Exports of Thai textile and garment products are expected to increase by 3.66 per cent from last year. There is a growing demand for sports outfits as more Thais are turning to physical exercise. At the same time, Thai companies have been assigned to manufacture soccer outfits for 10 teams participating in the 2014 World Cup tournament.
Thai garment and textile exports to the United States and Europe have remained positive despite the US downgrading the country on its human trafficking watch list. This downgrade is not expected to affect trade connections between US and Thai business operators. Business operators are more concerned over trade privileges granted by the European Union under its generalised system of preferences, which expires next year.
Thailand’s textile and garment industry has set its sights on becoming a fashion hub for the ASEAN region. In order to maintain its position in the global apparel industry, Thailand needs to cooperate with ASEAN countries for sustainability. Exports to Asia -- including China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan -- now account for half the country’s total exports.
Thailand has advantages including strategic location to become a distribution centre of ASEAN, product quality, and an array of educational institutes producing personnel for textiles and design.