Overview of Bangladesh Garment Industry

Agriculture, as the case in India, has been the backbone of economy and chief source of income for the people of Bangladesh, the country made of villages. Government wants to decrease poverty by getting highest productivity from agriculture and achieve self-reliance in food production. Apart from agriculture, the country is much concerned about the growth of export division. Bangladesh have accelerated and changed her exports substantially from time to time. After Bangladesh came into being, jute and tea were the most export-oriented industries. But with the continual perils of flood, failing jute fibre prices and a considerable decline in world demand, the role of the jute sector to the country’s economy has deteriorated (Spinanger, 1986). After that, focus has been shifted to the function of production sector, especially in garment industry.

The garment industry of Bangladesh has been the key export division and a main source of foreign exchange for the last 25 years. At present, the country generates about $5 billion worth of products each year by exporting garment. The industry provides employment to about 3 million workers of whom 90% are women. Two non-market elements have performed a vital function in confirming the garment industry’s continual success; these elements are (a) quotas under Multi- Fibre Arrangement1 (MFA) in the North American market and (b) special market entry to European markets. The whole procedure is strongly related with the trend of relocation of production.

Displacement of Production in the Garment Industry

The global economy is now controlled by the transfer of production where firms of developed countries swing their attention to developing countries. The new representation is centred on a core-periphery system of production, with a comparatively small centre of permanent employees dealing with finance, research and development, technological institution and modernisation and a periphery containing dependent elements of production procedure. Reducing costs and increasing output are the main causes for this disposition. They have discovered that the simplest way to undercharge is to move production to a country where labour charge and production costs are lower. Since developing nations provide areas that do not impose costs like environmental degeneration, this practice protects the developed countries against the issues of environment and law. The transfer of production to Third World has helped the expansion of economy of these nations and also speed up the economy of the developed nations.

Garment industry is controlled by the transfer of production. The globalisation of garment production started earlier and has expanded more than that of any other factory. The companies have transferred their blue-collar production activities from high-wage areas to low-cost manufacturing regions in industrialising countries. The enhancement of communication system and networking has played a key role in this development. Export-oriented manufacturing has brought some good returns to the industrialising nations of Asia and Latin America since the 1960s. The first relocation of garment manufacturing took place from North America and Western Europe to Japan in the 1950s and the early 1960s. But during 1965 and 1983, Japan changed its attention to more lucrative products like cars, stereos and computers and therefore, 400,000 workers were dismissed by Japanese textile and clothing industry. In impact, the second stock transfer of garment manufacturing was from Japan to the Asian Tigers – South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore in 1970s. But the tendency of transfer of manufacturing did not remain there. The rise in labour charge and activeness of trade unions were in proportion to the enhancement in economies of the Asian Tigers. The industry witnessed a third transfer of manufacturing from 1980s to 1990s; from the Asian Tigers to other developing countries – Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and China in particular. The 1990s have been led by the final group of exporters including Bangladesh, Srilanka, Pakistan and Vietnam. But China was leader in the current of the relocation as in less than ten years (after 1980s) China emerged from nowhere to become the world’s major manufacturer and exporter of clothing.

Bangladesh Garment Sector and Global Chain

The cause of this transfer can be clarified by the salary structure in the garment industry, all over the world. Apparel labour charge per hour (wages and fringe benefits, US$) in USA is 10.12 but it is only 0.30 in Bangladesh. This difference accelerated the world apparel exports from $3 billion in 1965, with developing nations making up just 14 percent of the total, to $119 billion in 1991, with developing nations contributing 59 percent. In 1991 the number of workers in the ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh was 582,000 and it grew up to 1,404,000 in 1998. In USA, however, 1991-figure showed 1,106.0 thousand workers in the apparel sector and in 1998 it turned down to 765. 8 thousand.

The presented information reveals that the tendency of low labour charges is the key reason for the transfer of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh. The practice initiated in late 1970s when the Asian Tiger nations were in quest of tactics to avoid the export quotas of Western countries. The garment units of Bangladesh are mainly relying on the ‘tiger’ nations for raw materials. Mediators in Asian Tiger nations build an intermediary between the textile units in their home countries, where the spinning and weaving go on, and the Bangladeshi units where the cloth is cut, sewn, ironed and packed into cartons for export. The same representatives of tiger nations discover the market for Bangladesh in several nations of the North. Large retail trading companies placed in the United States and Western Europe give most orders for Bangladeshi garment products. Companies like Marks and Spencers (UK) and C&A (the Netherlands) control capital funds, in proportion to which the capital of Bangladeshi owners is patience. Shirts manufactured in Bangladesh are sold in developed nations for five to ten times their imported price.

