3 per cent for the year. This 12 percentage point contraction will have the economy missing a sharp V-shaped recovery this time around, unlike seen last year after the national lockdown was lifted, as consumer sentiment remains very weak this time around as people are more worried about the pandemic than last year, says Swiss brokerage UBS Securities India. Quoting in-house data from UBS-India activity indicator, Tanvee Gupta Jain, the economist at the Swiss brokerage, says the indicator suggests that economic activity has contracted an average of 12 per cent in the June 2021 quarter as against 23.9 per cent in June 2020 quarter. This is despite the indicator rebounded to 88.7 in the week to June 13, up 3 per cent week-on-week after many states eased localised mobility restrictions from the last week of May. Though the brokerage expects a sequential pick-up in economic activity from June, it believes that the economy may gain traction only from the second half. “Unlike the Vshaped recovery in 2020, we expect the economy to have only a gradual recovery this time, as consumer sentiment remains weak on pandemic-related uncertainties,” she said. The lockdown in the second wave lasted for slightly more than a month as against 2.5 months in the first wave and industrial/construction activities were allowed at a limited scale this time. We still expect only a sequential pick-up in economic activity from June and not a Vshaped recovery as in 2020, she added. Significantly, there is positive momentum on the ground on the vaccination front which has improved to 3.2 million doses daily in the week to June 13 from 2.5 million as of endMay. Though the brokerage expects a sequential pick-up in economic activity from June, it believes that the economy may gain traction only from the second half.

Source: Business Standard

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Consumer sentiment improves after steep fall in April-May period: CMIE

CMIE data shows the cumulative fall in consumer sentiments in urban India during the months of April and May 2021 was 7.9% while it was much larger in the case of rural India at 17.7%. The index of consumer sentiment has started improving since mid-May after witnessing a higher fall in ruralIndia in April and May compared to urban India, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said. However, the recovery has a long distance to cover before it reaches its pre-second wave levels seen in February or March 2021 and much more to reach the pre-first wave levels, the CMIE said in its weekly labour market analysis. “While April and May saw consumer sentiments come crashing down, it seems that a turnaround is also underway. The index was at 47.3 in the week ended May 16 and has since then clawed back some ground to reach 48.9 in the week ended June 13,” CMIE said, adding the turnaround though is hesitant and not uniform across rural and urban India. As per the CMIE, the recovery in consumer sentiments is essentially playing out in rural India. After recording a low in the week ended May 16, the index of consumer sentiments has shot up by 11.4% for rural India while that for urban India fell by 9% by the week ended June 13. CMIE data shows the cumulative fall in consumer sentiments in urban India during the months of April and May 2021 was 7.9% while it was much larger in the case of rural India at 17.7%. “This much larger fall in consumer sentiments in rural India is in sync with the general view that the spread of the virus in rural India, the poor health facilities there and the lack of vaccines could have caused much larger damage to lives and livelihoods there,” CMIE added. Further, the cumulative fall in the index of future expectations in April and May 2021 was a substantial 16.9% while it was 7.3% for urban India, CMIE said.

Source:   Economic Times

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Karnataka gets Rs 17,000 crore investment plans in second Covid wave peak

