THAILAND: B120m proposed for Centre of Excellence to help garment manufacturers

BANGKOK: A budget of 120 million baht has been proposed to establish a "Centre of Excellence" and a pilot plant to help local garment manufacturers produce world-class apparel at an affordable cost. Kartchai Jamkajornkeiat, executive director of T-Det said here on March 08.

The proposal has been made by the Textile and Garment Development in Efficiency and Technology (T-Det) project, one of 11 ventures under the taxpayer-funded Bangkok Fashion City programme.

According to Kartchai Jamkajornkeiat, executive director of T-Det, T-Det is scheduled to complete its initial mission to provide expertise and techniques to enable its 200 members to achieve sustainable growth by July. It then expects the Industry Ministry, the sponsor of Bangkok Fashion City, to approve its new proposal.

After being successful in providing knowledge to local manufacturers, we need to provide necessary tools to them for production; he said.

Ten experts from Europe and the United States, the key markets for Thai garment products, would be hired to work in the Centre of Excellence to consult on production engineering, pattern making, product design and marketing strategy.

Advice and services from those experts would enable service users to become world-class garment makers instantly; said Mr Kartchai.

The combined budget for establishing the centre and hiring experts is 50-60 million baht. It would be located at the Rajamangala University of Technology Bangkok campus; said Mr Kartchai.

T-Det will take no longer than eight months after receiving approval from the ministry to complete the recruitment of fashion experts who would be introduced by reputed fashion institutes in the US, Italy and France.

The pilot plant would be constructed and operated with a budget of 60-70 million baht.

It would be equipped with top-grade machinery that many individual manufacturers are unable to afford.

Producers could use the machines to add value to their products, such as zigzag stitching, or they could get advice on lead times and production approaches to help improve cost efficiency without doing actual manufacturing, said Mr Kartchai.

All users of the Centre of Excellence and the pilot plant would be charged on a per-use basis that would be cheaper than the high cost of employing world-class consultants, said Mr Kartchai.

We anticipate that both the Centre of Excellence and the pilot plant could generate returns of 10-20 percent on the investment; he said.

T-Det expects that up to 400 garment manufacturers would use the services of the Centre of Excellence and the pilot plant each year. After the contract expires, both projects would be operated by the university.

Depending on how long it takes the ministry to approve the funding, both ventures could be operating by next March, he added.

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Added: March 11, 2006 Source: Agencies
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