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Thai garment firms seek govt help to expand overseas
Aug '12
In the wake of a sharp fall in exports to Europe and severe labour crisis, Thai textile and garment producers have called on the Government to reduce tariff barriers and boost promotional activities in new targeted markets, and to back their investments in other countries.
After a meeting with textile and garment exporters, International Trade Promotion Department Director General, Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, said constituting a priority sector, textile and garment exporters are in dire need of Government assistance, as there has been a sharp fall in their shipments during first half of the current year. 
The textile and garment sector in Thailand greatly depends on the US, Europe and Japanese markets, which are all enduring sluggish growth.
According to the Department, Thailand’s textile and apparel exports for first half of the current year plummeted to US$ 3.59 billion or Bt 113 billion, showing a year-on-year fall of 15.3 percent.
The textile and garment enterprises in the country have requested the Government to devise a plan to boost their investments overseas, as they are finding it difficult to expand their business at home, Nuntawan said.
They want the Government to provide tax incentives under the Board of Investment’s rules on helping local firms to invest in neighbouring countries, and also grant a waiver on corporate tax when they bring back their money into the country.
The enterprises even called on the Commerce Ministry to back the plan for setting up a Fashion Design Centre in the country to facilitate value addition to Thai garments, alongside creation of new designs for their products.
The textile and clothing sector representatives asked the Government to intensify its trade promotion activities in new markets including ASEAN, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Latin America – which have all witnessed robust economic growth in recent years.
They also urged the Government to provide comprehensive information about market demand in all target countries, allowing exporters to plan their marketing strategies to better compete with their counterparts from other countries.
While the enterprises called on the Government to reduce import duties on synthetic yarn to one percent so as to boost production, the exporters urged the Government to keep a close eye on possible dumping activities by China as it would push out Thai enterprises out of competition.
Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA) Secretary General, Vallop Vitanakorn, said impacted by severe Euro-zone crisis, Thai textile and garment exports are likely to take a 12-15 percent dip this year.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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