Karnataka has received investment proposals worth over Rs 17,718 crore in April and May despite the second wave of Covid-19 being at its peak, reports Sandeep Moudgal. BENGALURU: Karnataka has received investment proposals worth over Rs 17,718 crore in April and May despite the second wave of Covid-19 being at its peak, reports Sandeep Moudgal. According to the industries department data, as many as 120 investment proposals were cleared by the state at various levels between April and May. These investments promise to provide employment to about 20,000 people in the state. The data accessed by TOI shows a bulk of the investment proposals came from 10 projects worth Rs 13,174 crore. These proposals are from warehousing, manufacturing and food processing sector. The rest are proposals ranging between Rs15 crore and Rs 50 crore. Many proposals from smaller firms: Min Not with standing second wave of the pandemic, industries minister Jagadish Shettar said the government had approached MNCs and major industrial players from outside the country. “This investment is significant at a time the state is involved in the Covid fight. While I admit a majority of the investment proposals are from smaller companies, the government is making inroads in attracting many bigger MNCs in the coming months,” he said. Shettar said the government is expecting a sizeable section of electric vehicle and battery storage industry to come to Karnataka after its amendment to the EV policy of 2017. “While we cannot do anything about investments which have moved out of the state, we hope to get more interest directed towards Karnataka,” he said. The proposals suggest a considerable amount of investments are being made in tier-II and tier-III cities in food processing and manufacturing industries. These primarily include Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board industrial parks. Of the big investment promises for Karnataka in the past two months, a considerable amount is towards setting up allied industries or second plants of already existing firms in the state. This includes Jindal Steel Works liquid oxygen plant, Shree Cements, Grasim Industries, YG Cutting Tools and Mylar Sugars. The government is hopeful once the pandemic recedes by the month-end, it can announce fresh dates for Global Investors’ Meet. To make land acquisition more affordable, KIADB has collaborated with HDFC Bank so that eligible investors can avail credit facilities. As per the agreement, KIADB chief executive N Shivashankara said the bank will offer credit facilities to eligible companies or investors up to 75% of the project cost.

Source: aajkanews

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UP government: Got investment proposals of Rs 13,408 crores in 3.5 years

However, of all these sectors, manufacturing is the most preferred among investors, the government claimed. The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday claimed that it had received 98 investment proposals worth Rs 13,408 crores in the manufacturing sector over the last three-and-ahalf years. An official spokesperson for the government said the industrialists from across the country and abroad have committed to investing majorly in infrastructure, food processing, textile, electronic manufacturing, real estate, power and manufacturing sectors in the state. However, of all these sectors, manufacturing is the most preferred among investors, the government claimed. As per data available with the Department of Industrial Development, of the 98 investment proposals in the manufacturing sector, 10 are from foreign investors worth Rs 4,250 crores, while the remaining 88 are from domestic companies willing to set up large manufacturing units. The state claimed that these units would provide employment opportunities to more than 22,028 people. It further said the government has already provided land to 66 of the 88 domestic companies which have sent investment proposals to set up manufacturing units. Most have completed the construction of their units and started production as well, while 26 top industrialists are moving ahead with their plans to set up shop. The government spokesperson said that while Covestro IP is setting up a plastic manufacturing unit in Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) at the cost of Rs 800 crores, UltraTech Company is building a cement factory in Prayagraj at the cost of Rs 600 crores. Sparsh Industries Private Limited and Rimjhim Ispat have invested Rs 600 crores and Rs 550 crores, respectively in Kanpur, while DCM Shriram is setting up a sugar mill in Hardoi at the cost of Rs 361 crores. Kent RO Systems Ltd has invested Rs 300 crore in Gautam Budh Nagar, while PTC Industries Ltd has invested Rs 205 crores in Lucknow. Citing more investments, the government said MM Forgings Pvt Ltd has invested Rs 150 crores in Barabanki and Password Papers has pumped in Rs 351 crores in Meerut. Silverstone is setting up a paper mill in Muzaffarnagar at the cost of Rs 180 crores. Most of these firms have started production. The state also said Kanodia Group is investing Rs 1,200 crores in Amethi, while JK Cement Limited will spend Rs 650 crores for its Aligarh plant.

