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The Botswana Textile and Clothing Association (BTCA) is looking at the development of a globally competitive and sustainable textile and clothing sector in the country. BTCA would further assist the sector to increase domestic, regional and international market share for Botswana textiles and clothing and also boost innovation and creativity among its members.

Companies will be instructed on the benefits of using modern technology for efficiency and economies of scale. Botswana has announced there will be another stimulus package for textiles sector, meant to assist companies with wage, boost operational efficiency and improve productivity. Botswana is a landlocked country. Thus the cost of logistics is too high, making it difficult for companies to import raw materials and export finished products.

The local industry is faced with challenges that include lack of access to finance, high operational costs, uncoordinated niche markets to tap into and absence of a strong enterprising culture particularly for small, medium and micro enterprises. One strong source of competition for the Botswana industry is from Asian companies. Asian countries have a competitive advantage in terms of lower labor costs, efficient production, availability of vast and cheaper sources of raw materials.

Pakistan's textile exports declined 16.66 per cent in September 2014. Energy shortage is the prime reason behind the decline. Nearly half of production capacity has been hit due to the crisis.

Apart from non-availability of energy, high interest rates and stuck up liquidity on drawbacks and refunds have played a vital role in the low growth and exports of Pakistan’s textile industry. Exporters say gas is being diverted to unproductive sectors, causing a loss in terms of foreign exchange. They say competitors have made huge investments due to the positive and business-friendly environment provided by their governments. Their grouse is that the government has failed to encourage investment in the textile sector during the last five years and that rivals, taking advantage of the situation, are creeping into their regular markets.

In spite of not having the GSP Plus status, India has managed to gain higher exports than Pakistan. Pakistan’s textile exports have been showing a declining trend since July 2014 and export numbers in the coming months might worsen. The country exported textile goods worth $3.417 billion in the first quarter of July-September this year against exports of $3.559 billion in the comparative period of previous year.

Shanghai Mode Lingerie was held from October 20 to 21, 2014. This is the premium international event for lingerie and swimwear brands in Asia. It has the complete offering of intimates and swimwear. Since 2005, Shanghai Mode Lingerie has been an excellent host for 250 Chinese and international brands. The event also has shows in Paris, New-York and Las Vegas. It celebrates glamour, fashion distinction and international flair.

New events were added. At the 10th anniversary and there were several inspiring fashion shows, more than 120 organised B2B meetings with key buyers from Asia. About 60 visiting countries were represented. The show occupied 13,500 sq. mt. of exhibition space. The event showcased heritage pieces from the last centuries.  The pieces depicted the history of lingerie and described in detail the fabrics used.

Among the new features for 2014 was the dedicated forum for swimwear. Leading swimwear fabric suppliers displayed their latest developments. Another was a training program on trend and brand building. This enabled customized workshop programs to be designed for individual companies with specific needs and requests.    

Shanghai Mode Lingerie offered a business lounge to brands who wanted to benefit from the B2B program put together by Eurovet.  It was organized in seven sectors.

The key business event during the 29th season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia was the founding conference of the Russian Fashion Council on October 23. Top fashion industry luminaries attended the event. They included names like President of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia Alexander Shumsky, well-known Russian designers: Slava Zaitsev, Alena Akhmadullina, Lena Karnauhova, Julia Dalakian, head of the leading textile and apparel consulting company Esper Group Daria Yadernaya, Program Director of MBFW Russia Elena Kuletskaya, General Director of Ufimsky Trikotazh (Ufa Jersey) Zukhra Ismailova, Rector of Moscow Institute of Arts and Industry Alexey Egorov, the President of the Russian Public Relations Association Stanislav Naumov among others.

The National Fashion Councils operates in key fashion markets. Their aim is to support the fashion industry. Now Russia has joined the top-tier fashion markets having own public organization devoted to the local industry. The Russian Fashion Council will bring together fashion designers and manufacturers from the Russian Federation and fashion and educational experts who are actively involved in the development of fashion business in Russia.

The principal purpose of the council is to support and develop the Russian fashion industry and assist Russian manufacturers and fashion designers. The goal is to create social and other guarantees required for development of fashion segment in Russia. Another point is to promote Russian fashion designers domestically and globally. At the conference Slava Zaitsev was elected as the Honorary President of the Russian Fashion Council. Alexander Shumsky was appointed to the position of the Executive President of the Council.

Russian Fashion Council focuses on creating favourable conditions for activities and creative work of Russian designers. The council will launch numerous projects and activities that will include assistance in promoting collections and public campaigns for achievements of Russian fashion. Russian Fashion Council is considered as a bridge between fashion designers and textile industry, the purpose is to cut the gap between talents and manufacturers. The council will also develop fashion education programs and programs supporting young talents. One of the 2015 project is to launch the Russian Fashion Contest for emerging designers with valuable awards which would help talents to expand commercially.

For July to September of this year, Bangladesh apparel exports to US, Canada have fallen. Moreover, export earnings from France, the Netherlands, and Japan have also declined. Exports to the US declined by 8.4 per cent and exports to the Canadian market fell by 13.8 per cent.

A drop in knit and woven garment exports to the US and Canada has contributed to the overall export decline in the North American market. In the first quarter of this fiscal, knit export earnings from the US and woven export earnings registered a drop of 5 per cent and 8.8 per cent from the previous year. Knit garment exports to the Canadian market showed a decline of 14.63 per cent while woven garment exports registered a fall of 14.38 per cent from the previous year.

