The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), concluded on Oct 5 in Atlanta, is dubbed as the biggest trade agreement in history struck by the US and 11 other Pacific nations – the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Together these twelve countries make up about 40 percent of the global economy with economic output of almost $30 trillion. The TPP aims to free 40% of world trade from tariffs and quotas, and elevate protection for the environment and worker rights, among other objectives. The dismantling of trade barriers across the TPP countries is bound to reduce transaction costs and speed up procedures, increase ease of doing business for their companies and possibly benefit consumers with lower prices and more choice. With the implementation of the TPP agreement there will be a lot of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, both within and outside the TPP countries to take advantage of the new business environment. Continue reading The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is holding a Forum of all the stake holders (workers, employers & representatives of government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations) from 23-25 Sept. 2014 to evolve future policy with regard to wages and working hours in the textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industries.
According to UNIDO, global average wages in the clothing industry are 35% lower and in the textiles industry are 24% lower than the manufacturing industry average wage. In some production countries the minimum wage remains below the national subsistence minimum. The ILO notes that the industry is distinctly divided into high-end and low-end (or “value”) production and brands. Factories involved in high-end production generally use better technology and more skilled workers. These factories have greater degree of multi-stakeholder initiative engagement resulting in better working conditions. But factories engaged in low-end or low-value production are considerably focused on cost cutting measures and mostly have poor working conditions. Many national economies rely on the clothing industry: 88% of total exports from Haiti, 79% from Bangladesh, 58% from Lesotho, 52% from Cambodia, 43% from Sri Lanka, 38% from Honduras, 36% from El Salvador, 31% from Mauritius, 20% from Madagascar, 18% from Tunisia, 17% from Pakistan, 15% from Morocco, 13% from Jordan, 12% from Viet Nam and 10% from Turkey are linked to the clothing industry. A glance at the world’s clothing retail reveals that North America represents 25%, Western Europe 27%, Eastern Europe and Turkey 10%, Japan and the Republic of Korea 13%. The rest of the world represents 25% of the total clothing retail. Another point worth noting is that while trade has grown, clothing prices have dipped by 30 to 40%. Continue reading Wages & Working Hours in the Textiles & Clothing Sector
I recently came across a number of reports and statements by leading export related experts related with textile and clothing claiming that China is set to provide a lucrative destination for Indian exports of these items. Obviously, I was pleasantly surprised to read that the dragon, World’s Factory and Clothier to the World, is going to look to India for procurement as it finds increasingly difficult to meet its own demand. A deeper look provided me the information that China was looking for huge quantities of grey fabric from various countries and Indian exporters were desperately trying to capture some share of the Chinese demand for the grey fabrics. At least this is what one tends to believe after reading the report of the 2015 Imported Yarn & Grey Fabric Forum held in June this year. More than 300 suppliers attempted to lure Chinese buyers of grey fabric. The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) was so enthusiastic that it fielded an outsider to make an impressive presentation on behalf of Texprocil so that the Chinese authorities and buyers could be convinced to buy cotton yarn and grey fabric from India. “(Texprocil) has been successfully using this platform to popularize advantages of using Indian yarn and grey fabric for conversion into value added textiles by the Chinese enterprises,” said its post event report. Continue reading Can China be a Major Destination for India’s Textile & Clothing Exports?
There is a growing trend of manipulating consumers who buy their clothing articles thinking they are buying genuine cotton clothing made from 100% cotton. But to their horror, their wearing experience turns out to be a nightmare. They soon realize that manufacturers are replacing the cotton in their favorite clothes with unreliable and uncomfortable fabrics and they have been victims of some mystery fabric. It looks and feels like cotton, but only at first. America’s cotton producers and importers have launched “CottonOrNothing” campaign to educate consumers about such malpractices. In view of lack of information on the labels, buyers are unable to know the exact composition of the fabric. In most cases synthetic fibres are mixed with cotton to reduce cost. Polyester is the predominant among them. Continue reading Is China Clothing the World in Polyester?
