COVID-19 Update
Impacts on the Garment Supply Chain
Country Updates

In this section we give you an overview of the situation and developments in the main procurement countries of our members. For each country you will find a profile with information on the lockdown, production, governmental and other measures. Due to the current situation we currently update monthly. (Last update: November 23, 2020)

Using the real-time map of Johns Hopkins University, you will find an overview of the current numbers of corona cases per country.

The Fair Wear Foundation provides an overview of relief funds of independent organisations for different countries.

Ethiopia
Current situation

Lockdown: On 8 April a state of emergency was declared for 5 months. Larger events are forbidden and schools and restaurants are closed. Schools will open again for the upcoming academic year 2020/21 with a reduced number of students. (Link)

Production: The impact of COVID-19 on the sector has not been the same across the industry. For instance, firms focusing on sporting goods are doing better than firms that provide formal cothing (Link). Despite COVID-19, Ethiopia earned more than 171.7 million USD during the financial year from the textile and garment sector. In July 2020, the total generated was only slightly below expectations (Link). In August, media report a spike of novel COVID-19 cases in an industrial park. (Link) An ongoing studyin which 5000 women are interviewed about the effects of COVID-19 in the garment industry shows the following first results:

  • 56% of those surveyed are still employed and 24% have paid holidays.
  • 42% of the workforce work the same number of hours
  • Of those who are currently not working, almost no one has been able to find another job;
  • 81% of the dismissed workers would like to return to their jobs;
  • The workers are well informed about COVID-19 and false beliefs or myths seem to be extremely rare.

Ethiopia's Jobs Creation Commission estimates that between 1.4 and 2.5 million jobs could be lost nationwide in the next three months if safety nets aren't put in place and that 13 textile firms have stopped operating due to low demand so far (Link).

Government measures: The employers' confederation, labor unions, and the government agreed on a tripartite protocol to prevent layoffs during the crisis. (Link) Government subsidies have enabled manufacturing exporters to benefit from zero-cost rail transport and lower export logistics costs. In addition, the governement's new industrial-parks strategy envisages the establishment of manufacturing hubs to produce PPE for domestic and overseas markets. (Link) A $6.5 million fund set up between the UK and Germany in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia aims to save thousands of jobs in Ethiopia’s textile and garments industry, while helping to support the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19. (Link)

 

Bangladesh
Current situation

Lockdown: Since 31 May, the lockdown regulations have been relaxed again. The government slowly resumed economic activity and commercial centres, markets, offices and public transport were reopened. (Link) Given the continuing increase in corona-positive cases, however, some districts with high infection rates are again under lockdown. (Link) Since 1st of July a mandatory curfew between 10:00 pm – 5:00 am is in order. (Link) The government of Bangladesh has placed an area of capital Dhaka under lockdown between July 4, and July 25. (Link)

Production: On 4 May authorities announced that more factories will gradually be opened. (Link) However, garment factories will be closed once a significant number of workers are infected with COVID-19. (Link) However, garment factories will be closed once a significant number of workers are infected with COVID-19. (Link) Several BGMEA audit teams examine the health and safety systems of factories through unannounced factory visits. (Link) Employee representatives have reported that a number of ready-made garment factories have forcibly dismissed workers without notice after the Eid leave. (Link) Local factory owners say most of them are running at 80% capacity as the buyers are coming back with work orders. (Link) Around 600 factories still haven’t paid wages for the month of June. Unrests are rising among the workers. ( (Link) On 31 Juli, the Journal of Public Health published a paper on the impact of COVID-19 on Bangladeshi readymade garment workers. (Link) Above that, the CCC published the report "Un(der)paid in the pandemic: An estimate of what the garment industry owes its workers". It states that readymade garment workers in Bangladesh lost wages worth around $501 million for three months, March to May, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (LinkLink) It is reported that international retailers are either refraining from placing orders, delaying buying decisions or demanding steep price cuts of about 15%. (Link) According to a survey conducted by BGMEA, brands and retailers have placed 30% fewer work orders for the next four months starting December. (Link)