Collaboration of a native private garment industry, Desh Company, with a Korean company, Daewoo is an important instance of international garment chain that works as one of the grounds of the expansion of garment industry in Bangladesh. Daewoo Corporation of South Korea, as part of its global policies, took interest in Bangladesh when the Chairman, Kim Woo-Choong, offered an aspiring joint venture to the Government of Bangladesh, which included the growth and process of tyre, leather goods, and cement and garment factories. The Desh-Daewoo alliance was decisive in terms of getting into the global apparel markets at significant juncture, when import reforming was going on in this market following the signing of MFA in 1974. Daewoo, a South Korean leading exporter of garments, was in search of opportunities in nations, which had hardly used their quotas. Due to the quota restriction for Korea after MFA, the export of Daewoo became limited. Bangladesh as an LDC got the chance to export without any constraint and for this cause Daewoo was concerned with the use of Bangladesh for their market. The purpose behind this need was that Bangladesh would rely on Daewoo for importing raw materials and at the same time Daewoo would get the market in Bangladesh. When the Chairman of Daewoo displayed interest in Bangladesh, the country’s President put him in touch with chairman of Desh Company, an ex-civil servant who was seeking more entrepreneurial pursuits.

To fulfil this wish, Daewoo signed a collaboration contract with Desh Garment for five years. The contract also incorporated the fields of technical training, purchase of machinery and fabric, plant establishment and marketing in return for a specific marketing commission on all exports by Desh during the contract phase. Daewoo also imparted an exhaustive practical training of Desh employees in the working atmosphere of a multinational company. Daewoo keenly helped Desh in buying machinery and fabrics. Some technicians of Daewoo arrived Bangladesh to establish the plant for Desh. The end result of the association of Desh-Daewoo was important. In the first six years of its business, i.e. 1980/81-86/87, Desh export value increased at an annual average rate of 90%, reaching more than $5 million in 1986/87.

It is claimed that the Desh-Daewoo alliance is a significant element for the growth and achievement of Bangladesh’s entire garment export industry. After getting linked with Daewoo’s brand names and marketing network, overseas buyers went on with buying garments from the corporation heedless of their origin. Out of the opening trainees most left Desh Company at several times to erect their own competing garment companies, worked as a way of moving knowledge all through the whole garment sector.

It is essential to identify the outcomes of the process of moving production from high pay to low pay nations for both developing and developed nations. It is a bare fact that most of the Third World nations are now on the way to industrialisation. In this procedure, workers are working under unfavourable working environment – minimal wages, unhealthy place of work, lack of security, no job guarantee, forced labour etc.

The route of globalisation is full of ups and downs for the developing nations. Relocations of comparatively mobile, blue-collar production from industrialized to developing nations, in some circumstances, can have troublesome effects on social life if – in the absence of efficient planning and talks between international organisations and the government and/or organisations of the host nation – the transferred action encourages urban-bound relocation and its span of stay is short. Another negative result is that the rise in employment and/or income is not expected to be satisfactorily large and extensive to lessen inequality. In connection with the negative results of relocation of manufacturing on employment in developed countries, we realize that in comparatively blue-collar industries, the growing imports from developing nations lead to unavoidable losses in employment. It is held that development of trade with the South was a significant reason of the disindustrialisation of employment in the North over past few decades.

After all employees who are constantly working under unfavourable circumstances have to bear the brunt. Work is under-control across the Bangladesh garment sector. Appalling working atmosphere has been brought to light in the Bangladesh garment industry.

A research reveals that 90 percent of the garment employees went through illness or disease during the month before the interviews. Headache, anaemia, fever, chest, stomach, eye and ear pain, cough and cold, diarrhoea, dysentery, urinary tract infection and reproductive health problems were more common diseases. The garment factories gave bonus of different diseases to the employees for working. With a view to finding out a link between these diseases and industrial threats, health status of employees has been examined before and after coming in the garment work. At the end of examination, it was come out that about 75 percent of the garment workforce had sound health before they entered the garment factory. The reasons of health declines were industrial threats, unfavourable working environment, and want of staff facilities, inflexible terms and conditions of garment employment, workplace pressure, and low wages. Different work-related threats and their influence on health forced employees to leave the job after few months of joining the factory; the average length of service was only 4 years.

The garment sector is disreputable for fires, which are said to have claimed over 200 lives in the past two years, though exact figures are tough to find. A shocking instance of absence of workplace safety was the fire in November 2000, in which almost 50 workers lost their lives in Narsingdi as exist doors were closed.

From the above analysis of working atmosphere of garment sector, we can state that the working environment of most of the Third World nations, particularly Bangladesh remind us of earlier development of garment industries in the First World nations. The state of employment in many (not necessarily) textiles and clothing units in the developing nations take us back to those set up in the nineteenth century in Europe and North America. The mistreatment of garment employees in the birth period of the development of US garment factories reviewed above is more or less same as it seen now in the Bangladesh garment industry. Can we state that garment employees of the Third World nations living in the 21st century? Is it a return of the Sweatshop?