Source: Indian Express

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Welspun India’s ‘Enterprise Leadership Program’ To Usher In New And Innovative Business Growth Models, Involves Indian School Of Business As ‘Knowledge Partner’

Welspun India, the global leader of home textiles, underlining its commitment to nurturing in-house talent has partnered with the Indian School of Business (ISB) to curate an Enterprise Leadership Program under its Talent Development initiative. The program is designed to empower Welspun’s leadership team with the skills to adapt to a rapidly digitizing business ecosystem while accelerating innovation, driving inclusive growth, improving profitability, and creating strategies aligned with existing and emerging market disruptions. Spearheaded by prominent academics from ISB, for the year-long program will be divided into three distinctive modules. The first module will impart online learning through virtual sessions and focus on key business aspects such as ‘Strategic Thinking and Execution’, ‘Reigniting Growth and Innovation’, and ‘Driving Profitable Growth’. The next two modules will be a part of the Residential Program at the ISB campus and will be about ‘Digital Transformation’, ‘Operational Excellence’, ‘Customer Centricity’, and ‘Transformational Leadership’. With the program, aims to instill a deeper sense of purpose amongst its leaders as they manage their teams and business functions to achieve short-term and long-term organizational objectives. Welspun Speaking on the program, Mr. Rajendra Mehta, CHRO – Welspun India, said, “Thriving in a rapidly changing business ecosystem requires business leaders with an adaptable, flexible, agile, and digital-first mindset, as well as a strategic approach revolving around transformational experiences and value-driven engagement. The Enterprise Leadership Program developed in association with the ISB, one of the world’s foremost business schools, will help us mold our employees into leaders of tomorrow and equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to view industry disruptions as opportunities instead of obstacles. At Welspun, we have always prioritized our employees’ access to learning and growth opportunities that will help them perform better and be future-ready. The development of this program further underlines our commitment to holistic employee growth and sustainable business operations.” Mr. V K Menon, Senior Director, Centre for Executive Education, ISB, spoke of the cutting-edge learning that will be imparted, making the participants future ready. “Welspun is a Global Leader in home textiles, operating across markets, internationally. This partnership and learning journey, will integrate the latest concepts and strategies into the workings of a very professional and highly successful leadership team. The program has been curated after multiple rounds of design discussions with the management of Welspun. It addresses the current imperatives of growth, innovation and profitability. Leading in disruptive times and harnessing the powers of digitization, will be important parts of this learning journey. The stellar faculty from ISB will bring in Global Best Practices and integrate these with current business models. The focus is both on short term results and global leadership. We see a highly engaging, enriching and result oriented learning journey.”

Source: India Education Diary

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Trade deficit widens further in April

Robust imports dwarf record April exports; shipments lower in comparison to March

  • Trade deficit in April up to $ 889 m; first 4 months figure at $ 2.94 b
  • Jan-April exports up 29.6% to $ 3.8 b; imports by 20% to $ 6.7 b
  • Non-fuel imports up 17.6% to $ 5.3 b
  • Fuel import bill jumps 240% to $ 413 m in April and 30% to $ 1.4 b in first 4 months
  • Fertiliser imports up 62% in April to $ 47.3 m; Jan-April figure up 49% to $ 82 m
  • Textiles and related imports up 55% in April to $ 228 m and by 22% to $ 938 m by end-April