Government measures: The government announced a bailout/simulus package of 500 million Euro for export-oriented industries to pay for wages. On 15 April the Prime Minister announced the allocation of Tk. 7.6 billion (around 83 million euro) for people who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The Ministry of Finance will also subsidise interest payments on up to Tk. 500 billion (about 5.4 billion euros) in working capital loans. (Link) As people now resume their work following the lockdown lifting, the disaster management ministry has decided to suspend the countrywide relief distribution programme it has been implementing over the past three months. Relief would only be distributed in the hotspot areas. (Link) According to the Ministry of Labor, companies that do not pay their workers will not receive any money from the announced rescue package for the export sector. (Link) The government's COVID-19 health guideline recommends that employers should provide paid sick leave or special leave for employees with coronavirus symptoms. (Link) According to Labour Minister Begum Monnujan Sufian the Ministry has donated Tk84 crore from its central fund for the welfare of garments workers across the country. (Link) The Bangladesh Government is to provide laid-off garment workers with 3,000 taka (around 30 euros) a month for three months, in a relief programme backed by the European Union and Germany (see below). (Link)

Other developments: Various civil society actors have set up donation funds to support workers. (Link). Among them is the relief funds Among them is the emergency fund for workers in India and Bangladesh organised by the Textiles Partnership member FEMNET e.V. The European Union is providing 93 million euros to support the estimated one million garment workers in Bangladesh. It is part of the €334 million "Team Europe" aid package to fight the pandemic in Bangladesh. (Link)

Further information

​​​​​​​Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)
Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)
Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Bulgaria
Current situation

Lockdown: Bulgaria has started to ease restrictions. The national state of emergency that had been in force since 13 March will now be lifted on 13 May. (Link) Since numbers of corona-cases are rising, government decided to reimplement former lifted restrictions. (Link)

Production:Production continues in large parts and under healthand safety precautions.

Government measures: The government is allocating BGN 5.5 billion (around 2.4 billion euros) to support businesses. This includes for example covering 60% of the wages of workers in affected sectors who would otherwise have been made redundant, inlcudig social security contributions as well as deferral of corporate tax payments until 30 June. (Link)

China
Current situation

Lockdown: Currently, there are no nationwide lockdown measures in place. (Link) Xinjiang is reporting a second cluster of coronavirus cases beginning in a clothing factory. The region is pass testing and has gone into lockdown to avoid more cases. (Link)

Production: According to the National Bureau of Statistics, garment manufacturing fell 36.61 percent in January and February to 2.51 billion pieces versus the same months in 2019. In addition, domestic sales of garments in the same period shrunk 33.2 percent to 110.3 billion renminbi, or USD 15.55 billion. (Link) Apparel exports to the US have decreased by almost 50% between January to July compared to last year. (Link) A media report by Sixth Tone further provides insight into the challenges the garment industry has been facing since the re-opening of the factories in Guangzhou. According to the article, garment factories have been dealing with a great decline in orders , loss of work and existential anxieties. Overall, the Chinese economy has decreased in the first quarter of 2020, currently ten million people are expected to have lost their jobs. (Link) Many factories in China have changed their production with a focus on masks and PPE products. Due to the high global demand for these products, working conditions are particularly intensive, workers are not necessarily trained and accidents occur. (Link) At the same time, the large number of factories that have shifted their production to masks is causing increased competition and quality differences. Factories are being closed and in some regions, protests broke out organised by workers who were dismissed due to the closure of factories. According to media reports, China's 290 million migrant workers are the hardest hit by the crisis. (Link) To balance out the tensions and weak demand, Chinese producers have decreased the prices of their products by up to 30% compared to the year before. (Link)

Government measures: The government has adopted a number of measures to support companies. On the one hand, rents, taxes and social security contributions can be reduced or deferred. On the other hand, companies can apply for loans at reduced interest rates. In large cities, companies that do not lay off employees or reduce the number of lay-offs to a minimum can receive a refund of unemployment insurance premiums. (Link) A labour rights NGO reports that China is facing serious unemployment, as the unemployment rate is set at 9% - 11%. (Link)

India
Current situation

India is one of the countries which lists the most corona cases worldwide. The number of new infections is increasing very fast. In total, India has registered more than 7 million corona cases since the outbreak of the pandemic. (Link)

Lockdown: Since October the so-called unlock 5 rules are in place. Schools reopen but distane learning should be given preference. Religious meetings in public are possible with up to 100 people outside containment zones and Cinemas as well as swimming pools reopen. Despite these relaxations on the national level, states can decide how to implement the rules. Schools remain closed in most of the Indian states. In Tamil Nadu, the government has allowed schools, colleges, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks to reopen from November (Link). International flights remain restricted. (Link)

Production: It is  estimated that more than 90 million informal jobs were lost in April (Medienbericht). According to a recent CCC 's report on unpaid wages during the pandemic, garment workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India lost 95% of their wages in April. Still, many migrant workers could not return to fabrics in Tamil Nadu. The Tirupur Exporters Association reports that production is at about 50% of its capacity.(Link) Still, many migrant workers could not return to fabrics in Tamil Nadu. The Tirupur Exporters Association reports that production is at about 50% of its capacity. (Link) Media report that especially smaller garment businesses in South India are struggling to restart productio due to a lack of workforce. (Link). ) It is estimatedthat, while over 90% of factories in Tirupur are back in operation, in other areas, such as New Delhi–Noida region, only 60% are currently open. A new survey based on face-to-face interviews with 25,300 migrant workers highlights the COVID-19 lockdown's impact on India's migrant workers. (Link). The survey found that:

  • 23% of migrant workers returned home walking;
  • 78% of respondents saw their work coming to a 'complete standstill' or 'a standstill to a large extent' during lockdown;
  • 23% of respondents had to borrow money during lockdown;
  • 75% of poor families suffered a fall in income during the lockdown.

Media also report on the need to increase the visibility and recognition of India's home-based workers as the number of home workers is increasing during the pandemic.

A recent study highlights the key role of labour unions like the Karnataka Garment Workers Union (KOOGU) in ensuring workers rights, especially during lockdown.

Government measures: The government has unveiled a USD 23 billion economic stimulus which would provide around 800 million people with basic food over the next three months. However, this will likely not reach many migrant workers who are far from their registered addresses. (Link) In addition, the government is working on a proposal to provide a social security net to unorganised sector workers (such as contract labourers). (Link) On 14 May the distribution of free food for migrants was announced. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 463 million USD worth of grain shipments would benefit 80 million migrants. (Link) Given the plight of migrant workers during the Covid 19 pandemic, the Parliament's Standing Committee on Employment is working to ensure that they are covered by social security with legal protection. (Link) The central government has started to map the skills of migrant workers in 30 districts of UP and Bihar to provide them with employment in areas near their hometowns (Link) and the government of Telangana announced that it will form a special welfare scheme for migrant workers. (Link)

In recent month, thirteen Indian states have made changes to existing labour laws. The states see the changes as a result of the need to increase the competitiveness of companies after the lockdown. The changes are particularly severe in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. While Madhya Pradesh amended most of the provisions of the Factories Act, the ordinances in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat provide for the suspension of almost all labour laws. (Link) The government continued changing labour laws rapidly in the last two months without consulting trade unions. (Link) Partly due to international pressure, the parliamentary standing committee and the ministry of labour asked the states to avoid changes in labor law. Especially changes of working hour are critisized by the ministry of labor while no deciscion has been made yet about the changes of various other labor laws. (Link)

Other developments: Various civil society actors have set up donation funds to support workers. (Link). Among them is the relief funds for workers in India and Bangladesh organised by the Textiles Partnership member FEMNET e.V.

Further information

Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Indonesia
Current situation

Lockdown: Indonesia reimposed a partial lockdown on Jakarta from 14 Sept as virus cases started increasing again. (Link)

Production: Factories are allowed to operate under strict safety and hygiene rules (including the provision of hand washing facilities, the mandatory wearing of face masks, body temperature control, disinfectant spraying and active awareness training for workers on COVID-19). Factories must also close as soon as workers become infected by COVID-19. Most producers have reduced the working hours of their employees by 15.6 hours per week - with a consequent loss of income. (Link) According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), its textile and garment industry declined by 14% in the second quarter of this year compared to last year's 21% growth rate. (Link) The Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) and Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN) have filed a legal challenge on the controversial Omnibus Law at the Constitutional Court, claiming the law violates workers' rights. (Link)

Government measures: USD 8.1 billion were made available to support the economy through tax incentives. ( Link ) A further stimulus package of USD 1.4 billion is intended to enable, among other things, tax suspensions and the easing of credit payments. (Link) Indonesia launched the National Recovery Program on 11th May. The program is estimated at USD 43 billion and includes tax breaks for industry, capital injections for state enterprises and liquidity support for the banking sector. (Link)

Further information

Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)

Cambodia
Current situation

Lockdown: There is currently no nationwide lockdown. In Phnom Penh, schools were closed and social distancing measures are in place.

