South East Asia appears as an attractive location for the world’s leading fashion brand to base their production. Last month, major fashion brands like Guess, Marks and Spencer, Mango, and Polo Ralph Lauren, along with many others, met with the owners and executives of textile mills and garment factories of South East Asia. Following this meeting in Singapore, they signed the memoranda of understanding, as part of the Source ASEAN Full Service Alliance (SAFSA), the three-year pilot program which aims at maximizing efficiencies along ASEAN’s textile and apparel industry supply chain, and offering a value-added full-service product to global customers.
Although it is difficult for ASEAN to compete in labor price with China, the region’s advantage lies in the ability of member countries to cooperate, which is to link different components of the supply chain from different ASEAN countries. R.J. Gurley, director of ASEAN Competitive Enhancement Project, gave an example, “if we could take a garment factory from Cambodia and partner it with a textile factory from Thailand, we could provide that buyer with at least the basic service of sourcing fabric.”
ASEAN may capture bigger garment production market [Channel News Asia, 12 July 2010]