Union Footwear is to shut down its shoe plants in Thailand and invest into other business areas.

The company has been facing losses and foresees further difficulties for the country's footwear industry. It is now seeking for partners to manufacture and trade other products.

The announcement was made following an Extraordinary shareholders' meeting held by the firm this week (4 September).

Thailand's manufacturing industries have been suffering of late, with a political crisis and a strong baht, as well as fierce competition from countries like China, India and Vietnam.

This has already led to the closure of production plants in other companies, such as Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export and Rangsit Footwear.

In an attempt to rescue local industries, the Thai government has started several programmes and policies, with a fund totaling THB6.2bn (US$0.19bn).

By Ngo Tuan.