In a way, the Western companies are guilty of pitiable working atmosphere in the garment sector. The developed nations want to make more profit and therefore, force the developing nations to cut down the manufacturing cost. In order to survive in the competition, most of the developing nations select immoral practices. By introducing inflexible terms and conditions in the business, the global economy has left few alternatives for the developing nations.

Right Time to Make a Decision

There are two alternatives to tackle the challenge of the competitive world initiated by the continuous pressure of global garment chain. One can continue to exist in the competition by adopting time-honoured work systems or immoral practices. But it is uncertain how long they can continue to exist. In connection with the garment industry of Bangladesh, we can say that this is the right time to follow a competitive policy, which improves quality. If the MFA opportunities are eliminated, will it be feasible to keep the competitiveness through low-wage-female labour or through further drop in female wages? Possibly not. Since the labour charges are so minimal that with such wage, a worker is not able to maintain even a family of two members. Enhancing the efficiency of female workers is the only solution to increased competition. Proper education and thorough training can help achieve these positive results. To rule the global market, Bangladesh has to come out of low wage and low output complex in the garment industry. Bangladesh can enhance labour output through constant training, use of upgraded technology and better working environment. Bangladesh should plan a strategy intended for promoting skill development, speeding up technology transfer and improving productivity height of the workers.

Another method is to adopt best system or ethical course. Those companies, which react to heightened competition by stressing quality, speedy answer of the customers, fair practices for labourers should have the most innovative practices. We think that we are now living in the age of competition in producing improved quality over cost-reduction policy. The objective of change efforts at the workplace has been modified over the time – from making the job humane in the 1960s, to job satisfaction and output in 1970s, to quality and competitiveness in the 1980s. It is necessary for a company to pursue a competitive policy that improves quality, flexibility, innovation and customer care. If they rely on low costs by dropping labourers’ wages and other services, they will be bereaved of labourers’ dedication to work.

Strength

. Considerable Qualified/keen to learn workforce available at low labour charges. The recommended minimum average wages (which include Travelling Allowance, House Rent, Medical Allowance, Maternity Benefit, Festival Bonus and Overtime Benefit) in the units within the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones (BEPZ) are given as below; on the other hand, outside the BEPZ the wages are about 40% lower:

. Energy at low price

. Easily accessible infrastructure like sea road, railroad, river and air communication

. Accessibility of fundamental infrastructure, which is about 3 decade old, mainly established by the Korean, Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese industrialists.

. FDI is legally permitted

. Moderately open Economy, particularly in the Export Promotion Zones

. GSP under EBA (Everything But Arms) for Least Developed Country applicable (Duty free to EU)

. Improved GSP advantages under Regional Cumulative

. Looking forward to Duty Free Excess to US, talks are on, and appear to be on hopeful track

. Investment assured under Foreign Private Investment (Promotion and Protection) Act, 1980 which secures all foreign investments in Bangladesh

. OPIC’s (Overseas Private Investment Corporation, USA) insurance and finance agendas operable

. Bangladesh is a member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) under which protection and safety measures are available

. Adjudication service of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) offered

. Excellent Tele-communications network of E-mail, Internet, Fax, ISD, NWD & Cellular services

. Weakness of currency against dollar and the condition will persist to help exporters

. Bank [email protected] 7% for financing exports

. Convenience of duty free custom bonded w/house

. Readiness of new units to enhance systems and create infrastructure accordant with product growth and fast reactions to circumstances

Weakness

. Lack of marketing tactics

. The country is deficient in creativity

. Absence of easily on-hand middle management

. A small number of manufacturing methods

. Low acquiescence: there is an international pressure group to compel the local producers and the government to implement social acquiescence. The US GSP may be cancelled and purchasing from US & EU may decrease significantly

. M/c advancement is necessary. The machinery required to assess add on a garment or increase competence are missing in most industries.

. Lack of training organizations for industrial workers, supervisors and managers.

. Autocratic approach of nearly all the investors

. Fewer process units for textiles and garments

. Sluggish backward or forward blending procedure

. Incompetent ports, entry/exit complicated and loading/unloading takes much time

. Speed money culture

. Time-consuming custom clearance

. Unreliable dependability regarding Delivery/QA/Product knowledge

. Communication gap created by incomplete knowledge of English

. Subject to natural calamities

Opportunity

. EU is willing to establish industry in a big way as an option to china particularly for knits, including sweaters

. Bangladesh is included in the Least Developed Countries with which US is committed to enhance export trade

. Sweaters are very economical even with china and is the prospect for Bangladesh

. If skilled technicians are available to instruct, prearranged garment is an option because labour and energy cost are inexpensive.

. Foundation garments for Ladies for the FDI promise is significant because both, the technicians and highly developed machinery are essential for better competence and output

. Japan to be observed, as conventionally they purchase handloom textiles, home furniture and garments. This section can be encouraged and expanded with continued progress in quality

Threat

. The exporters have to prepare themselves to harvest the advantages offered by the opportunities.

