Thai-Cambodian border dispute may affect garment industry
Nereita Tancharoen

BANGKOK, 7 August 2010 (NNT) The Thai Garment Manufacturer Association (TGMA)expresses concerns over the potential effect on garment trade from the Thai-Cambodia temple dispute.

According to TGMA Secretary-General Wallop Witanakorn, the border dispute may result in investment slowdown in Cambodia despite the high investment opportunities in the country including the low commuting cost and travel time saving. Moreover, the wage payment for Cambodian workers is 1/3 lower than the Thai workers.

Despite 105 billion THB worth of garment order per year and a speculated 10-15% expansion in 2010, Thailand is now facing with the lack of 60,000 workers in the industry. The insufficient amount of workers can only make the Thai garment industry potentially expand by 5%. As a result, Thai investors might shift their investment base to other neighboring countries since some have moved the manufacturers to Lao PDR but the success rate is lower than investing in Cambodia.

TGMA President also urged the Thai government to allow tax exemption for Thai investors aboard in a bid to strengthen the garment business before the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.