The following is a round-up of apparel and footwear news from the world's local media. just-style has not checked these stories so cannot guarantee their accuracy.

  • Attendees at a seminar organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project III have said there is an urgent need for supply chain development in the textiles, garments and leather shoes sectors in Vietnam. A better supply would help negotiations in the upcoming free trade agreement (FTA) talks between Vietnam and the EU. The country needs about 400,000 tonnes of cotton every year, but domestic supply can meet only 3,000 tonnes (0.75%) of demand. VIET NAM NEWS
  • Garment Association Nepal (GAN) has asked the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies to propose a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US to boost exports of ready-made garments and pashminas to the US. There is also confusion over the 10% countervailing duty charged by India on the export of Nepali garments to India. The association has called on the Commerce Ministry to help pass the SEZ Bill that is key to promote exports. HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
  • US Ambassador Dan W Mozena linked Bangladesh's demand for duty-free access for garment exports to the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) that both countries may sign in future. Bangladesh exporters pay more than a 15% tariff to get their products into the US. A total of 97% Bangladeshi goods enter the US market without any duty, but garments, the country's main export, have been left out. TICFA is the second effort from the US, after the first TIFA did not get through. THE DAILY STAR
  • Indian garment exports to the US reached $13bn in FY12 despite the economic slowdown. Overall exports from India in FY12 stands at $300bn. A Sakthivel, chairman Apparel Export Promotion Council complimented union minister of textiles, commerce and industry Anand Sharma for supporting the country cross the $300bn mark. In February 2012, exports increased by 1.5% against the corresponding month of last year. THE ECONOMIC TIMES
  • RPG-owned Spencer's has exited its fast fashion business by winding up its Mark Ecko and Beverly Hill Polo Club apparel ranges, to focus on its café chain business Au Bon Pain. The company had earlier exited another its Lady Bird brand. The company said it did not see opportunity in the business, with the Mark Ecko brand being too niche for the Indian market. The company brought the brands to India as part of a joint venture with Woolworths. After Woolworths was aquired by Shop Direct, Spencer's discontinued the venture. THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE