Up to 300,000 apparel industry jobs could be lost if Thailand's currency continues to rise against the dollar, industry sources warned on Friday (13 July).

Phongsak Assakul, president of the Thai Textile Manufacturing Association, told the Bangkok Post that unless the government acts soon, the industry was heading for a crisis.

The baht has already risen 7% against the greenback this year, on top of a 12% rise in 2006, making clothing exports less competitive.

Garment exports have fallen 5.7% during the first five months of 2007 the Bangkok Post said.

The Thai government is due to meet representatives from the private sector next week to talk about the currency surge.