Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vietnam's garment, textile industry sets high targets

11:20' 12/01/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – The garment making and textile sector has expected to increase its yearly export revenue by more than 23 percent to 9.5 billion USD in 2008.

The US and Japan are predicted to be still the sector’s largest markets with their imports estimated at 1.8 billion USD and 800 million USD, respectively.

However, President of the Viet Nam Apparel and Textile Association Le Quoc An pointed out major challenges to the sector, such as supplies of raw materials largely dependent on imports, a shortage of workforce, price hike and especially an increasingly tough competition on the global market.

An said the EU’s lifting of quotas for China from 2008 will drive Vietnamese businesses to a tougher position.

Other challenges come from the Japanese market, which has reduced import tariffs to zero for products from six Southeast Asian countries - Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand, while continuing levy 10 percent on products made in Vietnam.

Risks from the US market, which makes up 55 percent of Vietnam’s export revenues, remain as it continue applying the anti-dumping monitoring mechanism against Vietnamese garments and textiles.

“Local garment and textile businesses should set up close partnerships with leading US importers and not sign low-valued contracts as such orders will impact the national average prices and prompt the US to file anti-dumping law suits,” he warned.

To this regard, Tran Van Pho, CEO of the Hoa Tho Joint Stock Company, which has shipped almost a-third of its exports to the US, said his company will increase exports to the largest world economy and focus on products of high values so as to avoid sales of products from being labeled as dumping.

The Viet Nam Apparel and Textiles Group has asked the Government and relevant agencies to take firm measures against trade barriers and cope with dumping control mechanisms.

It also proposed for further investments in infrastructure, speeding up administrative reforms and intensifying the promotion of trade and the industry’s image.

For its part, the industrial association has called for speeding up negotiations with Japan on a free trade agreement, emphasizing it as a key measure to expand shares on this market.

The garments making and textiles sector recorded a growth rate of 31 percent with gross revenue estimated at 7.8 billion USD in 2007. The US was the largest market with 4.5 billion USD, followed by the EU and Japan