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Prospects for the textile and clothing industry in Thailand, April 2010
published in Issue 144, April 2010
The textile and clothing industry in Thailand encompasses a broad range of manufacturing activities and process stages, unlike the industries in many other Asian countries. It provides jobs for over 1 mn people, making it the largest employer in Thailand’s manufacturing sector. Furthermore, its success in export markets has made it a significant earner of foreign exchange. Thailand is also a major importer of textiles and clothing—as well as being a major exporter—and in 2009 it bought US$2.9 bn worth of these items from the rest of the world.
The textile and clothing industry has benefited significantly over the years from government policies designed to encourage its development, and from the government’s liberal stance on trade and foreign investment. However, it has also faced a number of challenges, including rising labour costs, declining productivity, and the global elimination of quotas—which exposed it to the full forces of international competition. More recently, it has been adversely affected by the global economic downturn—and in 2009 it suffered from an 11% fall in exports. Also, investors have been concerned about social and political instability and matters became even more serious in April 2010 when the government declared a state of emergency in response to a rising tide of street protestors. Internationally, there is the ever present threat of competition from other Asian producers, notably China. Although the quality of production in Thailand is considered to be good, production costs are higher than in many competing countries.
More positively, there are hopes that the decline in exports will be reversed in 2010 as demand picks up, not least in the key Western markets of the USA and the EU. Also, closer links are being forged with Japan under the terms of the “Textile and Apparel Development for Export to Japan under JTEPA Framework” initiative, and this holds the promise of access to the latest technology and enhanced marketing opportunities. Looking forward, although competition from lower cost countries looks set to intensify, the industry has the potential to become a significant and growing supplier of high added value products to international brands and major global retailing groups.
Table of Contents
Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Thailand
Importance of the Textile and Clothing Industry to the Economy of Thailand
Development of the Textile and Clothing Industry in Thailand
Thailand: Geographical, Political and Economic Profile
Thailand: Human Resources
Size and Structure of the Textile and Clothing Industry in Thailand
Thailand: Fibre Production and Consumption by the Textile Industry
Thailand: Textile and Clothing Production and Consumption
Production Technology and Machinery in Thailand’s Textile and Clothing Industry
Thailand’s Textile and Clothing Exports
Thailand’s Textile and Clothing Imports
Textiles and Clothing in Thailand: Government Policies and Investment Incentives
Textiles and Clothing in Thailand: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
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