Baneng to produce own fashion line

BY ZAZALI MUSA                      IN BATU PAHAT, JOHOR

GARMENTS and textiles company Baneng Holdings Bhd will be coming out with its own brand of children wear and ladies apparel next year to cater to the international buyers. 

Its managing director Lim Choon Hiok said that in today's competitive business environment, it was vital for companies to diversify their products or services in order to survive. 

Lim Choon Hiok

She said Baneng had been doing contract work for international companies as an original equipment manufacturer and it was now time to produce its own fashion line. 

“We are looking at high-end fashion for children and ladies as demand in these market segments are growing worldwide,” Lim told StarBiz after the company's AGM on Wednesday. 

She said there was less competition in the high-end fashion category due to stringent quality control for the finished products imposed by buyers, unlike in the low to medium-end category which was quite “lenient” when it came to quality. 

Lim said local garment manufacturers were in a better position to produce apparel of high quality due to their extensive experience and reputable name in the international garment fraternity. 

She said local manufacturers should focus on value-added products and stop competing with low-cost producing countries such as China, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam. 

Lim added that Baneng's apparel division would come out with children and ladies wear with universal appeal and the initial production would cater for major departmental stores in the USA and Europe. 

“We have been doing work for major buyers for many years and know their requirements in terms of style, design and materials and the knowledge will be useful to us,” she said. 

Lim said the company's decision to produce its own fashion line was largely attributed to the fact that the World Trade Fibre Agreement would be abolished in 2005, thus creating a free quota market. 

She said with the abolishment of this agreement, buyers would have the freedom to place their orders from any part of the world, so only companies that were able to produce and deliver on time would survive. 

Lim said Baneng would continue to secure overseas buyers for its fabrics, with focus on countries in Asean, the Far East, Indian sub-continent and Middle East as there would still be demand from consumers in these markets. 

For the fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2002, the company's turnover increased to RM317.7mil from RM277.8mil in 2001 while pre-tax profit rose to RM19.2mil from RM12.8mil. 

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