Thailand Acts to Safeguard Traditional Trousers from Imitations

The government, led by Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, has directed the Customs Department to implement measures to halt the influx of cheaply made trousers screened with traditional Thai cat and elephant patterns. The directive is part of Thailand’s efforts to safeguard its "Thai soft power" campaign, with concerns raised over the quality and copyright infringement of these imports.

The issue came to light after queries from reporters to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, revealing that the imported trousers, though similar, do not carry the exact copyrighted designs and are of lower quality. The so-called elephant pants, a popular choice among tourists, are primarily produced in Chiang Mai province and are known for their comfortable and loose fit.

In response, the Ministry of Commerce has taken steps to protect the original designs, including copyrighting the patterns in Thailand and investigating the extent of the counterfeit distribution within the country. Measures to ensure stricter customs checks on all imports from certain countries have also been advised, alongside initiatives to encourage local manufacturers to label genuine products with "Made in Thailand" logos to distinguish them from fakes.

Despite the proliferation of these cheaper alternatives in several markets in Bangkok, local manufacturers said they remain unfazed, expressing confidence in the superior quality and variety of their authentic products.


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