Over the past few months ITC organized four events in Asian cities on the implementation of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Textiles and Clothing and related eco-labelling issues.
Eco-labelling information for Asian business and government officials
Eco-labelling was the focus of a regional workshop organised with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) (Bangkok, February 1999) for 30 participants from 11 countries from both the public and private sectors. "The workshop generated enthusiasm, so much so that at least five countries intend to hold national seminars to disseminate the seminar's results: Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka," noted David Morris of the International Rayon and Synthetic Fibres Committee, who chaired the meeting. To date, several follow-up workshops were held in India, and one in Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh: Garments the major export
Two seminars about the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) were organized in Bangladesh (Dhaka and Chittagong, March 1999), where garments account for about 74% of the country's total exports. The seminars were developed in close cooperation with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, as well as WTO's Textile Division and the nternational Textiles and Clothing Bureau. The events attracted a large number of the country's leading industrialists, about 150 in Dhaka and about 80 in Chittagong.
Imminent changes in international trade in textiles and clothing at the end of the ATC transition period (31 December 2004) are of concern to decision makers in Bangladesh; the country's position today is helped by the fact that as an LDC, Bangladesh has preferential treatment in European Union markets. Backward linkages were another important topic, since the country produces little of the raw materials (fabrics) used in the garment production for exports.
In Bangladesh, the sector employs about 1.5 million people, mostly women.
China: Eco-labelling seminar part of Canton Spring Fair
Eco-labelling was also the theme of an ITC seminar in China (Guangzhou, April 1999), organized with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export during the Canton Spring Fair. By taking advantage of the fair, the eco-labelling seminar attracted 100 participants from various parts of China.
For more information, contact Antero Hyvärinen, Senior Market Development Officer at email@example.com