The Thai Garment Manufacturers' Association has unveiled a new training scheme that is planned to launch 400 new entrepreneurs and enhance Thailand's clothing business network, according to The Nation newspaper.

The scheme comes as part of the Thai government's "New Entrepreneur Creation" strategy, which plans to create a total of 8,000 new entrepreneurs in 2005, and 50,000 new business owners in the coming few years.

According to Industrial Promotion Department director-general Pramode Vidtayasuk, the government - which is ploughing THB2 billion into the scheme this year - planned to kick-start the careers of entrepreneurs who would make, service and retail goods directly to customers.

The Federation of Thai Industries and the Board of Trade are expected to create 3,500 new business professionals each, while the Manufacturers' Association is to train 400 entrepreneurs, with the rest being sourced by other government agencies.

Pramode said that Thailand, which has a population of 60 million, currently boasts just four million business owners.

The scheme teaches essential business information and allows participants to visit leading production plants and companies.

The training programme was created in conjunction with Durakij Pundit University, where 113 trainees have already gone through the scheme.