Production: According to the Cambodian Ministry of Labour, 491 garment factories have suspended operations and 81 have permanently closed which lead to around 60,000 workers having lost their jobs permanently or temporarily. Many others experienced reduced working hours. Poverty rates are expected to increase for the first time in twenty years as the World Bank projects Cambodia's economy  to decrease by 2% (key economic sectors tourism, retail exportation and construction are severely affected by the pandemic) A new report by the UNDP adds that the number of Cambodians experiencing poverty this year could nearly double to 17.6% of the population, which translates to 1.3 million Cambodians being sent into poverty. (Link)

An increase in orders from US customers for garment exports is set to aid Cambodia's economic recovery, though the Asian Development Bank has said that the slowdown in the garment and construction sectors continues to pose a risk to Cambodia's economy. (Link)

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) reports that, during the pandemic, garment factories in Cambodia have been receiving orders that were initially destined to factories in Myanmar, as COVID-19 surges in Myanmar. However, prices have been exceptionally low. In some cases, factories are accepting orders at a loss. Furthermore, orders have declined and become very volatile. (Link)

Government measures: Dismissed garment workers receive 70 USD per month - 40 USD from the government and 30 USD from employers. This amounts for approx. a third of the minimum wage. (Link) (Link) However, according to media reports, newly laid-off garment workers disclose to not having received any assistance. (Link) On 25th february the government further announced tax exemptions for factories severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the EBA suspension (Link) In addition, workers in the manufacturing industry do not have to pay income tax for six months. (Link) The Ministry of Labour has also launched soft-skill trainings for 400 suspended workers in the Mean Chey District. (Link) The government-funded cash scheme launched to assist poor and vulnerable households amidst the coronavirus pandemic will be extended until the end of September. (Link) However, according to media reports, many families and workers have still not received even minimal aids. (Link) According to media reports, informal workers will now be able to register for their Health Equity Fund membership card from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), giving informal workers access to the same treatment at state hospitals as formal workers. (Link)

Other developments: The Japanese government has supported Cambodia with an emergency assistance ranging from medical supplies to technical assistance worth more than $6,3 million through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in June 2020. (Link) (Link) On 11th June, the EU also published a press statement stating that it would assist Cambodia with around $504 million in grants and loans in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and thus further support them in reducing the socio-economic repercussions. (Link) According to media reports, the garment sector's minimum wage will be increased to $192 starting next year, following wage negotiations between the government, manufacturers and workers' representatives. (Link)

Further information

Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)
Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)
Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Myanmar
Current situation

Lockdown: After passing inspections by the Ministry of Health and Labour in Myanmar, schools have been able to reopen since July 21st. (Link) Large gatherings and international flights are still prohibited. (Link) In several regions including Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw wearing face masks in public has been imposed by the government. (Link) (Link)  Since September 20 the whole of Yangon Region, excluding Cocokyun township, is instructed to stay at home after more than 2500 COVID-19 cases were reported in the region in the past 36 days. As a consequence workers from Cut-Make-Pack factories will not allowed to go to work for two weeks, from September 24 to October 7. (Link) It is reported that more COVID-19 cases have started to emerge in Mandalay, where many garment factories are located. For now, the government has kept factories open, but a night curfew has been implemented until 31 October. (Link) It is reported that the government of Myanmar is considering the relaxation of many COVID-19 restrictions, including stay-at-home orders and travel suspensions, in an attempt to ease the impact of the pandemic on the country's economy. (Link)

