The Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) and the Thailand Textile Institute would be working together to develop One Tambon (meaning sub-district) One Product (OTOP) textile and costume production in order to get ready for a larger number of international exports in the future. OTOP is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program which aims to support the unique locally made and marketed products of each Thai tambon all over Thailand.
The project is aiming to assist businesses to compete in the international market in light of the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC), under which a single regional common market of Asean countries will be created by 2015. The regional integration's objective is to create a competitive market of over 600 million people in Asean countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
There will be free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labor following the liberalization. These will include tariff reductions and streamlining of certain administrative procedures. Many businesses have begun preparing themselves three years ahead of time to meet the challenges and opportunities of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
DIP Director General Achaga Siboonrueng disclosed that the DIP has cooperated with Thailand Textile Institute to organize a project to develop higher quality production and marketing of the OTOP textile and costume industry by uplifting the skills of OTOP textile entrepreneurs, by applying innovations to add value to the products.
The project begins with OTOP entrepreneurs in Nakhon Ratchasima province and is engaging more than 200 entrepreneurs and will roll out to other regions in the future with a target of 150 products to be developed for international exports.
There are currently more than 17,000 OTOP textile and costume products reflecting local cultures, wisdoms and lifestyles in various communities around Thailand. However, only 1,000 of them are grade A products that are acceptable in the global market. Therefore, Thai local entrepreneurs need to be trained about ensuring product quality and standard and providing an understanding of market demand in order to trade outside the country.
OTOP products cover a large array of local products, including handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, fashion accessories, household items, pottery, and foods.
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