Issue 402 | January 13, 2017
Upcoming Training

February 6-10
Amsterdam, Netherlands
*Closed Course

February 16
Dhaka, Bangladesh

February 23-24
Shenzhen, China

February 27-28
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

The WRAP Blog
by: Russell Jowell

Welcome to The WRAP Weekly newsletter.  Feel free to look around and thank you for being a loyal reader.

Last week we certified 28 factories in 12 countries:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, and Vietnam.

As of the sending of this newsletter, there are 2,308 factories with current WRAP certificates around the world employing 2,075,773 workers.

WRAP's U.S. office will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day and on Friday, January 20 in observance of the U.S. Presidential inauguration.
This Week's Headlines
Mauritius begins "Speed-to-Market" manufacturing program
Upcoming Events

January 24-27, 2017
Orlando, Florida, USA

January 24-26
Medellin, Colombia

bangladeshReadymade garment exports from Bangladesh grew by 4.4% during the first half of FY 2016-17, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), to reach US$13.7 billion. EPB officials also say that exports actually dropped slightly in December on a year-on-year basis. Garment manufacturers in the country say they have received special government assistance recently as the country continues to cope from the effects of several recent terror attacks and heightened travel advisories from several Western countries. ( Just Style
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

Better compliance across Bangladesh's garment sector could increase readymade garment exports by nearly 10%, according to a new international report released by the Copenhagen Consensus Center and BRAC. The report noted that greater compliance reduces the probability of workplace accidents and cuts back on employee turnover, both of which can contribute to higher productivity. ( Financial Express / Copenhagen Consensus Center)

cambodiaQuestions are being raised about the health of Cambodia's garment industry following news of a higher than usual number of factory closures last year. Cambodia's Ministry of Labor said that it documented 141 factory closures last year, nearly double the amount recorded in 2015. Ministry officials also say they recorded 149 factory openings for the same period. While some observers say the large number of closures may be cause for concern, others say the greater number of openings means the industry is doing well. ( Phnom Penh Post)

The Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) says that the city's knitwear companies will begin focusing on using more recycled water in their operations. Speaking at a recent trade event, TEA General Secretary TR Vijaykumar noted that the industry uses upwards of 100 million gallons of water each day and that it is important for the sector to focus on reducing its environmental impact. He also says there will be a greater emphasis on using more eco-friendly dyes. ( Fibre2Fashion)

mauritiusMauritius textile and apparel exporters are set to receive a significant financial boost from a new government program aimed at increasing the country's speed-to-market and enhancing its competitiveness in the European market, including the United Kingdom. The new "Speed-to-Market" Scheme (STMS) will give textile and apparel manufacturers a 40% refund on air freight costs on European exports. Government officials say they are hopeful the new effort will provide growth to the country's exports, especially in light of the recent "Brexit" vote. ( Just Style)
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

The government of Pakistan has announced a new Rs. 180 billion (US$1.7 billion) package aimed at increasing the country's exports. The package includes the removal of customs duties and sales tax on the import of cotton and the removal of sales tax on imported textile machinery. The package will be in effect through June 30, 2018. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Sri Lanka
srilankaSri Lanka has regained membership to the European Union's GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences) trade program. In a statement, the European Commission said that it agreed to readmit the country if it also committed to implement a group of 27 international conventions on human rights, labor conditions, and environmental protections. The measure can still be questioned by the European Parliament for up to 4 months. ( Lanka Business Online)

United States
usimportsStatistics for U.S. apparel imports in November 2016 presented a mixed bag of results. According to the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), while imports declined when compared to October 2016, they actually posted a year-on-year increase in volume when compared to November 2015. Seven of the top ten supplier countries to the United States posted gains, with Bangladesh posting a double-digit increase. ( Just Style
*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

ralphlaurenFashion company Ralph Lauren has announced a new effort aimed at ensuring that only ethically produced wood-based products end up in their clothes. Rising cotton prices have increased the demand for alternative fibers like viscose, rayon, and modal in recent years, all of which are based on wood. The company says it wants to prevent buying from regions that destroy forests irresponsibly or violate human rights. ( Reuters)

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) says that goods exports to China have increased by over 500% since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). In its annual report to Congress looking at China's WTO compliance, the USTR notes that China is the United States' largest goods export market outside of North America and also represents a significant export market for services. ( Sourcing Journal) *NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX) says that it expects the value of export sales of garments to grow by 12% this year. In a statement, the group noted that it also expects an uptick in production value as well and that they already have enough orders to keep their production facilities busy throughout the first quarter of 2017. The group says that its revenue grew by 5% year-on-year last year. ( Fibre2Fashion)
About WRAP
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in India and Southeast Asia (Thailand and Vietnam), and for Latin America, WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. To learn more about WRAP, please visit .

WRAP | |
2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 601
Arlington, VA 22201