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Muslim clothing industry eyeing Thailand market
Aug '11
Indonesian Muslim clothing industry is eyeing expansion into Thai markets, Small to Medium Scale Industry Director General Euis Saedah has said.

She said that Thailand can also facilitate trade of Indonesian items in the Middle East and Europe, particularly France.

Next to Buddhism, Islam is Thailand's second most dominating religion, with about five million Muslims residing in southern Thailand and Bangkok. In spite of the Thai market not being significantly large, Indonesia is looking forward to penetrate particularly in these two regions, she added.

Euis said that the two countries have agreed to join forces in view of Thailand's interest in Muslim clothing of Indonesia, which have an individual appeal and always follow the most recent trend.

Thailand has initially assured that it would allocate 26 stalls for Indonesia to display its Muslim clothing at the international fair to be held on April 26 in Bangkok, next year. This would provide Indonesia's Muslim clothing industry a chance to better penetrate into Thai as well as ASEAN markets. Also, this would buoy up Indonesia's drive to establish itself as an international hub for Muslim clothing through 2020, Euis said.

Vilasinee Nonsrichai, Export and Promotion Department Representative of the Thai Embassy said that Thailand is keen to associate with the Indonesian Muslim clothing industry, particularly to provide raw inputs and promotional support and also to grant access to the country. While Indonesia can make use of Thai silk, Thailand can make use of Indonesian batik, she added.

Industry Minister Muhammad Sulaiman Hidayat said that by means of such association, both the countries could provide a boost to the Muslim clothing industry. He said that both the countries would jointly fund these efforts. He added that the industry would continue being located in Indonesia, but the goods would be shipped to Europe and Thailand.

With over 16 million Muslims, Europe houses a very promising market for Muslim clothing, which each year renders profits of US$ 2.5 billion. Likewise, the estimated annual turnover of UK, housing Muslim population of around 1.5 million comes to US$ 150 million.

Malaysia, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Brunei are the key export destinations for Indonesia's Muslim clothing. Though Muslim countries remain the core focus, other non-Muslim countries having a sizeable Muslim population can also be future markets.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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