LABOUR WAGES:

Fluc­tu­a­tion Af­fect­ing Com­pet­i­tive­ness

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The year 2018 is set to bring a smile on the faces of work­ers in­volved in the tex­tile, ap­parel and gar­ment in­dus­try across South Asian coun­tries, as a rise in their wages is on the cards. The news is ob­vi­ously not so heart­en­ing for the in­dus­try as well as for buy­ers, sim­ply be­cause it is set to in­crease pro­duc­tion costs, re­sult­ing in soar­ing prices of ready­made gar­ments.

Al­ready pos­ing tough com­pe­ti­tion for all play­ers across the globe, China has taken a lead in hik­ing the min­i­mum wages, reach­ing over US$ 200 in many of its prov­inces. Neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing Bangladesh, Cam­bo­dia, In­dia, Myan­mar, Sri Lanka, and Viet­nam, have also geared up to fol­low suit in the cur­rent year, due to pres­sure of work­ers’ groups and unions.

Over the years, South­east Asia had been an at­trac­tive hub for man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries, not only be­cause of low min­i­mum wages, but also be­cause of a hard­work­ing labour force and work­ers’ dis­ci­pline.

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