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David Birnbaum

Articles by David Birnbaum

Outlook 2015: Two key shifts for customers and suppliers 15 January 2015

In his take on the key apparel industry issues to watch in 2015, David Birnbaum homes in on the problems facing those brands who have set their sights on developing markets in China and Russia; and a solution for the new model full-service factories.

Government is pushing importers to reduce buying office commissionsCOMMENT: Defending the new model buying office 5 January 2015

In recent articles David Birnbaum has discussed the changing role of the buying office, how to quantify performance, and the issue of transfer pricing. The next challenge, he says, is the need for detailed audits to ensure that buying offices set their commissions fairly.

For years, buying offices have accrued substantial amounts of tax-free profit for their customer-ownersCOMMENT: The future of transfer pricing 23 December 2014

Governments and tax authorities are finally getting smarter when it comes to the issue of transfer pricing – the prices charged between related businesses, such as buying offices and their parent companies - as David Birnbaum explains.

The middleman is responsible for ensuring facilities carry out the work required by the customer at an acceptable level of performanceCOMMENT: The decline of the buying office 18 December 2014

Twenty years ago major garment importers and retailers began to move away from independent agents to set up wholly-owned buying offices where every middleman performed the same work. Fast forward to 2014, and the range of services has soared in both number and complexity. The challenge, now, is to quantify the level of performance - and commission, writes David Birnbaum.

COMMENT: Innovation is the name of the game 24 October 2014

Innovation is all about change - sometimes planned, often unplanned. But there are lessons to be learned too, and as garment companies move to set up in-house innovation centres they would do well to take heed, writes David Birnbaum.

Government benefits can undermine industry by imposing substantial and unnecessary costsCOMMENT: Government giveaways stifle garment industry growth 12 August 2014

Governments have a vital role to play in supporting the modern industrial economy, but in many garment-exporting countries this positive support is both lacking and counter-productive. Based on his work in the Dominican Republic, David Birnbaum suggests government giveaways make change even more difficult.

The EU is now the worldCOMMENT: The current state of play in world garment exports 31 July 2014

Data from major garment exporting countries to the EU and US shows who's winning and losing so far in 2014. David Birnbaum looks at the trends.

BangladeshCOMMENT: Bangladesh's garment trend lines look pretty poor 6 June 2014

Bangladesh's share of the US apparel market has been in decline since February this year. But a closer look at the figures shows that while it is holding up in basic men's wear, women's wear fashion is on a downward trajectory.

COMMENT: Bangladesh heading for sourcing history? 28 April 2014

Just six months ago the major brand importers and giant transnational factories were rushing to build state-of-the-art operations in Bangladesh, despite the Rana Plaza and Tazreen mishaps. Where are they now? asks David Birnbaum.

ChinaComment: Bangladesh industry development moving backwards 14 April 2014

Despite the many claims to the contrary, it would appear that China's share of the US garment export market has failed to decline - while at the same time, Bangladesh's garment export market share has failed to rise.

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