The trade deficit widened more in April to $ 889 million as against $ 832 million in March as robust imports despite restrictions dwarfed the best-ever April export performance. The April figure is also higher from a year ago deficit of $ 840 million, whilst Sri Lanka began a year-on-year (YOY) increase of trade deficit in March first time since April 2020. Central Bank said both exports and imports were significantly higher in April, compared to the lockdown period in April 2020, although both were lower compared to March. Cumulatively, exports were up 29.6% to $ 3.8 billion in the first four months of 2021, whilst imports were up 20% to $ 6.7 billion of which non-fuel imports were up 17.6% to $ 5.35 billion. The cumulative deficit in the trade account during January – April widened to $ 2.94 billion from $ 2.69 billion recorded over the same period in 2020. Central Bank said the major contributory factors for this outcome were sharp rise in value of fuel imports, machinery and equipment, textiles and textile articles, chemical products and plastics and articles thereof. Recording the highest ever value for a month of April, earnings from merchandise exports in April increased by 189.8% to $ 818 million, from a significantly low value of $ 282 million recorded in April 2020 amidst the island wide lockdown measures due to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earnings from exports in April, however, were 25.2% lower than the export earnings of $ 1,094 million recorded in March, reflecting the impact of the beginning of the third wave of the pandemic and the festive holiday-related developments in April. Earnings from all subsectors of industrial goods exports improved substantially by 302.5% to $ 647 million in April, YOY. On a month-on-month basis, earnings from industrial exports declined by 22.0%, except for the subsector of petroleum products; leather, travel goods and footwear (mainly footwear); animal fodder (mainly dog/cat food); and printing industry products (mainly currency notes). Earnings from textiles and garments; rubber products; machinery and mechanical appliances; and gems, diamonds and jewellery mainly recorded declines compared to March. Meanwhile, earnings from the export of petroleum products improved in April over the preceding month due to higher exports of naphtha, while earnings from bunker and aviation fuel declined with the significant reduction in volumes of aviation fuel and bunkering fuel supplied to aircraft and ship arrivals, despite the increase in the average prices of these export products. Export earnings from all subsectors related to agricultural goods increased by 37.7% to $ 165.6 million in April, compared to a year ago, though contracted by 35.6% compared to March. Despite higher export prices, export earnings from tea declined substantially compared to the previous month due to lower export volumes. In addition, export earnings from spices (mainly cinnamon, pepper and cloves), coconut (both kernel and non-kernel products), seafood and minor agricultural products declined notably in April over March. Earnings from all subsectors under mineral exports were also higher in April (by 332.9%) than export earnings in April 2020, but lower (by 10.3%) than export earnings in March. The decline in April over March reflected lower earnings from subsectors of earths and stone (mainly quartz), and ores, slag and ash (mainly titanium ores). The export volume index and the unit value index increased by 182.0% and 2.8%, respectively, on a YOY basis, in April. This indicates that the increase in export earnings was due to the combined impact of higher export volumes and prices. Expenditure on merchandise imports in April increased by 52.1% to $ 1.7 billion from low import expenditure of $ 1.12 billion in April 2020, when the effects of the first wave of the pandemic and low global petroleum prices were present. The YOY increase in the import expenditure was driven by the increase in imports of intermediate and investment goods. However, import expenditure in April was considerably lower (by 11.4%) compared to March ($ 1.92 billion), although import values in both March and April were higher than pre-pandemic levels. With declines recorded in both food and beverages and non-food consumer good categories, expenditure on the importation of consumer goods in April declined by 7.9%, compared to April 2020 and by 26.6% compared to March. Under food and beverages, import expenditure decreased on a month-on-month basis for the items such as sugar and confectionery; vegetables (mainly big onion, lentils and potatoes); dairy products (mainly milk powder); spices (mainly chillies); and oils and fats. Also, under non-food consumer goods, import expenditure declined on a month-onmonth basis on telecommunication devices (mainly mobile phones); medical and pharmaceuticals; and home appliances (mainly refrigerators and fans). In contrast, import expenditure on seafood (mainly dry fish) and cereals and milling industry products (mainly rice) increased in April compared to March. Import expenditure on intermediate goods increased by 88.6% in April, compared to a year ago, but declined by 4.9% over the previous month. Import expenditure on many intermediate goods declined in April compared to March, particularly base metals (mainly iron and steel); plastics and articles thereof; textiles and textile articles; food preparations; and rubber and articles thereof. In contrast, expenditure on fuel, fertiliser and mineral products increased on a month-on-month basis. The average import price of crude oil increased to $ 66.44 per barrel in April compared to $ 64.07 per barrel in February, while there were no crude oil imports in March due to the closure of the refinery for maintenance. However, expenditure on refined petroleum and coal declined due to reductions in both imported volumes and average import prices compared to March. In addition, import expenditure on fertiliser increased noticeably in April due to higher import prices and volumes over March while the increase in import expenditure on mineral products led by cement clinker imports. Import expenditure on investment goods increased by 41.4% in April compared to April 2020, but declined by 15.2% compared to March. Import expenditure on all subsectors under investment goods, i.e., machinery and equipment, building material, transport equipment and other investment goods, declined in April compared to March. Expenditure on machinery and equipment imports declined on a month-on-month basis in April, led by low import expenditure on electric motors and generator sets; office machines; medical and laboratory equipment; and turbines. In addition, lower expenditure on wood products, cement and agricultural tractor imports led to the decline of import expenditure in other subcategories. In contrast, import expenditure on lorries, pumps, mineral products (such as asbestos and lime), agricultural machinery, insulated wires and cables, and ceramic products increased in April compared to March. The import volume index and unit value index increased by 39.8% and 8.8%, respectively, on a YOY basis, in April. This indicates that the increase in import expenditure was attributable to the combined impact of both higher import volumes and prices. Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, deteriorated by 5.5% in April as the increase in import prices were higher than the increase of export prices, compared to April 2020.