It is with deep sense of sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing away of Shri Pranlal Tapulal Kamdar on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Rajkot. Shri PT Kamdar was 83. He was not keeping well from last couple of years. He left behind his beloved wife Indira and daughters – Nitika Sanjiv Nandani and Roopa Dhanraj Mehta. Nitika, settled in Rajkot, is running a pathology laboratory with her MD Pathologist husband. Roopa is settled in Australia working as a Research Scientist in Australian Blood Bank. Her husband is a CA. Continue reading Obituary : PT Kamdar
Vietnam is, today, on top of the world thanks to the expectations of the country joining the elite group of TPP beneficiaries of the US duty free imports. Vietnam’s garment and textile sector employs more than 7.7 million people working in 4,000 textile and garment enterprises. Garment and textile exports account for approx. 15% of Vietnam’s GDP and about 18% of total exports. Vietnam exports garment and textile products to more than 180 countries across the world. Vietnamese garment and textile industry’s exports were $24.5 billion. With the TPP, they expect to touch US$30 bn by 2020 out of which, exports to the USA alone could be US$20 bn. Currently, the US accounts for 49 percent of the total exports. The industry uses about 6.8 billion metres of fabric each year out of which only 800 million metres are locally produces and 6 billion metres have to be imported. Chinese textile and apparel firms are now building factories in Vietnam in hopes of taking advantage of the TPP’s planned phase-out of U.S. tariffs on apparel imported from Vietnam. Continue reading Vietnam’s Garment & Textile Industry is On Top Of the World
Thanks to PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ call (‘Tiger’s Call’, if you so like), there has been a flood of seminars, conferences, workshops and what not, throughout the country and overseas. At a similar Seminar on ‘Strategy for Making India a Global Leader in Textiles and Apparels’ last month, textile minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar hinted at government’s intentions to come out with a ‘new long term’ Textile Policy to make India globally competitive. The reasons provided by the minister were same as those applicable for any other industry sector in the country such as : skill upgradation, rationalization of labour cost, speeding up customs clearance and reduction in the cost of capital.
Now let’s have a look at the way our existing policies work. Continue reading Does India Need A New Textile Policy Or A Plan Plus Effective Action?
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. It ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH of less than 7 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7 is basic. Each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than a pH of 6. The same holds true for pH values above 7, each of which is ten times more alkaline (another way to say basic) than the next lower whole value. For example, a pH of 10 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 9. Pure water is neutral, with a pH of 7.0.
The Union Budget (2015-16) was presented by FM Arun Jaitley on 28 February at a time when expectations were unrealistically high from all sections: corporates, small businesses, industry as well as common men. As usual, the Budget got mixed and cautious reactions so as not to offend those who ignored industry’s demands.
CITI Chairman Prem Malik expressed his deep disappointment : “forget fresh investments under the TUFS during 2015-16 because there is no balance available for fresh investments under the scheme as of now due to the reduction in allocation to Rs. 1520 cr from last year’s Rs. 1864 cr.” CITI’s other complaints include increase in service tax to 14% and the hike in effective rate of excise duty on MMF from 12.36 to 12.5%. This hike is effected in spite of a unanimous request from all the segments of the industry to reduce it from 12.36% to 6%. CITI feels that some measures in the budget may help in the long run but there is no textile specific proposal in it. Continue reading Textile Industry finds the Union Budget (2015-16) Disappointing
A US apparel manufacturer, in his recent post on forbes.com, has revealed that fashion companies generally fix their MSRP (Market Suggested Retail Price) at least 400% of the manufacturing cost. Giving an example, he says that if a manufacturer makes the T-shirt for $5, he sells to a Retail chain for $10. The retailer, in turn, sells this T-shirt to the consumer at $20. According to him, brick and mortar retailers generally charge at least a 100% margin on their products to cover the cost of the T-shirt, rent, employees and overhead. Hence, the consumer has to pay $20 for a T-shirt that costs $5 to make. Since I was reading a post on Forbes, I was curious to know the manufacturing cost of T-shirts of certain premium brands that retail at as high as $100! What factors are considered while fixing their MSRP? I was greatly disappointed since I didn’t find any information on this aspect. Continue reading ‘Moving Production’ to ‘Improving Production’ Can Cure Low Labor Cost Mania