Workers at a garment factory (Photo:

Vientiane (VNA) – A grave labour shortage in Laos has spelled doom for the country’s garment industry since 2012 after a robust growth during 2003-2011, according to the Association of the Lao Garment Industry.

Dwindling supply of labourers and lack of skillful workers have caused investors to shift their capital to neighbouring countries, especially Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, said President of the association Xaybandith Rasphone.

He also attributed the decline in garment industry to a wide range of job options in the growing service sector in the country, which makes garment become unattractive to local labourers.

Currently, there are 92 garment factories operating in Laos, six less than 2014’s figure. 60 factories of the total make apparel for exports, mostly to the EU, the US, Canada, Japan and some ASEAN countries.

Last year, the country raked in 174.2 million USD from shipping garment products to foreign nations, tapering off 7.25 percent from 2014.

Xaybandith Rasphone highlighted that the association will give a push to the apparel production for domestic market while reducing imports. In addition to issuing policies and mechanisms to support business activities in garment industry, the association will make efforts to call for further investment in the sector.-VNA