Garment industry faces labour shortage
(KPL) The Lao garment industry currently witnesses a scarcity of labour, as proven by the failing in meeting the production demand. President of the Lao Garment Industry Association, Mr. Onesy Boutsivongsack told KPL News on Wednesday that the industry currently needed more than 9,900 workers, only for the existing garment factories, excluding the factories expected to be built in the near future.
Mr. Onesy attributed the lack of labour force in garment industry to the decision of many skilled workers (approximately 600,000) to work abroad. There are currently over 110 garment factories nationwide, most of which located in Vientiane Capital.
Clothes produced in the country fail to meet quantitative demand of overseas markets. On an annual basis, only 50 million garment items are manufactured generating an income of US$200 million.
Seventy-five per cent of the total garment production is exported to EU, 10 per cent to Japan and the rest 15 per cent to U.S. and Canada.
"Between 2005 and 2010, the Lao garment industry had enjoyed an annual growth of 10 per cent, followed by a plunge of 5 per cent in 2011,"Mr. Onesy explained. "The industry has not yet recovered since then, mostly due to labour shortage."