The Laos clothing manufacturing industry is planning a major publicity campaign to attract more employees, aiming to double its workforce to 60,000 by 2015.

The move comes from the Association of the Lao Garment Industry, whose training arm, the Garment Skills Development Centre (GSC), will release detailed information of the supposed benefits of taking jobs in the sector.

By international standards, these are low, but Laos is poor - 2011 World Bank data reported its annual gross national income at US$1,130 per capita.

"In January 2012 the minimum wage rose from LAK348,000 (US$43.50) to LAK626,000 (US$77) per month and factories pay additional bonuses and overtime," Wilma Driessler, management advisor of GSC, told just-style.

"A garment worker can make US$100-250 per month including food and accommodation," she said, adding: "Other sectors such as construction and mining may pay better, but workers have...heavier work and...take more risks."

The Lao garment industry has been grappling with long-term labour shortages.

"Order books are full and delivery in time is mandatory. But to accept more orders from potential and existing buyers the sector needs more workers," said Driessler. "The demand from abroad is increasing and the factories would love to accept new orders."

The industry wants to export US$500m worth of garments annually by 2015.