44 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 44                                                                                16 November 2018

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SGS Help Textile Businesses Understand China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative

As Chine continues investing in its ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, linking China with Europe, SGS expert, Craig Zhang, looks at the opportunities this dynamic vision affords to textile manufacturers.

China’s President Xi Jinping proposed the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative in 2013, bringing together the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road into one global trade and development initiative. It was designed to foster connectivity and cooperation between China and the rest of Eurasia, linking East Asia’s vibrant economic circle with the developed economies of Europe, and give countries along the routes the opportunity to benefit from the initiative’s huge potential for economic growth.

The two routes are:

  • Silk Road Economic Belt – links China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central and West Asia, connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean
  • 21st-century Maritime Silk Road – goes from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other

This growing enterprise currently incorporates 71 countries, including China. These are:

  • Asia-Oceania Region: Mongolia, Korea, New Zealand, Timor-Leste, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam
  • Central Asia Region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
  • West Asia Region: Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain
  • South Asia Region: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
  • East Europe Region: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia
  • Africa and Latin America Region: South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Panama, Egypt

‘Belt and Road’ is and will have a major impact on Chinese and global textile trading and China is investing heavily in large projects associated with the initiative. Examples of these investments include:

  • The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
  • A port city in Sri Lanka
  • A high-speed railway in Indonesia
  • Textile plant in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia – USD 220 million investment, being built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)

In China, the province of Xinjiang, the first stop along the Belt, invested around CNY 450 billion (USD 66 billion) in infrastructure in 2017, and this is projected to rise by 50 percent year-on-year. 700 freight trains left the province’s capital, Urumqi, for Europe that year, a figure that is expected to double in 2018 – Xinjiang is to be a hub for the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

The initiative is leading to growth in both imports and exports. In 2017, the import and export volume between China and ‘Belt and Road’ countries reached USD 1,440 billion, up 13.4% from 2016 and accounting for 36.2% of China’s total import and export trade. Chinese exports to ‘Belt and Road’ countries now account for 34.1% of its total exports, growing annually by 8.5% and worth around USD 774 billion. Imports are now worth USD 666 billion, rising annually by 19.8% and now accounting for 39.0% of China’s total imports – the first time in five years imports outgrew exports.

Textiles are an important part of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and Chinese trade. China’s main exporters in the apparel and clothing accessories market, excluding knitted and crochet, are all ‘Belt and Road’ countries – Korea 22%, Russian 25%, and Kyrgyzstan 15%. The initiative offers several opportunities to manufacturers, especially as wage levels rise in China and companies look to move operations to lower-cost regions like South and Southeast Asia.

China has, itself, become a major consumer of imported goods. In 2010 it became the world’s second-biggest economy, bringing improvements to living standards and increased demands for high-end imported products. To encourage this, China held its first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai (November 5 to 10, 2018), bringing together over 2,800 companies from 130 territories, including over 200 businesses on the Fortune Global 500 list and more than 160,000 purchasers from over 80,000 companies.

This event demonstrates China’s willingness to ‘open-up’ to the world and is seen as a significant move by the government in its promotion of trade liberalization and economic globalization. Over 50 countries along the “Belt and Road” confirmed participation in the event, which is expected to act as a catalyst to further growth. In addition, all G20 members, accounting for around 85% of the gross world product (GWP) and 80% of world trade, will also be attending the event.

On January 11, 2018, the Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative issued its “Action Plan on Belt and Road Standard Connectivity (2018-2020)”. This document defines the initiative’s goals, including the development of standards with open and inclusive features to facilitate exchange and mutual evaluation, interconnection and result sharing. It will bring greater harmony between Chinese standards and foreign/international standards, as China sees standardization as having a fundamental and strategic role in promoting the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

Open standards and increased harmonization will:

  • Promote the interconnection of policies, facilities, trade, funds and public perception
  • Facilitate technical communication and cooperation along the ‘Belt and Road’ through globalization of Chinese standards
  • Improve compatibility for standard’s systems in ‘Belt and Road’ countries through mutual recognition
  • Enhance Chinese standard’s brand through contribution to the construction of the ‘Belt and Road’

With state-of-the-art laboratories throughout the world, including in ‘Belt and Road’ countries like India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Poland, SGS can offer high capacity, quick turnaround times, and expertise in helping textile manufacturers benefit from the opportunities afforded by the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.

About SGS 

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Ralph Lauren is named an honorary knight

By Godfrey Deeny

Add an honorary knighthood to designer Ralph Lauren’s already lengthy list of titles.

The American fashion designer has been named honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, joining a very illustrious club of very famous non-Brits.

As he does not have a British passport, Lauren cannot use the moniker of Sir, but instead may affix KBE to his name. Ralph joins such hallowed non-UK company as Bono, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, and Michael Bloomberg. Lauren KBE expects to receive his new insignia next year from a representative of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lauren is the first ever American fashion designer to be recognized with an honorary knighthood. Other notable American recipients of an honorary UK knighthoods include former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.

