The Thailand Textile Institute will invest Bt25 billion over the next three years in boosting the production of polyester fabrics and developing the country's technical textile sector.

The government-supported initiative will target the automotive, medical, construction, sports and agriculture industries.

Virat Tandaechanurat, executive director of the institute, said: "We have a budget of Bt25 billion over three years to develop technical textiles and take a slice of the Bt4 billion in direct imports that these industries spend annually."

"We already have up to 20 factories that produce polyester textile products, but that's not a huge amount," he said.

"We will send in researchers to help develop technology in the production process and urge other textile factories to join the project."

Thailand imports more than Bt4 billion worth of polyester textiles a year, mainly from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.