Knit apparel exports to the Netherlands have fallen by 9 per cent and non-knit apparel exports have declined by 13.23 per cent. Despite an increase in knit exports, exports of woven garments to Japan have fallen by 4.44 per cent. Bangladesh garment exporters say the fall in export is due to a rise in wages, foreign buyers' preference for alternative countries due to agitations in Bangladesh and drop in orders for non-compliant factories.

The eighth international garment, textile machinery and accessories exhibition, IGATEX, was held in Pakistan from October 21 to 24. IGATEX 2014 gave textile machinery manufacturers the opportunity to directly market their equipment to quality buyers and decision makers in an exceedingly competitive global business environment. The show included working and stand alone demonstrations of various cutting edge industry tools and technology.

This is the largest textile machinery and accessories exhibition of the textile sector in Pakistan. It was attended by leading textile houses. The event hosted over 550 exhibitors from 35 countries including China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Taiwan and Switzerland. A huge number of trade buyers and business professionals visited the exhibition. It facilitates the textile industry by providing networking opportunities.

World renowned manufacturers of textile machinery get the opportunity to introduce new technology to the Pakistan textile industry in the backdrop of the recent GSP Plus duty-free facility allowed by the European Union to Pakistan from January 2014 for 10 years.

The textile industry is considered the backbone of Pakistan's economy. Pakistan has an edge with state-of-the-art plant, machinery and technology in the textile sector. It is considered one of the important regional textile hubs for quality textile products.

Thailand's garment exports for the first eight months of 2014 rose by one per cent compared to the same period last year. However, Thai garment producers and exporters are unsure of growth in 2015 because of the economic uncertainty in China, United States, European Union and other large markets.

Weak recovery in the EU and US, a slowdown in Chinese growth, and the loss of EU import duty privileges for Thai garments because of the country’s coup d’état in May this year are some of the impediments to growth. The Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA) predicted a wider than usual range of 0 to 5 per cent growth for next year, and an expansion of two or three per cent in the industry as a whole.

Meanwhile exporters have increased shipments to the EU before the preferential trade status expires in the beginning of 2015. However, TGMA does not believe that the loss of this status will have much impact, as the EU waives just 2.4 per cent of its duty on Thai garments compared to the standard rate of 12 per cent.

Thai businesses have also compensated for the loss by raising their investment in other Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. These countries have a lower labour cost and have not lost their preferential trade status with the EU, providing companies a way around higher tariffs.

The Asean Economic Community is set to come into effect in December 2015 and will bring greater integration, flow of capital, and trade incentives for the ten member nations of Asean.

Global fiber producer Invista has introduced a new bio-derived spandex that uses fiber from a renewable source made from dextrose derived from corn. The use of renewable feedstock results in lower Co2 emissions than spandex produced using traditional raw materials. The bio-derived spandex is called T162R. The sustainable spandex fiber, the only commercial offering of its kind, will be available worldwide and for use in a wide variety of apparel fabrics and garments. With this new Lycra brand offering, Invista is providing retailers and manufacturers of stretch fabrics a new spandex fiber option.

Production of commercial quantities is planned for Autumn/Winter 2015 and Spring/Summer 2016 collections. The overall lifecycle of a garment using T162R is the same as a garment using other Lycra fibers, only the fiber contains renewable raw materials.

Invista is limiting production of the fiber to fine deniers and is targeting the active wear and denim segments because these segments have a strong interest in sourcing sustainable materials. The industry now has an option to produce fabrics and garments using a Lycra fiber based on renewable raw materials.

Sustainability topics are becoming increasingly important in the textile and apparel value chain, with growing awareness and building education on the subject at the consumer, brand or retail and mill levels.

BTK Holding, one of Russia's largest producers of technical textiles and apparel is commissioning a large-scale facility for this purpose. The company has already completed preparatory work for the launch of the 1,20,000 sq. mt. production facility, which employs more than 1,000 people.

On full commission the new plant will become Russia’s most modern and high-tech production facility in the domestic technical textile industry. It will have a good technological infrastructure and operate more than 250 units of modern equipment, which were purchased in Italy, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and France.

The plant would focus on the production of synthetic fibers as well as heat retainers. The capacity of the plant will be in the range of five to six million meters per year. At present the technical textile industry in Russia remains practically undeveloped, with local production currently meeting only15 per cent of domestic consumption of technical textiles. By 2025, the level of consumption of technical textiles in Russia is expected to grow three to five times. Demand for technical textiles from the domestic automotive industry alone exceeds 200 million meters of fabrics.

The government is willing to provide a number of incentives to BTK and in particular to provide subsidies for the purchase of raw materials.

Vietnam expects the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be signed in 2015. Meanwhile Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese investors have started increasing their investment in the garment and textile industry in Vietnam.

The Texhong group’s plant in Quang Ninh province will provide materials for markets in the southern region of China. The Hong Kong based TAL group has built a $40 million garment plant in Thai Binh province. It’s now working with Hai Duong province authorities on a 40 hectare fabric weaving and garment project.

When the FTA and TPP are signed, Vietnamese garment and textile products will enjoy zero per cent tax rate in the US and EU. The average tax rates are 17.5 per cent and 9.6 per cent in these two markets respectively. One of US’ conditions for the zero per cent tax rate is that fiber must be produced in Vietnam or other TPP countries. Most countries with TPP have not developed the fiber industry yet, forcing Vietnam to produce domestically.

The EU and Vietnam intend this agreement to be a modern, comprehensive and balanced agreement that supports the two sides' economies in meeting today's and future challenges and an essential building block in strengthening the relationship between Europe and South East Asia.

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