The full impact of the global economic slowdown on Thai textile exports was revealed at a special seminar on Wednesday by the president of Thai Garment Manufacturers Association, Suchart Chantaranakaracha.

He said latest figures showed textile exports for the first two months of 2002 were down 10 per cent on the year-ago period, while exports of garments during the period were down 17 per cent year-on-year.

"New quota regulations, the global economic slowdown brought on by September 11 and the decline of local manufacturers could all be major causes leading to a drop in exports," he explained.

He added association chiefs were keeping a close eye on the situation and were hopeful it would improve for an industry that employs more than 1.1 million people and last year exported goods valued at $5.2 billion.