Until a few years ago, the textile industry in the Philippines was considered to be a sunset sector. But that scenario seems to be changing, with industry stakeholders showing confidence in the revival of the textile industry in the Philippines. This sentiment was echoed by several industry entities during a recent seminar attended by hundreds of players from the textile industry.
The conference, which was called Philippine Textiles: the Future, Today, was held by the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), which functions under the aegis of the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST’s). The key aim o the conference was to provide industry players with a platform to exchange ideas as well as offer insight into innovations that could help bring the industry back on track. Participants were mainly from sub-sectors such as garments, textile and the fashion market.
Besides business entities, the conference saw an impressive turnout of academicians, social enterprises, government bodies, as well as private entities. The leading suggestions that were presented during the conference were to increase the use of indigenous materials as well as natural dyes and textiles, which can help the Philippine textile sector to chart a new growth trail. The industry also decided to renew its focus on eco-friendly textiles and smart textiles.
Besides consumer-use textile, opportunities within emerging areas such as functional textiles, and automotive-grade nonwoven composites were also deliberated upon. With an ASEAN economic integration on the cards, the secretary of DOST said that this would create challenges for the textile industry in the Philippines, which it must embrace and overcome.
Industry experts said that current challenges that the industry faces are: High electricity costs, trade barriers, high tax rates, as well as difficult import policies.