The Association of the Lao Garment Industry (ALGI) hopes that soon every village will have at least one shop stocked with clothes produced locally. This effort is aimed at reducing the import of clothes and controlling the inflation rate of the country.
Association President Mr. Xaybandith Raspone said on Saturday, “We should encourage people to buy more goods made in Laos. Lao people should use Lao products, to replace imports. Curbing expenditure in foreign currencies is also important, to prevent imported goods from being brought into the country illicitly and priced higher than necessary,”
He also informed that the association hopes to see all garment factories in the country, regardless of their size, closely cooperate, coordinate, and together tackle the association’s problem.
Furthermore, ALGI also plans to increase the production of Champadaeng brand school uniforms to make them available at a low price, so that parents can buy them instead of getting imported uniforms for their kids. Earlier the association’s factories did make the uniform locally, but only a few shops stocked them, resulting in few people buying the products.
The Association now has 77 factories under its wing, 50 of which make goods for export and 27 of which produce garments for local consumption. There are 72 factories in Vientiane Capital, two in Champasak, two in Savannakhet province and one in Vientiane Province.
About 25,000 people are employed by the factories, 90% of whom are women. These factories produce a variety of clothes, including uniforms, shirts, T-shirts, polo shirts, office wear, coats, jeans, blankets, shoes, and other items.
Laos exports 80 percent of its goods to Europe, nine percent to Japan, four percent to the United States, and two percent to Canada. Laos export goods worth roughly USD 200 million each year.
The Lao Garment Association suffered considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic which made them close many of their factories. Shortage of workers also resulted in delay in the delivery of products. Mr. Xaybandith has urged the government to assist in successfully reopening all garment factories in the country that’ll promote the creation of both jobs and revenue in the sector.