of textiles and garments from major global players like China, Eastern
Europe, Mexico and Cambodia were down sharply in the last two years, as
a result of economic recession worldwide,” said Dej Pattanasettapong,
former chairman of the National Federation of Thai Textile Industries
(NFTTI). He added that Thailand was no exception, with a moderate
decrease of 13% in 2009″.Mr Pattanasettapong said: “The
country’s ability to survive the downtrend of the global textile and
garment market can be attributed to continuous product development and
improved quality assurance that are trusted by international buyers.
But it is not enough. On-trend designs, upgraded manufacturing process,
strategic branding, trend setting and better distribution networks are
also priorities in order to put Thailand on the world’s fashion map in
the next ten years.” ..He added: “Other key factors include our
human resources, especially Thai fashion designers, who are highly
competent at producing trend-based, season-oriented collections.
Support from relevant industries has also played an important role in
the success.” ..According to Pongsak Assakul, president of the Thai
Textile Manufacturing Association (TMA), despite economic and political
challenges during recent years, the Thai textile industry is rebounding
quickly, with export growth of 10-15% forecast for 2010. “The forecast
is based on optimism gained through the region’s expanding
opportunity,” he said. “As part of this, the Source Asian Full Service
Alliance, or SAFSA, was founded by the collaborative effort of 10
member countries of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries (AFTEX)
and the ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement (ACE), and funded by the US
Agency for International Development (USAID). The objective of this
3-year initiative is to enable the effective pairing of local
manufacturers and buyers within the region and from around the world,
promoting ASEAN’s capacities and regional synergy to facilitate the
needs of the global market.” ..With products spanning woven tops, woven bottoms, sleep wear, lingerie, athletic wear, children wear, knitwear, etc, ..SAFSA’s
initial target is 20 pairs of manufacturers and buyers, covering
product lines that include woven tops, woven bottoms, sleep wear,
lingerie, athletic wear, children wear, knitwear. Participating brands
so far include Guess, JC Penney, Polo Ralph Lauren, VF, PVH, as well as
European brands such as Debenhams, Hugo Boss, Max Mara and Benetton ..”By
participating in this project, manufacturers are able to optimise
operations across the supply chain: cost reduction, production
efficiency, quality assurance and timely product delivery,” said Mr
Pongsak ..Part of the financial support from USAID will be used
for the provision of industry experts and advisors, brainstorming
sessions, skill enhancement and participation in international trade
fairs, especially in ASEAN countries, the US, Europe and Japan ..Komsan
Vijitvikrom, president of the Bobae Garment Association, pointed out
that street fashion and ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) were
currently driving the country’s textile and garment industry. “We are
making a good progress with these sectors, particularly in terms of
design, quality and branding, he said. “There is an increasing number
of emerging manufacturers entering into the industry, many of which are
SMEs ..”Useful advice and a business-matching service by the
Department of Export Promotion (DEP) has been a big help. We expect to
see 5-10% growth this year. However, the first things to do are to
regain confidence of overseas trade partners and buyers, which has been
affected by the country’s political uncertainty, to add cultural value
to our products and to explore new markets. Targets for our ODM and
street fashion include Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India and the
Middle East.”.Thailand’s BIFF&BIL trade show takes place from
April 1-4 at Impact Muang Thong Thani. It will feature about 1,200
booths from more than 1,000 selected domestic and overseas exhibitors .