Production: Since the beginning of May Myanmar factories can reopen after passing inspections by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, the Ministry of Health and Sports and other relevant groups. (Link) A recently published report of Myanmar Trade Promotion Organisation (MTPO) states that the tourism sector and the textile industry have been hit hardest by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar. (Link) At the beginning of June the international charity Action Aid reported that around 60,000 garment workers in Myanmar, of which 90% are women, have lost their jobs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having interviewed local workers in Myanmar's garment industry, Action Aid further found that some workers who must work, are facing unsafe working conditions and insufficient protection such as not being provided with face masks. (Link) Furthermore, according to the BHRRC and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, several Myanmar garment factories have been suspected of using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretence to target worker unions. For example, the Myanmar Myan Fashion garment factory dismissed 571 workers at the end of March, 521 of whom were union members. The official reason for the dismissal was a decline in orders due to COVID-19, the factory said, but the dismissals came just hours after several union representatives demanded increased protection for workers against COVID-19 infections. (Link) Since orders have declined and garment manufacturers have only received 20 to 25 percent of the orders of the previous year 2019, some factories are planning to reduce their workforces and temporarily or permanently close. (Link) Although Myanmar's GDP growth has fallen to 1.8% due to the effects of COVID-19, the Asian Development Bank reports that growth is forecast to bounce back to 6% in 2021. Although Myanmar's GDP is expected to keep growing, the ADB does not relate this growth to the garment sector. (Link)

Government measures: The government has established a COVID-19 fund of USD 70 million in order to inter alia support the textile and garment industry. Moreover, it was decided to extend the income and trade tax payment deadline and to exempt the 2 percent advance income tax on exports until the end of the fiscal year. (Link) The government approved about US$17 million (22.76 billion kyats) in loans for 698 enterprises that suffered financial losses due to the pandemic. (Link)

Other developments: The EU has provided five million Euro as an  relief funds to support workers in the garment sector. The fund is part of a bigger contribution (USD 25 million) by the the Livelihood and Security Fund (LIFT), the EU, the US as well as Australia.

Further information

​​​​​​​Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)
Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

North Macedonia
Current situation

Lockdown: North Macedonia adopted a three-phase plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown. The first phase will involve the reopening of businesses during the state of emergency and the gradual easing of the citizens' movement nationwide. The second phase will allow some workplaces to reopen under recommended measures and strict work protocols in terms of prevention of COVID-19 spread. During the third phase, all workplaces will be allowed to reopen with respect to the basic preventive and anti-pandemic measures for maintaining personal hygiene and physical distance. (Link) The government ordered a lockdown for the cities of Skopje, Shtip, Tetovo and Kumanovo in early June. (Link)

Production:On 28th May there were two cases of illness among textile workers in the town of Shtip, after which the factory was closed. On 1st June, it was decided to close five more garment factories and to test all workers. (Link) According to the Fair Wear Foundation, the garment and textile sector, which accounts for the majority of Northern Macedonia's national exports, has been the most affected sector in Northern Macedonia apart from the tourism industry. The results of the Employers Association of Macedonia's survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Macedonia further underline these circumstances. 85% of the participants in the survey stated that the volume of sales decreased significantly due to cancelled orders from foreign buyers. (Link)

Government measures:  The government supports companies on salaries. In addition, it grants reduced credits, reduces installment payments and provides a state guarantee for commercial loans and customs debts. To support the textile industry, the government has committed EUR 1 million to create a digital platform on which companies can offer their products. (Link)

Pakistan
Current situation

Lockdown: Pakistan's 30 cities have entered into a smart lockdown to contain the further spread of COVID-19. (Link) The government lifted the partial lockdown measures , despite doctor's concerns. (Link, Link) Starting on September 15th, Pakistan is reopening all educational institutions in phases. (Link) Pakistan-administered Kashmir reimposed lockdown measures to help curb surging novel coronavirus infections, as well as violations of health guidelines. (Link)

Production: Parts of the textile industry were able to resume production even before the end of the lockdown. In Punjab and Sindh, the two worst-affected provinces, the reopening of the garment industry has now been approved. (Link) A large number of factory workers and daily wage earners from various industrial units protest against the non-payment of wages and forced dismissals. (Link) The unrests are ongoing, as wages for up to 4-5 months remain unpaid. (Link) According to reports from the CCC network, Al Karam Textile, one of Pakistan's largest factories has illegally laid-off 577 workers. (Link)

Government measures: The government approved Rs 3000 (about 17 euro) each for seven million daily wagers as well as Rs 200 billion (about 1.2 billion euros) for exporters. (Link)

