Despite facing difficulties, the garment and textile sector is expected to export products worth US$31 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 10.2%, and the outlook is bright for next year too, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has said.
Speaking at a press briefing in HCM City to review the sector’s performance this year and draw up strategies for next year, Vu Duc Giang, the association chairman, said exports fell in the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year due to the impact of the US’s withdrawal from TPP.
Faced with the situation, textile firms have quickly overhauled their production systems, focused on advantageous products and developed others to meet market demand, and sought new markets, he said.
They have also adopted the latest technologies to produce quality products more efficiently, he said.
The association has stepped up co-operation with foreign organisations to organise trade promotions and training and shared its experience in developing smart production models, he said.
Thanks to all this exports have picked up sharply since the second quarter, he said.
“This year we faced great competitive pressure from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, with many buyers shifting their orders to these countries at the beginning of the year.
“But from the end of the second quarter they shifted their orders back to Vietnam because Vietnam makes quality products and it is able to fulfil orders with short lead time.”
Exports in the last two months of the year are expected to be worth US$5.27 billion, and full year exports, US$31 billion, with the US, the EU, Japan, and South Korea being the biggest buyers, he said.
Shipments to other markets like China, Russia and Cambodia have also increased sharply, he said.
Next year exports could reach US$33.5-34 billion, he said.
Many companies have export orders for until the end of the second quarter next year, he said.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, VITAS deputy secretary general, said China currently buys only 3% of Vietnam’s exports, but is potentially a huge market due to its population.
Vietnam started to export textile and garments to China this year and the shipments are expected to increase significantly next year, she said.
Giang said the association would call on its members to embrace more new technologies to strengthen their competiveness, adopt lean management models and solicit local and foreign investment in segments like fabric, which Vietnam still imports from other countries.
It also plans to chalk out strategies to develop the fashion and designer garment segments and solicit development of linkages in the value chain to add more value to garment and textile products, he said.
Photo: CBR Investment AG