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August 15, 2005
Women's Wear Journal
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US & China To Meet
Over Textiles On Tuesday
The US plans on meeting with China on Tuesday to discuss an agreement on restricting the latter’s textiles
David Spooner, the US’s chief textile negotiator, will lead the US delegation for two days’ worth of
Spooner said: "Our aim next week is to seek a long-term solution.
"The administration will utilize its World Trade Organization rights to level
the playing field for American workers", he said.
US textile companies are pushing for a comprehensive set of safeguard quotas to replace the World Trade
Organization restrictions that ended at the beginning of 2005.
China shipped textiles and clothing totaling $15 billion to the US in 2004 –
a figure expected to be increased by over 60% this year.
The country has already surpassed agreed limits set on exports of sweaters, underwear and trousers.
25 Apparel Parks Planned
The Indian government is planning to establish 25 Apparel Parks for
Exports to boost India’s competitive edge over the next two years.
The parks, which will be set up at or near to textile industry centers, have
been given the go-ahead by The Ministry of Textiles.
13 parks are already being set up, with ten more planned within the next year. Each park, which will create
approximately 20 thousand jobs, is due to get a 40% subsidy from the Center
for creation of necessary infrastructure facilities.
The scheme is hoped to enhance India’s competitive edge in the challenging post-quota textiles industry.
A Vision Statement from the Ministry’s specialists committee has determined a textiles export goal of $80
billion by 2010.
Rumors that Gap Will Go
Analyst speculation is building that apparel giant Gap
Inc may be taken private.
Rumors suggest that the US company may be bought by its management for a cash bid.
Gap Inc, which operates the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy apparel chains, has seen slow sales in recent
Isabelle Fiorentino, models Lycra underwear from the
Fruit La Passion designer brand in Sao Paulo
Hong Kong's Exports Down
Hong Kong’s textiles exports fell 26% to HKD5.78 billion
during the second quarter of 2005, according to the Census and Statistics Department.
Apparel exports dropped by 51.7% to HKD3.85bn.Net domestic exports decreased 6.8% to HKD27.65bn during
the period, statistics said.
China Against Textile Probes
China “strongly opposes” the US’s decision to probe five
extra types of its textiles goods, on the grounds that it encourages exploitation of restrictive
measures already in place.
Chong Quan, spokesman for the Beijing-based Ministry of Commerce, said: 'The move encourages the American
textile industry to abuse trade restraining measures against Chinese textiles and is against the free trade
concepts of the World Trade Organization.
"We hope that the US side will treat such applications prudently and China
reserves the right under the WTO framework to take further measures"
The US has already imposed safeguard quotas on seven types of Chinese textiles since the international quota
system expired at the start of 2005, leading to a surge in exports of many categories of goods.
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements said that it was launching investigations
into five more exports of Chinese textile goods, and that it would consider applying restrictions on them if
Chong added, however, the Ministry’s appreciates the US’s attempts to find a mutually pleasing answer to the
ongoing trade feud with China.
M&S Cuts Ladies' Wear Prices
Struggling high-street chain Marks & Spencer is slashing
the prices of its cheapest ladies’ wear collections in a ploy to boost its competitive edge.
M&S, which is battling to rival stores such as Next, has cut prices for the autumn and winter 2005 seasons by up
to 25% in an attempt to pull in the crowds.
Some lines have had double-digit reductions applied, while other discounts include a cotton T-shirt down from
£9 to £6.
Chief executive Stuart Rose is currently striving to push up the company’s underlying sales, which have been
flagging recently due to increased market competition and a general loss of
favor on the high street.
MED To Set Up Production
Greek underwear and swimwear producer MED plans to spend
up to €600,000 on setting up a production unit in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
MED hopes that the new facilities will help it double its 500,000 yearly production capability over the coming
The unit, which will be 2,500 square meters big, is planned to be completed within the first quarter of next
MED is also planning to open stores in Sofia and Bucharest and to expand into Cyprus next year.
Diana... Now Introducing Business
Li & Fung Acquires Briefly
Trading company Li & Fung Limited has reported the
acquisition of US garment company Briefly Stated Inc on the back of a 23% first-half net profit hike.
Li & Fung is buying the company for $124 million in a deal aimed at enhancing its brand licensing strategy.
Briefly Stated is a licensed apparel company that focuses on sleepwear, underwear, T-shirts and jackets.
Li & Fung said first-half profit totaled HK$618m compared to HK$502m for the same period in 2004, mostly
from contributions from newly bought businesses.
Net turnover for the first-half period rose 19% to HK$23.5 billion compared with the HK$19.7bn reported a
The company expects the good trading seen so far this year to continue throughout the rest of 2005
Nine Chinese Shoe Makers
The Chinese Leather Association is currently in negotiations with nine
leather footwear companies that are being probed as a sample survey in EU anti-dumping
investigations, Chinese media reports said.
The association says it is working with the businesses in order to give feedback to the EU, which made the
decision to launch investigations earlier this month.
According to the reports, the sample incorporates five companies based in the Guangdong Province, two in the
Fujian Province, one in the Zhejiang Province and one in the Liaoning Province
All nine are large-scale providers of shoes to buyers domestically and overseas.
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