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Thailand must look beyond EU for textile exports -THTI
Jul '12
Thailand should promote its textiles and apparels in non-EU countries in order to boost growth, amidst lower demand from European nations owing to the ongoing debt crisis, Suttinee Poopaka, Executive Director of the Thailand Textile Institute (THTI) has said.
According to Ms. Suttinee, Thailand and Indonesia are the only Asean countries that have the entire textile value chain from raw materials to finished items.
She expects Thailand’s textile and garment exports to repeat last year’s performance, when they grew by 6.5 percent year-on-year to US$ 8.36 billion, especially if Thailand succeeds in increasing its exports to non-EU countries, and demand begins to pick up in Europe.
Last year, Thailand’s textile and apparel exports to Asean totaled US$ 1.5 billion, followed by US$ 1.45 billion worth of exports to the EU, US$ 1.4 billion to the US, US$ 728 million to Japan and US$ 460 million to China.
The country’s exports to the Asean region grew by 14 percent during 2011, and thus the region became top importer of Thai textiles and clothing.
During January-May 2012 period, Thailand’s textile and garment exports contracted by 15 percent, which includes a 27 percent dip in its exports to Europe, followed by a 19 percent fall in its exports to the US and 16 percent decline in exports to China.
Ms. Suttinee suggested that Thai manufacturers must further promote their textiles and garments in Asean countries, Japan, China, South Korea and the Middle East.
She especially stressed on Japan, as the far eastern country has a policy to decrease its dependence on China by procuring more from Asean countries, particularly Thailand, to reduce risks.
However, she said that Thai exporters must understand that Japanese market is unique, and eco-friendly fabrics with flower patterns are preferred over animal designs by Japanese consumers.
There are around 120,000 textile manufacturing units in Thailand, 99.8 percent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises.
TTHI’s strategy for this year is to focus on functional and technical textiles, in addition to non-woven and home textiles, as the garment sector is currently witnessing slow growth.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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