President Abdul Hamid of Bangladesh handed out a series of awards to some of the country’s most innovative and fastest growing textile producers on Tuesday. As part of the ceremony at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in Dhaka, President Hamid will present six textile firms with the President's Award for Industrial Development

The awards mark the companies’ commitment to excellence in the tanning and textile sectors, and confirm that Bangladeshi textile industry is being recognised for its ongoing improvements. They also highlight the importance of small businesses to the country’s economy. According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics' Survey of Manufacturing Industries, Bangladesh has 42,792 industrial establishments, 41% of which are micro-type manufacturing units, 37% small, 14% medium and 8% large.

Fariha Spinning Mills from Narayanganj was the recipient of the first place award in the large industry category, while Spectra Engineers Limited and Envoy Textile Limited were named the second and third positions respectively in this category.

Meanwhile BRB Polymer Limited, Chittagong Denim Mills Limited, Basumati Distribution Limited will be awarded the first, second and third prizes respectively in the medium-sized industry category.

In the small industry category, the winners are Runner Automobiles from Mymensingh, Oco-Tex Limited from Gazipur and Abul Industries, in that order, while Smart Leather Products will be the lone company recognized in the new micro-industry category.

Thailand profits from Chinese shift

Tanners and finished good manufacturers in Thailand are beginning to see an uptick in their business as more tanning work leaves China. The Thai Tanning Industry Association reported that, “Demand for Thai tanners is rising after China tightened effluent standards for agents used during the process.”

The tightening of environmental standrards in China – part of the country’s ongoing effort to clean up after rampant industrialisation with minimal oversight – means that Thai tanners in particular are now able to take on work shunned by Chinese prodicers. Indeed, Thai customs data shows the shift is especially apparent in tanning as hide imports rose 7% to 24.1 billion baht last year.

Thai companies are able to cash in on the back of changes to standards in China, where the tanning and dyeing process for natural leather often uses heavy metals like hexavalent chromium. This, and other elements, have been deemed harmful to the environment, which has led to tighter pollution regulations.

As a result, Thai tanners are making hay while the sun shines. One such, XXx, says it will invest 120 million baht ($3.79 million) in order to increase its production capacity by around 40%.  "We plan to boost production as early as this month," Suwatchai Wongcharoensin, chairman of Creative Performance Leather said last week.

Meanwhile leather furniture maker Teamfurn has announced plans to build a factory in the eastern province of Chonburi for completion by the end of 2018.