Other developments: Two of Pakistan’s manufacturers’ associations, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) and Pakistan Readymade Garments Exporters & Manufacturers Association (PRGMEA), urged the government to reduce taxes, reduce energy costs and provide them with targeted subsidy support as the industry continues to struggle from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Link)

Further information

Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)
Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Portugal
Current situation

Lockdown: Due to increasing infections and deaths, lockdown and hygiene regulations are again applied in most parts of the country. (Link) Since 9 November, Portugal has declared the state of emergency, which is going to be prolonged every 15 days until further notice. (Link)

Production: Textile and garment factories are currently operating at reduced capacity and under strict safety precautions. Some factories have temporarily closed due to the high risk of infection. Employees continue to receive their wages, however it its unclear how long this can be guaranteed. (Link) Portugal’s textile and garment industry has proved to be more resilient than competitors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic due to its flexibility, good ethics and research and development facilities. Government support schemes have helped factories and companies to survive and prepare for post-COVID-19 production. (Link)

Government measures: The government announces a 9.2 billion euro package to support workers and provide liquidity to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. (Link)

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Romania
Current situation

Lockdown: Due to increased mobility, the number of COVID-19 cases has started to rise again since the beginning of August. (Link) However, the head of the country's Emergency Situations Unit (DSU) announced that a lockdown for the entire country is very unlikely, but that it could be imposed on single regions or cities.Link)

Production: Factories have not been prohibited from working, but they are obliged to take extended health and safety measures. (Link) According to media reports, many garment workers in Romania were paid far below the legal minimum wage during the pandemic. At the TANEX Company, which produces for famous brands such as Massimo Dutti, Lancome, Ted Baker, JOOP, Sandro, Max Mara and others, workers received as little as 140€ per month for full time work. Also other labour and human rights violations took place during the last months of the pandemic, such as factories failing to pay mandatory social insurance contributions, overtime payments and severance pay. (Link)

Government measures: In a first package of measures, the Romanian government has decided, among other things, that employers will receive state support to pay their employees. Employees receive a compensation of 75 per cent of their basic salary.

Tunisia
Current situation

Lockdown: In the beginning of May Tunisia started with partially lifting the lockdown measures. (Link) Tunisia reopened its boarders on June 27. (Link)

Production: The industry may restart its production with half of the employees if the transport is guaranteed by the company. (Link) The Tunisian garment sector is exploring a post-COVID-19 recovery plan. (Link)

Government measures: The government announced an USD 850 billion bailout/simulus package to limit the social and economic impact. 450 million dollars are to go to particularly low-income families who have lost their jobs due to the crisis. In addition, the government announced to pay a contribution of USD 70 per employee to the 1,5 million workers in the private sector, with the rest of the salary being paid by employers. (Link) Moreover, the Ministry of Finance also established the Solidarity Fund 1818 , to which some companies have already made donations.

Other developments: Tunisia also receives financial support from external parties. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan of USD 745 million to be distributed to North African countries; the EU is supporting Tunisia with 250 million euros; Italy with 50 million euros. (Link)

Turkey
Current situation

Lockdown: Turkey reopened most of its public places on 1st June 2020. Restaurants, cafés, gyms, swimming pools, beaches, parks, libraries and museums are open again all over the country. (Link)

Production: Textile and garment factories are allowed to continue operating. Due to the cancellations, some factories had to close temporarily. (Link) The capacity utilisation rate of the textile industry decreased from 84.9% in February to 47.1% in April. (Source: Webinar FLA). According to Exporters Association (ITKIB), exports declined by 16,5 % during the January-July period compared to the previous year. (Link) Media report that, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, garment exports from Turkey decreased by nearly 20% in the first half of 2020.

Government measures: President Erdogan announced a USD 15.4 billion aid package to limit the economic impact. It includes delays in loan repayments and tax cuts in various sectors, including the textile sector. (Link)

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Vietnam
Current situation

Lockdown: In early May Vietnam started to ease its strict social distancing rules. (Link) After the first COVID-19 related death was announced in Vietnam on July 31st (Link), the government will put areas considered epicentres under strict quarantine. (Link)

