Published on October 25, 2007
"We see enormous potential for exports of local branded apparel next year," managing director Amara Puangchompoo sais yesterday.
"China will host the Olympic Games next year and most local apparel producers in China will allocate most of their capacity to cater to the world's largest sports tournament. Thai apparel manufacturers should grasp this great opportunity to beat Chinese producers in penetrating major export markets, particularly Japan and Europe," she added.
Amara said that many major markets, such as Japan, Asia and Europe, now had more interest in Thai-branded apparel.
"We have sold Tang Mo branded apparel to the domestic market in Thailand for 20 years. It has been distributed locally through the company's wholesale network," said Amara. She added that domestic sales now accounted for about 80 per cent of total Tang Mo business. The remaining 20 per cent is shared equally by original-equipment manufacturing and own-branded exports.
"We've put more focus on export sales under our own brand, mainly to potential markets like Japan and Europe, as well as the US. We've launched products that have been specially designed for particular markets, such as Japan, the US and Europe," she said, adding that orders from Japan had increased 100 per cent this year.
Amara said those markets had their own unique preferences and character. US customers prefer apparel designed in black while earth-tone colours are popular among customers in Europe. Apparel in white has become the most preferable among Japanese customers.
Amara said the problems in the real-estate sector in the US would continue next year and would definitely impact on the domestic market and the spending power of people in the US. "In my view, garment manufacturers in Thailand should shift their focus to other potential markets like Europe and Japan," she said.
Amara said the company had promoted its factory in Buddhamonthon, Nakhon Pathom, to produce apparel to serve both the domestic market and exports to Japan. It has also subcontracted a local manufacturer in Vientiane to produce Tang Mo branded apparel for export to the US and Europe to benefit from Generalised System of Preferences privileges. The exports will be through local distributors in particular countries.
Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn, The Nation