Dyestuff Industry In India And China

World demand for dyes and organic pigments to touch $10.6 billion in 2008

According to a study on dyes & organic pigments, the worldwide demand for organic colourants (dyes and organic pigments) is projected to increase at $10.6 billion in 2008 form 4.9 per cent annually in 2003.

Generally, the dyestuff industry comprises three sub-segments, namely dyes, pigment and intermediates. The dye intermediates are petroleum downstream products which are further processed into finished dyes and pigments. These are important sources in major industries like textiles, plastics, paints, paper and printing inks, leather, packaging sector etc.

Leading players in dyes

Textile dyes have been used since the Bronze Age. They also constitute a prototype 21st-century specialty chemicals market. Three large manufacturers namely DyStar, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Clariant are leaders in the dyes market. The biggest, DyStar, was established in a series of mergers of some of Europe’s leading textile dye businesses in the 1990s. Worldwide excess capacity and price burden, fueled by the immediate growth of Asian manufacturers, have shifted most dyestuff chemistries into commodities. Regulatory barriers have nearly stopped the progress of the opening of fundamentally new dyestuffs. Despite this DyStar, Ciba Specialty Chemicals and Clariant have grown over the past 10 years with innovative products and new chemistry is being set to endure reactive and dispersant dyes as well as in older dyestuffs such as sulfur dyes.

In 2001 the biggest individual company market shares in colourant production were DyStar (23%), Ciba (14%), Clariant (7%), Yorkshire Group (5%), Japanese (5%) and other traditional groups (3%)., and various dyestuff manufacturers comprise the largest group at 43%.

The only way to growth and to keep Asian bulk dyestuff manufacturers at bay, they say, comes straight out of specialty chemicals strategy to distinguish product offerings through collaborative work with customers and charge a premium price for particular products that gives a perfect solution. This is an effective method, provided that these suppliers produce in China, India, Pakistan, and Brazil as well as in the U.S. and Europe, and that most of the textile producers aim to maintain uniform quality and product performance across worldwide.

Europe is facing the problem of overcapacity of about 30 to 40 per cent in the market from Asia, especially China. But, experts believe, Asian manufacturers manufacture a limited number of low-cost, basic dyestuffs. Most of experts of this field believe that growth lies in innovation and differentiation. Though, of the 180,000-ton-per-year worldwide market for dispersed dyes, specialty dyes consist only about 5,000 tons.

DyStar is a major manufacturer of reactive dyes, which were developed 50 years ago at ICI. DyStar was recently purchased by Platinum Equity, is made up of the dyes business of the original ICI, as well as those of Bayer, BASF and Hoechst. DyStar has developed deep-shade dyes for polyesters. New chemistries are emerging for controlling staining from azo and anthraquinone dyes, including thiophene-based azo dyes. DyStar has also developed benzodifuranone dyes for heavy red shades. It modified azo dyes to keep up their performance when applied with the new detergents. The company also set up secrecy agreements with the leading detergent producers to test new detergent chemistry and do the required dye reformulation proactively. It has added the number of reactive groups in its fluoroaromatic Levafix CA reactive dyes. The company has also been functioning on strengthening the chromophore or color component of the dye for improved lightfastness.

Recently, DyStar has made new red dye for cellulosic fibers, Indanthren Deep Red C-FR Plus, is a new speciality dye for medium to heavy shades of red and Bordeaux, suitable for the coloration of cellulosics on continuous and yarn dyeing units as well as cellulosic/polyamide blends. DyStar Textilfarben GmbH has also introduced the classic cold pad batch dyeing process (cpb). Key developments in cold pad batch technology were started in 1957 and are still ongoing:

-Development of dosing pumps (Hoechst)

– Introduction of sodium silicate as a fixing alkali (Hoechst)

– Development of microwave and oven lab fixation method (Hoechst)

– Mathematical determination of pad liquor stability under practical conditions (Hoechst) —

Optidye CR (DyStar)

– Development of silicate free alkali systems (DyStar)

The dyestuffs industry of China

In the first half of 2005, China gained a growth of 4 per cent in dyes and 11 per cent in organic pigment output. A report stated that China’s demand for dyes and pigments is expected to increase at 12 per cent annually by 2008 and output of dyes and pigments will rise by 13 per cent annually by 2008.

According to statistics, in 2004, the production volume of dyeing stuffs and pigments in China reached 598,300 tons and 143,600 tons, an increment of 10.4 per cent and 13.3 per cent over that of the previous year. The total imports and exports of dyeing stuffs and pigments were projected to be 291,200 tons and 138,800 tons; an increase of 10.64 per cent and 16.15 per cent over the same time the previous year. Hence, China has developed to be a large manufacturer, consumer and dealer of dyeing materials, pigments and dyeing auxiliary.

China becomes top importer for Bangladesh

During July-September 2005 Bangladesh imported dyes and chemical (combined) worth 3.73 billion taka ($57.5 million) from China against 2.53 billion taka ($38.9 million) from India.

