Faced with the prospect of rising costs after the expected hike in the country’s minimum wage next month, 15 of Thailand’s largest garment manufacturers have indicated that they will halt local expansion plans.
Thai Garment Manufacturers Association president Sukij Kongpiyajarn told local press that the move was made as a sign of opposition to the Thai government’s plan to increase the daily minimum wage in at least six Thai provinces from $7 a day to $9.75 on April 1. Wages in Thailand’s other provinces will also increase up to 40 percent, although they will remain below $9.75. Local media quoted an association official saying that 30 percent of the smaller producers in the garment industry might shut down due to the wage hike.
According to the Labor Ministry, the minimum wage increase, which was an important component of the ruling Pheu Thai party’s economic manifesto when it was elected to power last year, will affect 5.4 million workers in the Southeast Asian nation of about 69 million.
The wage hike is the latest setback for Thailand’s garment manufacturing industry, which, like others in the Southeast Asian nation, has been wracked by devastating floods last year and an unsettled political situation. According to the association, Thailand’s garment and textile exports in January contracted nearly 19 percent year-on-year to $544 million.
The association said its members would seek to build capacity in neighboring countries with lower wages. According to Kongpiyajarn, at least 10 garment manufacturers are seeking to invest in Myanmar, which has recently undertaken significant efforts to liberalize its politics and economy. The association has called for the government to reduce the current tax rate of 30 percent on income repatriated from abroad to facilitate offshore investment.
A senior official at Thai’s commerce ministry, which is responsible for overseeing the wage hike, did not respond to a request to comment. The government had previously indicated that the wage increase would boost consumption and prompt Thai companies to expand into more capital-intensive industries. Implementation of the wage increase had previously been pushed from Jan. 1 to help companies recover from last year’s floods.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews