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Thai martial law upsets textile business

The textiles and garment industry in Thailand feels the declaration of martial law will hurt its prospects. After months of political impasse, Thailand's military has imposed martial law in response to the threat of civil war.

The country’s manufacturers want the government to do its utmost to secure long-term low duty access to the EU. Thailand was excluded from this facility this year since it was deemed too rich to be included in the program. The EU's Generalised System of Preferences grants low or duty-free access to EU markets for many developing countries.

Apart from reduced global competiveness in the long run, the imposition of martial law also deals a blow to Thai garment manufacturers serving the domestic market. While Thai exporters may relocate factories to countries that still have GSP privileges, such as Laos or Vietnam, the detrimental effect of political uncertainty on tourism is certain. Revenues for the local garment industry are sure to suffer as foreign consumers shun the country. 

Under Thailand’s Martial Law Act of 1914, military commanders have wide-ranging powers to suppress unrest, including powers to detain people, censor the media, impose curfews and prohibit public gatherings.


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