Textile industries in Thailand have been urged to enhance their productivity and workers’ skills, as the public and private sectors of the country are preparing themselves for formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) to discuss the trends of Thailand's industrial sector and business opportunities after the formation of AEC in 2015, Thai Industry Minister MR Phongsawat Svastiwat noted that the AEC is expected to boost the GDP of member countries by around 8-10 percent.
It is thus in Thailand’s own interest to get itself ready for the AEC by strengthening the public sector’s human resources, management, IT communications, relevant legislations, public utilities and education, before proceeding to invest in foreign countries, he said.
He also advised the Government to pump in more investment to develop the country’s infrastructure.
FTI Chairman Phayungsak Chartsuthipol raised concern about the SME entrepreneurs, particularly in textile industry, which would feel the most impact of the formation of the AEC. It is for this reason that the textiles SMEs are being encouraged to enhance their productivity and upgrade their workers’ skills, he added.
It is since 2010 that Thailand has been getting itself ready for integration in the AEC by obtaining membership of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), Mr. Phayungsak said.
He added that though the country has a strong economic base, its industrial sector should have a back-up plan to offset the long-term impacts, and to attain parity with other AEC member nations.