According to the Department of Export Promotion (DEP), Thai fashion exports are expected to surpass US20 billion in 2010, up 9-13% from 2009. A major contribution to this positive growth figure is that the government and private sectors are dynamically joining forces to extend competitive advantages and promote sustainable development in the Thai fashion industry on its course to stand out as ASEANвЂ™s fashion center.
Mrs. Srirat Rastapana, Director General of Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, announced вЂњThailand earned US17.628 billion from fashion exports in 2009, a moderate increase of 2.24% from 2008. These include US6.443 billion from the textile sector, which experienced a 10.5% negative growth rate; US2.961 billion from garments, down 15.53 from the previous year; US1.422 billion from leather goods, travel kits and shoes, down 19.7%; while gems and jewelry jumped 18% to US9,761 billion.вЂќ
вЂњDespite export slowdown in 2009 due to global economic uncertainties, coupled with a decline in purchasing power of major import markets like the US and Japan, Thai fashion exports in 2010 appear to be very promising indeed as the worldвЂ™s economy is showing signs of recovery,вЂќ continued Mrs. Srirat.
вЂњThe fashion export projection for 2010 is US20.315 вЂ“ US20.999 billion, or 9-13% growth. The textile sector is expected to earn US7.058 вЂ“ US7.205 billion, up 10-12% from 2009. Export of garments is projected to grow 10-15% to US3.238-3.386 billion, while export of fabrics and yarns is likely to make a 10% improvement, or US3.819 billion. For leather goods, the export value is forecast to grow 0.98% to US1.429 billion. Export of gems and jewelry is expected to increase by 10-15% to US11.826-US12.364 billion.вЂќ
She said that, with a real commitment to gaining the regional leadership in fashion in areas of textile, garment, gems and jewelry, and leather, the Government had worked closely with related industry associations to identify proactive strategies in order to achieve the export target.
вЂњFor the textile and garment sector in particular, essential development approaches include encouraging product upgrades with focus on high-value items such as functional and technical textiles as well as eco-friendly products, improving distribution efficiency, supporting synergies between related sectors in order to increase the use of local contents, fostering industry clusters, and strengthening supporting manufacturers in fields of breaching and dying, finishing and logistics, etc. For further development in human resources, the establishment of Thailand Designer Club and Asian Designer Club is anticipated to provide Thai designers with expanded reach to the global arena.вЂќ
Strategic approaches for the gems and jewelry sector include, for instance, building trade relationship with neighboring countries to benefit the development of new sources of materials, promoting the Gem and Jewelry Institute ofThailand (Public Organization) or GIT as the center for testing and certification for Asia under CIBJO standards, and establishing the countryвЂ™s first Gems Bank.