DyStar expands China facility

Recently DyStar has announced to invest around USD 55 million in a new textile dyes facility at Nanjing to extend its production base in China and step up its focus on this key growth market. Situated about 300 kilometres north-west of Shanghai, Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province, a key area for textile production. It will be DyStar’s third production unit in China, alongside Wuxi, where the production capacity was tripled last year, and Qingdao. This new production site will increase their growth in China. At the same time it will strengthen their international competitiveness and boost market leadership. This investment is a clear sign that DyStar is continuing to invest in its core business and will remain a reliable partner for the textile industry in the long term.

At the new production complex in Nanjing, DyStar will produce dyes for cellulosic and synthetic fibres. In-built flexibility will permit the manufacture of other dyes and extension of the infrastructure in line with requirements. That means DyStar will be able to respond quickly to the rising demand in China. The inauguration of the first plant is scheduled in the first half of 2006.

Indian dyestuff industry

In India the dyestuff industry supplies its majority of the production to the textile industry. Huge of amounts exports of dyes and pigments from India are also done to the textile industry in Europe, South East Asia and Taiwan.

Currently, the Indian dyestuff industry is completely self-dependable for producing the products locally. India presently manufactures all kinds of synthetic dyestuffs and intermediates and has its strong holds in the natural dyestuff market. India has come up as a global supplier of dyestuffs and dye intermediates, mainly for reactive, acid, vat and direct dyes. India has a share of approximately 6 per cent of the world production in dyestuff products.

Structure of dyestuff industry in India

The Indian dyestuff industry has been in existence since about 40 years, though a few MNCs established dyestuff units in the pre independence era. Like the other chemical industry, the dyestuff industry is also widely scattered. The industry is functioning by the co-existence of a few manufacturers in the organised sector (around 50 units) and a large number of small producers (around 1,000 units) in the unorganised sector.

The spreading of these units is slanted towards the western region (Maharashtra and Gujarat) accounting to 90 per cent. In fact, about 80 per cent of the total capacity is in the state of Gujarat, where there are about 750 units.

There has been a huge development in the dyestuff industry during the last decade. This has happened due to the Government’s concessions (excise and tax concessions) to small-scale units and export opportunities generated by the closure of several units in countries like the USA and Europe (due to the implementation of strict pollution control norms). The duty concessions provided to small-scale producers had given in the large ones becoming uncompetitive to some extent. Price competition was strong in the lower segments of the market. Liberalisation of the economy and large-scale reduction of duties have given the decrement of margins for smaller producers. Closing of many small-scale units in Gujarat due to environmental reasons has also helped the organised sector players to grow further.

Over six hundred varieties of dyes and organic pigments are now being produced in India (both by the organised and the unorganised sector). But the per-capita consumption of dyestuffs is less than the world average. Dyes are soluble and basically applied textile products. Pigments, on the other hand, are insoluble and are main sources of products such as paints.

During the past few years, the dyestuff industry was overwhelmed by a series of fast changing upshots in the international platform. The largest market for dyestuffs has been the textile industry. The hold of polyester and cotton in the global markets has positively created the demand for some kinds of dyestuffs. Furthermore, the demand for polyamides, acrylics, cellulose and wool has been close to stagnant. Discrepancy in the regional growth rates of textile products too influences demand. The Asian region has seen the highest development in textile production, followed by North America, Latin America and Western Europe. This shows the change in the global textile industry towards Asia. Subsequently, Asia offers dyestuff production both in terms of volumes and value, with about a 42 per cent share of the global production; the US is next with 24 per cent and Europe has around 22 per cent. Due to a wide use of polyester and cotton-based fabrics, there has been a change towards reactive dyes, applied in cotton-based fabrics, and disperses dyes used in polyester. These two dyes have been leading in all the three regional global market, particularly Asia. Moreover, the change in textile application pattern and regional developments is the amount of over capacity in the global dyestuff industry.

Within India, the leading producers in the pigments industry are Colour Chem and Sudarshan Chemicals while in the dyestuff industry the major players in terms of market share are Atul, Clariant India, Dystar, Ciba Specialities and IDI. The Indian companies together account for nearly 6 per cent of the world production.

Almost 80 per cent of the dyestuffs are commodities. Since not much technology is used, copying of products is also easy as compared to specialties. Though in the recent past, there have been efforts by global producers, with some achievement, to shift to the specialty end of the product profile. Vat dyes have always performed as specialty products, with technology working as a vital function. Now companies are focusing on the higher end of the reactive dyes segment. The inclination is now changing from supplying mere products to colour package solutions. More importance is given to innovation, production range, quality and environmental friendly products. Manufacturers are collaborating with equipment producers to offer integrated solutions rather than products.

