Interview with Mr Virat Tandaechanurat

Mr Virat Tandaechanurat
Mr Virat Tandaechanurat
Executive Director
Thailand Textile Institute (THTI)
Thailand Textile Institute (THTI)

The country of mountains, Thailand has been experiencing a sustained growth since the past decade. GDP growth of the country is mainly driven by the manufacturing sector, where textile and garment industry contributes as one of the main export sectors. Currently, Thailand's textiles and garments rank 21st and 17th of the world's market share. With a goal of forming an autonomous organization to focus the development of such a potential sector sustaining competitiveness in the global textile market, The Thailand Textile Institute (THTI) was established by virtue of a cabinet resolution of October 15, 1996, at the initiative of all textile associations in Thailand, endorsed by the Ministry of Industry. As the Executive Director, Mr Virat Tandaechanurat is at the helm of managerial affairs of THTI. He is a BE in Mechanical Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, and an MS in Textile Technology from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Mr Tandaechanurat has also taken several trainings viz; Textile Weaving Engineering from Japan; Industrial Extension Officer, Philippines; Application of Robots in Small and Medium industries, Japan; and Development of Metal Working Industry from Belgium. Prior to his present post at THTI, Mr Tandaechanurat was a Deputy Director General of Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP). He had been Director of various departments in DIP namely, Bureau of Industrial Enterprise Development; Bureau of Cottage and Handicraft Industries Development; Bureau of Industrial Promotion Administration; and Textile Industry Division. Mr Tandaechanurat started his career in 1984, as a Senior Engineer for Textile Industry Division, DIP. For the period 1998 to 2000, he has also served Ministry of Industry as Secretary General in Office of the Cane and Sugar Board. Besides, he is also an active Advisor to Thai Tool and Dye Industry Association, Thai Foundrymen’s Society, Thai Textile Dyeing, Printing and Finishing Association, Thansetakij’s SMEs Club. Face2Face team interviewed Mr Virat Tandaechanurat to know more on Thai textile industry and the activities of THTI in the interest of industry’s welfare.

Could our visitors & members know more about the role that THTI plays in textile industry of Thailand?

THTI is a leading organization in driving textile and clothing industry for sustained development in utilizing innovation and being competitive in the global market by emphasizing on fashion-led marketing across all production development systems.

  • Directing and driving the textile and clothing industry in the right direction
  • Enhancing and supporting the textile and clothing entrepreneurs for higher competitiveness with respect to other countries
  • Being a hub in networking and exchanging services among organizations more so for textile entrepreneurs
  • Linking all textile, clothing and fashion entrepreneurs for continuous linkage and development
  • There has been a remarkable growth in Thai’s exports. How has textile & garment sector contributed to this?

    Major MarketExport (Value : Million US$) Growth (%)
    2004200520062006 Jan-Oct2007 Jan-Oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 > Jan-Oct
    1. USA 2,083.2 2,111.1 2,083.5 1,743.0 1,653.6 11.48 1.34 -1.31 -5.13
    2. EU 1,194.9 1,210.5 1,316.8 1,081.6 1,087.4 17.53 1.31 8.78 0.54
    3. ASEAN 657.0 775.7 803.2 657.2 761.9 21.62 18.07 3.55 15.93
    4. Japan 429.7 412.5 395.4 338 308.8 15.32 -4.00 -4.15 -8.64
    5. China 266.1 282.5 249.7 204.6 219.2 47.83 6.16 -11.61 7.12
    6. Others 1,769 1,907.3 1,986.0 1,635.1 1,761.6 18.95 7.82 4.13 7.73
    7. Total 6,399.9 6,699.6 6,834.6 5,659.5 5,792.4 17.10 4.68 2.02 2.35
    - US has been the biggest importer. Thai textile and clothing export to US and EU are respectively $1,653.6 millions and $1,087.4 millions.

    ITEMExport (Value : Million US$)Growth (%)
      2004 2005 2006 2006 Jan -Oct 2007 Jan-oct 2004 2005 2006 2007 Jan - Oct
    Textile & Clothing 6,399.9 6,699.6 6,834.6 5,659.9 5,792.4 17.1 4.68 2.02 2.3
    Textile 3,002.6 3,230.2 3,289.3 2,712.6 2,984.8 22.67 7.58 1.8 10.0
    Clothing 3,397.3 3,469.4 3,545.3 2,947.3 2,807.6 12.59 2.12 2.2 -4.7

    - October saw the value of total Thai textile and clothing exports to world rise to $5,792.4 million, up 2.3% on the same month last year.

    * Thai Textile exports to world rise to $2,984.8 Millions, up 10% * Clothing down by -4.7 % at $2,807.6 Millions

    What was the rationale behind your recent collaboration with National Nanotechnology centre? What potential do you see in this nascent sector?

    This is on the early stage of our long term plan to apply new technology on textile & clothing industry in terms of high valued products and process improvement. THTI will look at the future application of textiles to apparel mainly, and also to other industries, such as medical textile, automotive-textile, agricultural-textile, etc.

    What could be the possible repercussions of anti-dumping investigation on Chinese imports?

    After China was imposed safeguards from the US and EU, and also as per the FTA of ASEAN-China, taxes were reduced 2006 onwards, Thailand has increased importing fabric from China rapidly. Therefore, local fabric makers are collaborating to propose the government, ministry of commerce, to exercise anti-dumping investigation on Chinese fabric. This case currently is in the process of case acceptance by Ministry of Commerce.

    Published on: 31/12/2007

    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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