Source: Financial Express

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Solvay launches first partially bio-based textile yarn

 International chemical and fibres group Solvay is globally launching Bio Amni, the first partially bio-based polyamide textile yarn developed by the company. The yarn is a polyamide 5.6, which is produced entirely at the company’s textile industrial unit in Brazil. The development of Bio Amni follows the growing global trend in demand for more sustainable textile products, especially bio-based materials, the firm says. Solvay’s research and innovation teams worked on the creation of the product for two years. “Sustainability is one of the main drivers of the global textile market,” says Antônio Leite, global vice president of polyamides and fibres at Solvay. “Solutions and products must add value to the entire consumer chain – from its base to end consumers of textiles – and have less of an impact on the environment. Solvay’s Bio Amni is part of a portfolio evolution to offer customers the most innovative products on the market.” Solvay says the textile sector currently faces three main challenges in relation to the environment and sustainability: resources, the production process, and disposal. The firm already has developed sustainable alternatives in the production process, using cleaner energy sources, closed water circuits, and zero effluent emissions at its industrial unit in Brazil, as well as more biodegradable products to support more sustainable disposal. With the launch of Bio Amni, sustainable textiles will now account for 30% of Solvay’s global polyamide portfolio, a figure which the group expects to reach 50% in the next three years. The launch follows that of Amni Virus-Bac Off, a functional polyamide that inhibits contamination between textiles and users, preventing the fabric transmitting viruses, including coronaviruses, and bacteria; and Amni Soul Eco, said to be the world’s first biodegradable polyamide textile yarn, which facilitates the decomposition of textile articles in about three years after disposal in controlled landfills.

Source: Just-style

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Bangladesh among 3 countries leading recovery: USDA