Fiscal policies and modification in the application pattern of the global dyestuff industry have revolutionized the market shares of Indian companies. Excise concessions for the small-scale sector in the mid and the late 1980s generated many units in Maharashtra and Gujarat. At one point of time, there were in the unorganised sector nearly 1,000 units, with most of them situated in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Though, since the early 1990s, there has been seen an ongoing decrement in the excise duty rates applicable to the organised sector. From 25 per cent in 1993-94, the excise duty rates were decreased to 20 per cent in 1994-95, and 18 per cent in 1997-98 and further decreased these rates to 16 per cent.

This continuing decrement in the duty rates smoothened the competitive edge of the unorganised sector. The organised sector, with high product range, technology and marketing reach was capable to raise its market share. But more noteworthy changes have gained through the German ban on many dyestuffs, enforced to the local pollution control laws. While the organised sector has been capable to regulating the manufacturing of dyes based on the 20 banned amines by the German legislation, many in the unorganised sector were moved out. This was amalgam by the local pollution laws, which need to establish the effluent treatment plants, and drive out companies in the unorganised sector.

The capacity and production of dyes and dye stuff was 54,000 MT and 26,000 MT respectively in the year 2003-04. The capacity and production of dyes and dye stuff was 54,000 MT and 26,000 MT correspondingly in the year 2003-04. The small scale units offer major share in dyestuff production while large units focus producing dyestuff intermediates.

Disperse and Reactive dyes represent the greatest product segments in the country covering about 45 per cent of dyestuff consumption. In the coming time, both these segments will lead the dyestuff market with disperse dyes possibly to have the greatest contribution followed by reactive dyes. These two segments will hold a greatest share in order to lead textile and synthetic fibers in dyestuff consumption. Vat segment is also projected to prove healthy growth in future.

Exports and Import of Dyestuffs

In the year 2004-2005 the exports of dyestuff industry has touched 1109 million US dollar. Exports of dyestuffs in the year 2000-01 reached to about Rs. 2365 crores and accounted to about 5 per cent of the total world trade of dyestuffs. The main markets for Indian dyestuffs are the European Union, U.S.A., Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Egypt. The following table provides data export and import of dyestuff during last few years.

Technology

The technology for dyestuff production changes largely from relatively simple (direct azo) to sophisticated (disperse and vat) dyes. Despite the fact that technology is locally available, most of it is out dated. The setback is further compounded by the fact that the nature of the process differs from batch to batch and, hence, managing the process parameters becomes complex.

The dyestuff industry is one of the largely polluting industries and this has lead to them closing down internationally or changing the units to the emerging economies. Majority of the international producers have shifted the technology to developing nations like China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. This shift of manufacturing capacities is because the industry is supposed to work as a high-cost and low return one. The batch processing also formulates it to a labour- intensive industry. Hence, the competitiveness of developing economies gets a boosts.

Though, in the past decade the Indian industry has made considerable development in terms of technology and production.

Restructuring

Restructuring of the Indian dyestuff industry which started a couple of years ago is still in progress. The movement was initiated by the market leader Colour-Chem Ltd. It has also come into a toll manufacturing agreement with Dystar India Ltd. There have been other arrangements, which would give improving capacity utilisation at manufacturing facilities and also to have better exposure of export markets.

Ciba India and IDI have signed a deal to market polyester and cellulose dyes. IDI has also started work with Ciba for the production and marketing of dyes and pigments. Atul products has received the acquisition of Zeneca’s 50 per cent stake in Atic Industries Ltd and started work with BAS, Germany to market 50 per cent of its manufacturing of vat dyes.

Hong Kong Clothing Industry

Overview

Textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005 in accordance with the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). However, resistance to quota removal spread in the US and EU. Subsequently, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively. The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, covers 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007.

On the other hand, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed in October 2005 to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met.

Hong Kong clothing companies are reputable for ODM and OEM production. They are able to deliver quality clothing articles in short lead time, as foreign importers and retailers request clothing suppliers to tighten up supply chain management to ensure the ordered merchandise reaching the store floor at the right time. Increasingly, Hong Kong clothing companies, the established ones in particular, have shown enthusiasm for brand promotion.

Hong Kong’s total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong’s re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the US and EU rose by 11% and 18% respectively. While Hong Kong’s clothing exports to Japan levelled off, those to the Chinese mainland declined by 11%.

Industry Features

The clothing industry is a major manufacturing sector of Hong Kong. Its gross output is one of the highest among all manufacturing sectors, amounting to HK$35.9 billion in 2003. It is the largest manufacturing employer in Hong Kong, with 1,673 establishments hiring 28,752 workers as of June 2005. It is also the leading earner in terms of domestic exports, taking up 40% of the total in the first 11 months of 2005.

Hong Kong’s geographic boundary has never constrained the development of the forward-looking clothing industry. The majority of clothing manufacturers have set up offshore production facilities in an attempt to reduce operation costs. Relocation of production facilities offshore has however resulted in a steady decline in the number of clothing manufacturers in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is not only a leading production centre but also a hub for clothing sourcing globally. Companies doing garment trade in Hong Kong are experienced in fabrics procurement, sales and marketing, quality control, logistic arrangements, clothing designs and international and national rules and regulations. The professionalism that they command and the combined services offered are not easily matched elsewhere. With a total of 15,190 establishments hiring 95,889 workers, they form the largest group involved in import-export trade in Hong Kong.

