The textile industry contributes about 2.3% to Thailand's GDP. Thailand is the tenth largest global producer of cotton and jute and the fifth-largest producer of silk and man-made fibers in the world. The textiles sector has witnessed a spurt in investment during the last five years. It enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of skilled manpower and cost of production relative to major textile producers.
Increased penetration of organised retail, favorable demographics and rising income level are driving demand for textiles. Thailand has abundant availability of raw materials such as cotton, wool, silk and jute. It is also the second-largest employment provider after the agriculture sector. As of 2019, it provided direct employment to 450 thousand people and 3 million people in the allied industries.
The Thai leather industry estimates about 3% of the world’s leather production of hides/skins and employs over 42 thousand people within the nation. Thailand's domestic leather market accounts for US$ 1.2 billion. It is the tenth-largest producer of footwear and leather garments. Thailand is also the ninth-largest exporter of leather garments and third-largest exporter of saddlery & harnesses. Total leather good exports from Thailand stood at US$ 227 million during April-August, 2019.
The major international market share for Thailand Leather & Leather Products are:
USA with share of 17.22%, Germany 11.98%, U.K 10.43%, Italy 6.33%, France 5.94%, Spain 5.01%, Netherlands 3.52%,U.A.E 3.35%,China 2.61%, Hong Kong 2.15%, Belgium 2.21% Poland 2.11%
Export and Investments
Thailand has a strong and eco-sustaining tanning base. It has world-class institutional support for Design & Product Development, HRD and R & D that have led to continuous modernization and technology up-gradation. The ancient presence of the leather products in the European market have also helped drive demand. Its strategic location in the Asian landmass has aided in developing an excellent export system.
Furthermore, Thailand being the tenth largest employer in the textile industry provides constant human resource development programmes to enhance productivity.