Bangladesh has joined two other countries to lead the global cotton trade recovery as the demand for the commodity has risen sharply thanks to buoyant apparel shipments, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). "Record global trade is boosted, led by robust demand in China, Bangladesh, and Turkey," the USDA said in its June report. Cotton exports are up for the three largest exporters --India, Brazil, and the United States. The US forecast has higher exports while stocks are projected at their lowest in four years. The US season-average farm price has lowered by one cent to 67 cents per pound, the USDA said in its report on cotton for 2020-21. For 2021-22, the June forecast shows higher trade and consumption with lower production and stocks. A lower consumption outlook for India is more than offset by the higher-than-expected demand in China, Bangladesh, and Turkey, driving higher imports for these countries, said the USDA. The recent import growth of cotton in Bangladesh resulted from the skyrocketing demand among local millers, spinners, traders and importers. For instance, the export of yarn in the local markets is deemed to have grown by 163 per cent year-on-year between April and June this year, data from the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) showed. This is a result of higher demand from garment exporters, and for resumption of the full use of capacities of mills by spinners and weavers, it said. In the first 11 months of fiscal 2020-21, the country earned $28.57 billion from garment exports, registering 11.1 per cent year-on-year growth, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. Knitwear shipments fetched $15.36 billion, and woven garments brought home $13.19 billion, clocking 20.55 per cent and 1.80 per cent year-on-year growth, respectively. The export data shows that the Bangladeshi garment sector is recovering fast with the rise in demand in the western world. A significant development was the return of woven shipments to the positive territory last month after declining for a year. The demand for woven items had fallen in the western world as formal events were suspended because of the lockdowns and fears over contracting Covid-19. Knitwear items maintained 12 per cent growth over the last year because of an increase in demand for more extended stays of people at home. "The recovery trend is good, and it will not be short-term this time," said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). However, it will take long to recoup the industry's losses last year because of the fallouts of the Covid-19, he said. "We have been receiving a handful of work orders. There has been the reinstatement of previous orders. But many factories are running at losses," Hassan said. Last year, international clothing retailers and brands either suspended or cancelled work orders worth $3.18 billion, of which 90 per cent have been reinstated so far. Hassan said the retailers and brands had been paying up, but there were many who had gone bankrupt and were still delaying payment. The volume of merchandise trade was down 15.5 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020 when lockdowns in many countries were in full effect. But by the fourth quarter, trade had surpassed the level of the same period in 2019, said the World Trade Organisation on May 28. On the global cotton trade, the USDA said China's 2020-21 imports were forecast at a seven-year high, driven by the highest projected consumption in three years, robust state reserve imports, and attractive prices for imported cotton relative to domestic supplies. Imports are expected to support China's record year-over-year rise in consumption. China's 2020-21 consumption is expected to recover from the lowest level in 16 years to surpass the previous year by 7 million bales, accounting for half of the gain in global use. Currently, spinners' spot margins are roughly 30 per cent higher compared with that of the previous year due to the robust demand for cotton yarn and significantly lower yarn stocks, said the USDA. Since Bangladesh is not a major cotton-producing nation, 99 per cent of the requirement for the raw material is met through imports. Traders, importers and millers may import 8.5 million bales of cotton this year, spending $3 billion this year, said the BTMA. Last year, cotton imports fell to 7.5 million bales as production came to a halt in many mills after the government had imposed nationwide restrictions to tame the coronavirus pandemic. (One bale equals 480 pounds.)

Source: The Daily Star

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Industrial, trade growth trend sustained despite COVID-19: official

 Industrial and trading activities of Vietnam have sustained their growth trend although the COVID-19 resurgence has hit some provinces and cities with large industrial parks, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said on June 17. Industrial and trading activities of Vietnam have sustained their growth trend although the COVID-19 resurgence has hit some provinces and cities with large industrial parks, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said on June 17. Speaking at the ministry’s regular press meeting for the second quarter, he added exports have maintained high year-on-year growth, which is relatively sustainable thanks to the even growth in shipments of all the important commodities such as electronics, textilegarment, footwear, machinery, and farm produce, and to major markets like the US, China, the EU, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and ASEAN. Regarding problems in industrial and trading activities, Hai said COVID-19 outbreaks in large industrial parks have had certain impacts on industrial production growth as well as supply chains. Besides, the import of production materials accounts for a “very big” proportion, about 90 percent, thus pushing up the import value and affecting the trade balance. Lockdowns or social distancing measures driven by coronavirus outbreaks in some localities have also eroded consumption demand, especially for non-essential goods, which has influenced retail sales, according to the official. So far, he said, industries and trade have basically developed as planned, with total retail sales achieving about 38 percent of this year’s target and exports over 44 percent. The increase in index of industrial production is currently higher than expected, rising by 9.9 percent in the first five months compared to the targeted 8 percent. The figure is forecast to maintain at some 9 percent in the first half of 2021, compared to the 8-percent target for the whole year. Exports are set to increase by about 21.7 percent while total retail sales and service revenue 7.1 percent during January - June, compared to the year’s respective targets of 4 - 5 percent and 8 percent. The industry and trade sector will keep making efforts to achieve its growth targets as well as those of the country, the Deputy Minister said. Particularly, the ministry will continue working to promote overseas shipments, diversify both export and import markets, optimise opportunities generated by free trade agreements, and remove barriers to enter new markets.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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