Textile Proactive Actions
Besides adopting protective measures, a more practical approach is to develop proactive actions.
The Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA) launched a two-year "Garment Industry Development Strategy". The plan includes strategies for creating a base of fashion professionals, brand development, fashion-design management, supply-chain management and production efficiency.
The association plans to set up short-term and
long-term courses for fashion professionals and to regularly hold seminars
on brand-building. It is anticipated to
have around 1,100 fresh fashion industry professionals over the next two
years and to set up Thailand's first fashion university, in a bid to become
more competitive. The university is to provide fundamental knowledge on
fashion design, commercial issues and technical skills to those interested
in the industry.
The officer said one option was to design the country's own fashion courses with the curriculum based on those in other fashion universities. The other was to invite foreign fashion universities to set up independent campuses here. The well-known Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, which has branches in India and China, has shown interest in Thailand。
Thai garment and textile exports this year are expected to drop by 6% on year as a result of the global economic uncertainty, rising production costs and tough competition from countries such as China and Vietnam.
In the first eight months of 2002, total exports of
garments and textiles dropped 6-7% to US$5.26 billion (Bt229 billion), with
garment exports alone dropping 9.5 %.
Singapore May Complete FTA with USA
U. S. and Singapore may sign a free trade agreement (FTA) very soon, despite
several outstanding issues concerning financial services and textiles.
terms of the textile issue, rules of origin have remained a contentious
point. U. S. negotiators reflecting the concerns of domestic mills, as
concerned that Singapore will become a transshipment point if strong rules
of origin are enforced. There is skepticism in U. S. textile circles that
Singapore will be able to control such quota-circumventing trade. In the
past, Singaporean firms had been singled out for funneling shipments from
Malaysia and China.
Singaporean government, on the other hand, says that it is more than up to
the challenge in that all trade shipments are subjected to checks that make
transshipments virtually impossible.
U. S. has proposed a strong yarn-forward rule of origin that is similar to
the rule found in NAFTA. Singapore has yet to agree to the U. S. proposal
and has remained a sticking point in the negotiations. With a small spinning
industry, Singapore claims that its clothing firms will have a difficult
time importing qualified yarn from appropriate sources to make up for a
shortage in domestic production.
agreement with Singapore is the first involving the U.S. Aside from its
NAFTA partners, at present the U.S. only has FTAs with Israel and Jordan.
Brazil - EU Agree Textile Trade Deal
Union and Brazil agreed a deal to free up textile trade by opening their
markets for each other's textile and apparel goods on 6 November 2002.
deal will see the EU ditch quotas on 10 apparel and textile products from
Brazil, ranging from trousers and T-shirts to cotton and synthetic
fabrics. Brazil will reciprocate by limiting tariffs to a maximum of 20% and
refrain from applying any additional taxes on EU textile and clothing
countries also committed themselves to dismantling all tariffs on textiles
and clothing in the continuing discussions between the EU and Mercosur
countries: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
clothing and textiles exports to the EU in 2001 were 239 million euros while
EU exports to the Latin American nation were 243 million euros.
is ready to anticipate opening up its textile market ahead of the WTO
deadline of 2005, provided its trading partners are ready to provide better
access to their markets.
South Korea Unveiled New Textile Blueprint
early November unveiled a series of initiatives as part of an ambitious
industry blueprint aimed at doubling the country’s textile and apparel
exports to $30 billion by 2010.
plan, drawn up by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, includes
boosting the market share of fashion apparel exports from 5% to 10% in the
next eight years.
state-of-the-art digital dye factory where operators can manage colour
control, logistics and trade online will also be set up. A huge new fashion
venue also set up for companies to showcase their products. New research
centres for the development of net silk and sports textiles will also be
established. Cotton spinners will be encouraged to invest in new hi-tech
blueprint hope to pull up trade surplus in the industry to $20bn from the
current $11bn by 2010.
Indian Government Creates Rehabilitation Fund for Spinners
Indian government is likely to create a special fund of USD240
million for the rehabilitation of spinning mills that are facing
shortage of working capital but are still potentially viable firms.
77 mills were considered and classified into 3 groups – A, B, C based on parameters such as financial performance, labour and machine productivity levels and degree of modernization. 35% of the mills constituting group A, are profit-making mills, which do not require any financial assistance; 38% mills under group B require financial assistance. Mills incurring losses, which cannot operate viably, even with reasonable financial assistance, under group C, accounts for 27% of the mills.
According to study, a sum of USD100 million is required to rehabilitate mills falling under group B. Non-availability of such funds may lead to closure of the potentially viable mills along with production loss of 450 million kg. Of spun yarn per annum putting 150,000 workers jobless.
The study further states that a capital investment of
billion would be required to create new capacity.