Soaring demand from Cambodia, other countries leads to Thai textile industry exports surging

Cambodia’s lack of a textile industry to support to its burgeoning garment industry has seen neighbouring Thailand’s exports of textiles soaring and are expected to grow by 15 per cent.

Thai media has reported that textile exports were boosted by demand from apparel-producing territories such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Europe and the US garment factories.

Thailand’s garment and textile factories have returned to 100 per cent capacity, but this has triggered a labour shortage after foreign workers returned to their home countries during the Covid-19 crisis. The factories are currently short of 30,000 to 50,000 workers and are dependent on overtime work.

This shortage could lead to a reverse surge of Cambodian migrant workers back to Thailand in search of employment now that the economy and industry is beginning to open up and resume operations to cater to worldwide demand.

Thai Garment Manufacturers Association president Yuttana Silpsarnvitch said demand for Thai garments and textiles was being driven by the trend for environmentally friendly products.

Major brands are ordering products made from recycled fibres, organic cotton and other eco-friendly materials to satisfy customer demand. These items cost about 20 per cent more than regular clothes, he said.