Production: The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) reported a 15% decrease in revenues and 25% decrease in profits despite partially switching to manufacturing face masks and protective clothing and retaining all its workers. (Link) The International Labour Organisation (ILO) reports that almost 1 in 4 garment workers in Vietnam have lost their jobs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. According to VITAS (Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association) and Lefaso (Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association), more than 1 million workers in the textile industry have lost their jobs, while others have had their income reduced by 40%. As a result, a rash of strikes have broken out in factories. (Link) The National Wage Council has advised the Government to keep the minimum wage unchanged until the end of 2021, instead of raising it as previously planned, because businesses have been heavily affected by COVID-19. (Link) Nearly all of Vietnam's factories are up and running but most are operating at a much lower capacity. (Link) The General Statistics Office has released a report on the impact of COVID-19 on labour and employment in the third quarter of 2020. The report reveals that 31.8 million people aged 15 or over have been negatively affected by COVID-19, through being fired, furloughed, having reduced working hours, or loss of incomes. (Link) Remittances have been predicted to fall to an estimated USD 15.7 billion, according to a recent World Bank report. This is the first time remittances to the country have fallen since 2009. (Link)

Government measures: The government has planned various incentives to counter the COVID-19 impact (tax breaks, delayed tax payments and delayed land-use fees for businesses). (Link) Moreover, the National Assembly Standing Committee adopted a cash transfer package worth VND 36 trillion (about 1,4 billion euro) from the state budget, which support poor households, recipients of social protection program as well as workers who temporarily stopped working or have been on unpaid leave. (Link) However most of the affected businesses and workers report that they have not been able to get access to the support package of the Vietnamese Government. (Link)

Further information

Clean Clothes Campaign: Daily updates about country-specific developments in the textile supply-chain (Link)
Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)
Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Further Country Information

Further information on developments in the producing countries can be found here:

In addition, the GIZ regional project FABRIC is currently organizing the Online-Workshop-Reihe „Getting through this crisis together“ which focuses on the different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemics impacts on the textile and garment industry.

In ten webinars of 60-90 minutes each, industry experts from different parts of the supply chain will discuss opportunities and challenges on the way through the crisis and exchange lessons learned across the region. The format aims at bringing together various industry stakeholders including Asian producers/suppliers, producer associations, brand representatives, civil society actors and international organisations, to analyse the situation on the ground and to identify synergies as well as opportunities for coorperation.   

Contact person: Alexandra Behns (GIZ)

1st session “The Impact of the Crisis on Producers and Workers: Voices from Asia” (29 April, 10am CET): This Webinar focused on the general impact of the pandemic on the textile and clothing industry, in particular in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and China. Three representatives shared their experiences from the perspective of workers, producers and regional associations. Use the password "Webinar1" for the Recording of the webinar .

2nd session "The Impact of the Crisis: The Brands' Perspective" (12 May, 10am CET): The second webinar will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the brands' perspective. Besides Maren Barthel, Director at the sustainability solutions provider ELEVATE, speakers include Mathias Diestelmann, Chief Executive Officer at the Partnership’s member company Brands Fashion as well as Dr. Jürgen Janssen, the Partnership’s Manager. Find the Recording of the webinar.

3rd Session “How can factories bounce back from COVID-19?“ (2 June, 1pm CET): The third webinar will examine business resilience amidst the crisis, and what it takes for manufacturers, small and large, to survive now and thrive in the future. Dr. Raymond Robertson (Direktor, Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, Texas A&M University), Nicole Chu (Direktorin Corporate Compliance, Sabrina Fashion Industrial Corporation) und Kim van der Weerd (Writer, Podcaster & former garment factory general manager) will share insights on what makes factories more resilient, speak about what measures they have taken to respond to COVID-19, and discuss possible steps to address the impacts the industry now faces, including partnerships, production, management systems, financing, and how to reopen factories while prioritizing worker safety. Recording of the webinar .

