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11 Dec 2007

Industry

Footwear Industry in Thailand…Plagued with Hurdles (Business Brief No.2083)

The footwear industry has been developed over a long period in the Thai economy. So far, it has been primarily an export-oriented industry. As shoes are categorized as a necessity, there are myriad shoe types produced, i.e., casual, athletic, leather dress shoes, etc. to serve diverse customer demand for different occasions. Thailand is now among the major shoe exporting countries, earning huge income for the country. However, the footwear industry has been confronted with numerous difficulties in recent times, i.e., eroding competitiveness as a result of heightened competition from other neighboring countries like China, Vietnam and Indonesia that have an advantage over us in lower costs of production and their government's strong support. Other major hurdles lie in the rising Baht, global trade liberalization, market risks and problems related to production and designs - all of which are external factors that may directly affect the Thai footwear industry. Against this backdrop, shoe producers should not remain complacent and must earnestly adjust themselves to enhance their competitiveness in markets at home and abroad in a more sustainable manner to cope with increasing market demand.

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