Interview with Mr Jim Liaskos

Mr Jim Liaskos
Mr Jim Liaskos
The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA)
The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA)

The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA), a not-for-profit member-driven organization is the peak representative body for textile, clothing, footwear and fashion industries in Australia, and as the voice of industry it focuses on ensuring that Australian decision-makers and major political parties are conscious of the demands and issues facing the domestic Textile, Clothing & Footwear industry. Representing the interests of Australia’s textile, clothing and footwear industries to Australian and international governments, as well as the wider community, the TFIA welcomes active participation from all domestic suppliers into the development of State and Federal Government policy setting. This encompasses industry policy, environmental policy, trade policy and training & education policy and implementation. Mr Jim Liaskos is the Chairman of TFIA. Mr Liaskos has a long history with the TFIA. He commenced his career in the textile and clothing industry with Pacific Dunlop in 1989 which was the largest publicly listed company in Australia involved in the manufacturing and marketing of textile, clothing and footwear products. Since that time he has managed and actively invested in a diverse range of businesses in the industry, all of which have been leaders in their fields of endeavour. These roles have been executed with a strong focus on improving the innovative and productive capacity of these businesses and the industry through the novel use of technology and with an emphasis on quality and performance. Presently, Mr Liaskos is also the Managing Partner at United Bonded Fabrics P/L (Australias’ largest non-woven products manufacturer). He had been MD for Charles Parsons Holdings, (country’s largest distributor of apparel and industrial fabrics and textile goods). He has also rendered the responsibilities as COO at Austrim Textiles- which was one of Australia’s largest manufacturer knitted and woven fabrics for apparel, automotive and industrial applications. Mr Liaskos has a Bachelor degree in Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is a Fellow of the Williamson Leadership Program. Besides TFIA, he is an Executive Member for PIMA, Past VP of Federation of Automotive Products Manufactuers– Sth Region, Past Member of Expert Reference Group on TCF&L Industry to Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Past Convener of Australian Ty

A warm welcome to this talk, Mr Liaskos! Can we request your comment on the contribution that textile, clothing and fashion (TCF) industry makes in economy of your motherland?

The textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) industries are diverse and cover a range of different products including made-up textiles, clothing, carpet, footwear and technical textiles.

The latest official statistics (2008) for the industries show that they contribute around $2.8 billion in industry value-added, which is around 2.6 per cent of all manufacturing value-added.

In 2008, imports ($9.9 billion) were more than six times that of exports ($1.6 billion), up on the total manufacturing industry ratio of roughly 2:1. Australia's TCF industries have faced significant pressures to adjust to ever increasing global competition. Competition from Asia, in particular, has strongly affected the size and vitality of the industry over the last decade or so, particularly as the country has dismantled its tariff barriers to trade.


Industry Value Added ($million)$3,287$3,106$3,223$2,954$2,814
Employment (000s)5756505445
Exports ($million)$2,082$1,748$1,680$1,675$1,565
Imports ($million)$7,776$8,175$8,703$8,958$9,917
Investment ($million)$217$254$181$143$132
BERD * ($million)$41$35$39$31N/A

Source: ABS

*Business Expenditure on Research and Development

In addition to the direct employment in the sector, there are at least as many employed in service and support industries. The TCF industries in Australia continue to face significant global competition and have been undergoing structural adjustment for some time. Australian manufacturers have generally moved from producing commodity goods to manufacturing specialised higher value-add and niche market goods, for example, specialised textiles for emergency and defence services. International developments, such as Free Trade Agreements, continue to present both opportunities and challenges for the TCF industries in Australia.

And, what significance TFIA enjoys in TCF industry of Australia?

The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA) is the peak representative body for the Australian textiles, clothing and fashion industries. It is a not for profit member driven organisation, our areas of activity are broad yet focused on always ensuring that relevant stakeholders (all those with an influence on the future direction of the local industry) are conscious of the demands and issues facing the Australian textiles, clothing and fashion industries. Throughout its history, the TFIA’s integrity and representative voice has been well recognised by both Government and industry. It maintains a robust and strong working relationship with its members, government and other key players in industry.

The TFIA’s mission is to provide leadership and membership services to assist excellence and innovation in local and international textile, clothing and fashion markets. The TFIA has played a lead role in developing working papers and government submissions, and always seeks widespread industry input including canvassing industry views from outside the TFIA membership in the form of structured workshops and calling for case studies.

The TFIA began its operations in the late 1940’s when the then Textile Council of Australia was formed as an umbrella organisation to provide a focal point for a number of sector-specific associations. In 1984 a formal merger with the Australian Confederation of Apparel Manufacturers and the Australian Knitting Industries Council resulted in a change of name to the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Council of Australia. In 1995 the Council, following its merger with the Fashion Industries of Australia, again changed its name to reflect its broader charter, to the current The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia.

Published on: 20/10/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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