Performance of Hong Kong’s Exports of Clothing

Hong Kong’s total exports of clothing rose year-on-year by 9% in the first 11 months of 2005. While Hong Kong’s re-exports of clothing rose by 20%, domestic exports fell by 14%. The contrasting performance of Hong Kong’s re-exports and domestic exports was basically ascribed to the increasing relocation of garment manufacturing to the Chinese mainland, resulting from the removal of quotas under WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). But the declining trend of domestic exports has been reversed somewhat in recent months, due to the re-imposition of quantitative restraints on mainland-made textiles and clothing by the US and EU.

Retail sales in the US held firm in the first 11 months of 2005, rising by nearly 6% from the same period in the previous year. In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the US rose year-on-year by 11%.

In the first 11 months of 2005, Hong Kong’s total clothing exports to the EU surged year-on-year by 18%. Clothing exports to major EU markets like France, Germany and Italy recorded growth rates in excess of 20%.

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to Japan levelled off in the first 11 months of 2005 partly due to the trend of direct shipment. On the back of the rising income however, Japanese consumers tend to resume their spending spree on premium clothing items. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s clothing exports to the Chinese mainland dropped by 11% in the first 11 months of 2005, compared with the same period last year.

Product-wise, Hong Kong’s exports of woven wear rose by 12% in the first 11 months of 2005. While woven wear for women/girls grew by 13%, those for men/boys recorded a growth of 8% from the same period in the previous year. Knitted wear grew by 2%, with women/girls and men/boys rising by 1% and 6% respectively. While clothing accessories declined by 3%, other apparel articles, for their part, increased by 13%.

Sales Channels

Hong Kong’s clothing manufacturers have forged strong relationships with their customers. They are able to understand and cater for the preferences of very broad customer bases. Exporters also have good knowledge of international and national rules and regulations governing clothing exports, such as rules of origin, quota restrictions, tariff rates and documentation requirements. Cut, make and trim (CMT) arrangements are common although many Hong Kong manufacturers have moved to higher value-added activities such as design and brand development, quality control, logistics and material sourcing.

A few well-established local manufacturers have entered into the retailing business, either locally or in overseas markets. Many of them have retail networks in major cities around the world including Beijing, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo. Some well-known manufacturing retailers include Baleno, Bossini, Crocodile, Episode, Esprit, G-2000, Giordano, JEANSWEST, Moiselle and U-2.

As a global sourcing hub in Asia, Hong Kong attracts a number of international trading houses and major retailers. Buyers sourcing from Hong Kong include American and European department stores (e.g. Macy’s, JCPenney, Federated, Karstadt Quelle, C & A), discount stores (e.g., Sears, Target and Carrefour), specialty chains (e.g., The Gap, The Limited) and mail order houses (e.g. Otto and Great Universal Stores). Many international premium designer labels — such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Yves Saint Laurent — source clothes in Hong Kong through their buying offices or other intermediaries.

Hong Kong’s fashion designers have been gaining worldwide reputation for their professional expertise, sensitivity to current trends and ability to blend commercialism with innovation. Medium to high-priced fashion clothing bearing Hong Kong designer labels is being sold/have been sold in renowned department

stores overseas such as Bloomingdale’s, C & A, Harrod’s, Isetan, Macy’s, Marui, Mitsukoshi, Nieman Marcus and Seibu.

Trade fairs and exhibitions remain common places for buyers and suppliers of clothing to congregate. To establish connections and explore market opportunities, Hong Kong manufacturers and traders have involved themselves actively in international shows led by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), including the ones in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris and Tokyo. ‘Hong Kong Fashion Week’ is organised twice a year and attracts international suppliers and buyers to participate in the exhibition. Organised by TDC, ‘World Boutique, Hong Kong’ is the first independent event in Hong Kong dedicated to promoting designers’ collection and brands from around the world.

Industry Trends

Changes in retail landscape: In the US and EU, large-scale retailers are undergoing drastic restructuring and consolidation, in particular, the growing prominence of hypermarkets such as Wal-Mart. To strengthen competitiveness, Sears and Kmart have merged to form the third largest retail group in the US.

Growing importance of private labels: Private labels, in essence, have become an increasingly effective marketing tool among garment retailers. In order to differentiate as well as upgrade the image of their products, major retailers have started to put a stronger emphasis on their own labels. According to Cotton Incorporated, private labels accounted for 45% of total US apparel sales in 2003, up from 39% in 2001. In some adult apparel categories, such as skirts, private labels accounted for as high as 76% of the total sales. It is also estimated that 45% of products sold in the EU are sold under private labels. Renowned retailers such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Orsay, Palmers, Pimkie, Springfield and Kookai have owned their private labels. As consumers desire to have private labels on everyday garments like jeans, accessories and T-shirts, the doors are also open to the supply of these clothing items to private label owners.

