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Opportunities and challenges await Asean textile industry
03
Jan '14
New opportunities and challenges await the textile and apparel industry in Southeast Asia (Asean) in 2014.
 
In Vietnam, the textile and garment industry accounts for about 15 percent share in the country’s GDP. The likely conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2014 is expected to boost the country’s textile and apparel exports to the US, bringing in millions of new jobs. On the other hand, the scarcity of raw material is a constraint for further development of the country’s garment industry. At present, Vietnam’s domestic fabric production is only 800 million metres per annum compared to its requirement of 6.8 billion metres.
 
For Indonesia, the gradual recovery of the US economy is likely to increase the demand for its textiles and clothing, as the US is a major importer of Indonesian products. Further, the cancellation of import restrictions on cotton fabric by the Ministry of Trade from June 2014, will also be a major booster. However, the rising energy prices and minimum wages could undermine the competitiveness of the Indonesian textile industry in the domestic and foreign markets.
 
The garment industry in Cambodia has expanded in recent years due to relatively low labour costs and preferential treatment in exports to the US. The country has attracted huge foreign investment in its garment sector over the past two years. However, frequent strikes by garment factory workers over pay hike can act as a dampener.
 
The garment industry in Myanmar still continues to lag behind in competitiveness as its production facilities are yet to be at par with other countries. Meanwhile, the Myanmarese Government is setting up industrial parks in the south of Dagon town, near the capital Yangon, and will provide one-stop service to foreign investors.
 
In Malaysia, the Government is carrying out a powerful campaign to promote public awareness about the batik process, which is expected to boost the country’s batik industry.
 
In 2014, the textile and garment industry in Thailand is likely to focus on presenting itself as a fashion centre in the Asean region. Currently, the Asean region accounts for nearly 25 percent of all Thai textile and apparel exports.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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