In Britain, fashion luminaries such as Paul Smith, Hardy Amies and Norman Hartnell have all been knighted by the current monarch for services to fashion.

All British honors are awarded on merit, and honorary awards are conferred by The Queen on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was founded in 1917.

Back in 2010, Ralph received the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris in recognition of his contributions as a designer, business leader and philanthropist in the fight against cancer. That honor was presented to him in Paris by Nicolas Sarkozy. He has also received the keys to the city of New York; and multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers in New York and the British Fashion Council in London.

Without question America’s single most influential designer, Lauren celebrated his 50th anniversary show in September in Central Park attended by everyone from Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey to Bruce Springsteen and Tony Bennett.

That night, reflecting on his remarkable career, Lauren told FashionNetwork.com: “I never had any master plan. I just knew I had to work hard. I wanted to do my own thing and make a living so I could have a family. That’s all. I didn’t have a master plan. I was lucky. I am modest but arrogant. Maybe make that not arrogant, but self-confident.” Fashion Network

Jean Paul Gaultier Drops Fur, Calls Industry ‘Absolutely Deplorable”

By Lorraine Chow

Another top fashion designer has pledged to ditch animal fur.

During a live appearance on the French television channel Bonsoir!,Jean Paul Gaultier said will no longer use the material in his collections.

It’s a complete 180 for Gaultier. In his interview, the legendary designer admitted to using fur since he started working in fashion, but said he will stop because the way that animals are killed for their coats is “absolutely deplorable.”

Other luxury brands that have shed the material include Gucci, Versace, Burberry, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, according to Harper’s Bazaar. American brand Coach announced just last month it was phaAsing out fur.

Earlier this year, InStyle became the first major fashion magazine to ban fur from its pages.

“The tide is turning towards fur-free alternatives in the fashion industry, and we’re proud to be a part of it,” editor in chief Laura Brown wrote on Instagram..

Mimi Bekhechi, director of international program at PETA, said “corks are popping” about Gaultier’s decision. The animal rights group had pressured the designer to stop using fur for years.

“This decision is a sign of the times, as the vast majority of people want nothing to do with items that have come from animals who were caged and electrocuted or bludgeoned to death or caught in steel traps, many being left to die slowly from blood loss—which is the way coyotes are still being killed for the frivolous trim on Canada Goose’s jackets,” Bekhechi said in a press release. “Fur today is as dead as the poor animals it was stolen from, and any designers not clued up enough to see that may as well hang up their sewing needles now.”

Brands that still use animal fur in their collections include Fendi, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, according to The Independent. Eco Watch

SACTWU hosts successful 43rd annual Spring Queen fashion pageant

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has successfully hosted the 43rd version of its popular Annual Spring Queen Fashion Pageant event last night, at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

According to ticket turnstiles- and suite hire information records, a total of 6 619 people attended the event, excluding the 68 Fashion Pageant participants themselves. This is the second largest attendance since the event was first hosted at the Athlone Stadium in 2015, after it was unceremoniously forced by the City of Cape Town to move from our historic venue, the Goodhope Centre, where we had originally staged the event for over 40 years.

The Spring Queen Fashion Pageant is SACTWU W Cape’s premier local procurement promotion event, for the advancement of the local fashion manufacturing industry and the promotion of local jobs.

Last night’s event featured local artists and locally made fashion, in a glitzy and slick presentation. Artists included the Rockets, Lady Zamar and past winners of “SACTWU’s Own Talent” competition.

Thousands of workers attended last night, to cheer on their factory queen and to show their support for our trade union’s “Buy local” campaign.

The main winner was 25-old Yolandri August, who was crowned SACTWU Spring Queen 2018. She works as a quality order at Prestige Clothing in Caledon.

The total list of final winners were as follows:

Spring Queen 2018:  Yolandri August from Prestige Clothing
1st Princess            :   Tarryn Jooste from Kway
2nd Princess           :   Chancia Bailey from Reliance Clothing
Best Dressed          :   Colleen October from Keedo International
Miss Personality     :   Simone Hazell from White House

Other 2018 winners include:
‘SACTWU’s Own Talent’:     Jucyn Mentoor from Svenmill
Junior Spring Queen      :     Tharwah Fortune representing  Performance Brands

Issued by Andre Kriel SACTWU General Secretary

If further information is required, kindly contact Nazmia Leite on cell number 0721986061.

Did you know……..

In the 1950s, the average American household spent 11.5% of their income on clothing. Nowadays, Americans use around 3.5% of their income for clothes.

Queen Victoria was the first person to wear a white wedding dress. Prior to this, white had been used as a color of mourning.

However, the Chinese people still use white as a color for mourning. In the West, it now symbolizes purity

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