Growing interest in China’s domestic market: The rapid expansion of mainland’s economy has attracted great interest of Hong Kong clothing companies to explore its clothing market. A TDC survey on mainland’s garment shoppers indicates that Hong Kong brands are ranked number one by the respondents in the mid-range segment. While international brands are most preferred in the high-end segment, mainland brands dominate the low-end. In addition, the same survey finds out that in the eyes of mainland consumers, Hong Kong companies are very strong in casual wear, as they are generally of good design and quality. In essence, many mainland consumers have developed a stronger awareness of Hong Kong brands through tour to and shopping in Hong Kong. Therefore, Hong Kong’s casual wear has successfully projected a positive image to mainland consumers.

CEPA

On 18 October 2005, the mainland and Hong Kong agreed to further liberalise the mainland market for Hong Kong companies under the third phase of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA III). Along with other products of Hong Kong origin, the mainland agreed to give all products of Hong Kong origin, including clothing items, tariff-free treatment starting from 1 January 2006. According to the stipulated procedures, products which have no existing CEPA rules of origin, will enjoy tariff-free treatment upon applications by local manufacturers and upon the CEPA rule of origins being agreed and met. But non-Hong Kong made clothing products will remain subject to tariff rates of 10-25% when entering the mainland.

The promulgated rules of origin for clothing items to benefit from CEPA’s tariff preference are basically similar to the existing rules governing Hong Kong’s exports of these products. Generally speaking, the principal manufacturing process of cut-and-sewn garment is sewing of parts into garments. If linking and/or stitching is/are required, such process/processes must also be done in Hong Kong. For piece-knitted garment, if it is manufactured from yarn, the principal process is knitting of yarn into knit-to-shape panel.

If the piece-knitted garment is manufactured from knit-to-shape-panels, the principal process is linking of knit-to-shape panels into garment. If stitching is required, it must also be done in Hong Kong.

Trade Measures Affecting Exports of Clothing

According to the ATC, textile quotas were eliminated among WTO members at the first day of 2005. However, resistance to quota removal spread in the US and EU. Particularly in the US, China-specific safeguards on 10 categories of clothing items from China were invoked. Against this background, China reached agreements with the EU and the US in June and November 2005 respectively.

The China-US agreement, effective from January 2006, governs the exports of a total of 21 groups involving 34 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing products to the US during 2006-2008. It allows an annual growth of 10-15% in 2006, 12.5-16% in 2007 and 15-17% in 2008. The China-EU agreement, effective from June 2005, provides for an annual growth of 8-12.5% in 10 categories of Chinese textiles and clothing exports to the EU during 2005-2007. In addition, both EU and US agreed to exercise restraint in invoking China-specific safeguard against Chinese textiles and clothing that are not covered in the agreements.

Product Trends

Formal Dressing: While casual wear accounts for the bulk of clothing sales, a general trend towards stricter corporate dress codes has led to a rising demand for formal dressing, particularly suits. According to a survey by Cotton Incorporated in late 2004/early 2005, 38.5% of respondents believe that people dressed too casually at work. This is a 6.5 percentage point increase over the same year-ago.

Teenager: One of the major driving forces of clothing market appears to be the teenagers in the coming years. The number of teenagers in the US expects to increase from 31.6 million in 2001 to 34.1 million in 2010. A recent survey by Teenage Research Unlimited found that teens are saving money by value shopping. While JCPenney is their favourite department store, Target and Wal-mart are their favourite hypermarkets. In addition, Old Navy is their choices among specialty apparel stores.

Silver Market: Ageing population becomes a common phenomenon in many developed countries in Europe as well as Japan and the US. Elderly people constitute a major market segment called ‘silver market’. Supported by savings, social security benefits and pensions, many elderly people have rather strong spending power. It is estimated that the age group of 65 year and above accounted for about 21% of Japan’s consumption expenditure in 2000. A survey conducted by the Japanese government also shows that people who are 60 years old and above possess almost three times the financial assets of those in the 40-50 age group. In the US, those aged at or above 65 amounted to 18.1 million in 2001, and the number is expected to swell to 26 million in 2015.

Plus-size Market: The plus-size market has been an area of growth for many years, and the trend is expected to continue in the coming future. It is estimated that 65 million women in the US wear size 14 or above. This group represents one-half of the US female population. It is reported that some renowned brands have already responded to the trend by offering merchandise of larger size; these companies include Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

Easy-care Clothes: Clothes made of stain-resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are well received in the market. It is estimated that about a quarter of apparel is now made of easy-care fabrics, and its popularity is expected to continue in the next few years. While major apparel brands like Dockers and Liz Claiborne have already marketed extensively easy-care clothes, major hypermarkets, like Wal-Mart, also offer more merchandise of such quality.

Source: Hong Kong Trade Development Council