4th session "Sustainability: How to stay on course during COVID-19?" (Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 1pm CET): The fourth FABRIC webinar is being held in cooperation with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which will present the results of a survey of member companies on COVID-19. Afterwards, Eranthi Premaratne (Director Facilities, SAC), Matthew Guenter (Senior Environmental Sustainability Manager, TAL Apparel Limited) and Vijay N. Suvarna (Sustainability & Compliance, Asiatan/TecTuff) will discuss the implications for facilities, especially on ensuring worker safety. Finally, we will debate how facilities and other industry stakeholders can stay committed to sustainability during times of crisis and what it means for tools such as the Higg Index by SAC and the way it is implemented across the industry. Watch the Recording of the webinar

5th session “COVID-19 and Beyond: Making Gender Equality a Reality” (Tuesday, June 30 from 1-2.30pm CET): The fifth webinar will look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers in the textile and garment sector in Asia from a gender perspective. Nazma Akter (Awaj Foundation), Scott Deitz (Convene Communication Strategies) und Elly Rosita Silaban (KSBSI) will share insights from Bangladesh and Indonesia, and discuss strategies to ensure gender is at the forefront of the COVID-19 recovery. They will also talk about the social and economic benefits of gender inclusive business operations in the textile and garment industry. Recording of the webinar

6th Session “Workers Voices: The Impact of COVID-19 on Garment Workers” (Tuesday, July 14, 12pm CET): The sixth webinar will look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers in the textile and garment sector in Asia. How has their life changed under COVID-19? How did they experience the outbreak of the pandemic and the impacts on their industry in their private and in their work life? What are their fears and concerns? What do they want the outside world to know? Materials are being presented which have been prepared by garment workers in Myanmar and Cambodia, presenting their perspectives on the current situation. We will hear insights from local trade union leaders and an international researcher on global workers’ rights and how solutions can work for both, workers and factories. Recording of the webinar

7th Session 'What changes can suppliers expect from their clients in Europe and how can they manage financial risks?' (Thursday, August 13, 10am CET): This seventh will focus on how supply chains can remain liquid. We will hear insights from two Partnership brands, H&M and Orsay, about the changing conversation within fashion retail when it comes to sustainability and buying and what brands can do to help prevent another situation where the supply chain is struggling to survive. Our discussion will cover potential changes at brand headquarters as well as in relations between buying teams and producers, what suppliers might expect from brands and retailers as they place new orders, and how they can ensure supply chain partners remain financially healthy. Based on this discussion, the Chairman and CEO of Interloop Holdings, a major Asian producer, will reflect on what the supply chain thinks the future holds.  Recording of the webinar

8th Session „How can social dialogue help us get through the crisis together?” (Wednesday, August 26, 11am CET): In the eighth seminar, which is jointly organized by GIZ FABRIC and ILO’s Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia project, we will focus on social dialogue as a key component of strong industrial relations. Given the challenging situation for both workers and employers due to Covid-19 how does efficient collaboration look like in such difficult times? We will hear about how manufacturers and trade unions have worked together and reached agreements, the guidelines and frameworks they used to inform the dialogue process, the roles of brands and retailers in this, and the benefits they derived from engaging and cooperating with each other.

9th Session "Making Strategic Choices to Stay Competitive In and After COVID-19” (Tuesday, September 15, 11am CET): You will hear from producers about different strategies to remain competitive in difficult times. Recent data from production countries give a generally somber picture of the textile and garment industry. Although orders are coming in, there is still uncertainty about upcoming purchases for early 2021 and beyond. To ensure liquidity, many producers turned to PPE early on, resulting in the rapid saturation of the market. This seminar introduces alternative pathways for the industry, whether through digitization, developing new markets or moving towards sustainability. Watch the Recording

10th Session „How is COVID-19 changing the Digital Landscape for the Textile and Garment Industry?” (Tuesday, October 27, 10 am CET): Due to COVID-19 many companies have reduced or suspended worker training programs, supply chain audits, or other initiatives. In the absence of physical management, companies are examining the possibilities with greater urgency of handling tasks remotely, resulting in the acceleration in the adoption of digital tools. In this session, we will hear about two digital solutions, one related to workplace training and the other to chemical management, as well as from a manufacturer on how they use digital tools. What has changed in times of COVID-19, and how can companies best manage the fast acceleration of those changes? Recording

11th Session „One Year COVID-19 – How are we Getting Through the Crisis” (Tuesday, November 24, 10am CET): In the eleventh online seminar of GIZ FABRIC´s online seminar series, we will look at crucial moments for the textile and garment industry in Asia since the start of the pandemic and capture the change of conversation about the effects of the crisis from the early beginning until now: Which approaches to ensure sustainability have proven successful and should be shared across the region? Which insights and lessons learned have we gained which can help us build a more resilient industry in the future? What changes do we expect to see in the industry in the year ahead? Registration and further Information