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Vietnam govt to help garment sector reduce dependence on imports
Nov '11
With an aim to help the domestic garment and textile industries to reduce their reliance on imported raw materials, the Government of Vietnam is carrying out a survey of the domestic cotton industry.

The survey, being carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, will help the domestic industry to enhance the level of value addition to the textile and garment items produced locally and will thereby help the domestic garment industry to decrease its reliance on imported inputs.

According to the Vietnam Cotton and Fibre Association, 2000 was the best year for the cotton industry as during the year around 32,000 to 36,000 hectares of land in the country was under cotton cultivation. This cotton cultivation acreage dropped to just 17,300 hectares in 2006-07 and to a mere 3,000 hectares in 2008. However, it started recovering since last year when cotton was cultivated on an area of 10,400 hectares. During all these years, the Association stated, the domestic production catered to just one percent of the domestic demand.

As stated by Vietnam Textile and Garment Corporation (Vinatex) General Director Mai Hoang An, of the country's current overall cotton requirement of 370,000 tons per annum, only 4,000 tons is supplied by the domestic market, and the rest is imported.

In 2010, Vietnam exported garments worth US$ 11.2 billion, but it imported fibres and fabric worth US$ 6.5 billion, Mr. An said. He added that while the gross export value of Vietnamese garments is high, the net added value of the same remains low due to the industry's dependence on imported raw materials.

Ministry of Industry and Trade's Light Industry Department Deputy Head, Tran Hung, said the growth of cotton cultivation in Vietnam is largely based on weather conditions, and the quality as well as quantity of the cotton produced in the country is not uniform and satisfactory.

In order to bolster the domestic cotton industry, the Government's budget resources are being utilised to extend financial help for developing infrastructure like irrigation systems for cotton-cultivating areas. The aim is to enhance the productivity and quality of domestic cotton, and thereby raise its global competitiveness.

Vietnam Cotton and Fibre Association Chairman, Tran Dang Tuong, also recommended developing of a model cotton farm which can reap quality output with enhanced volumes and can thus serve as an example for other cultivators.

He said the Government should think about setting up a cotton price stabilization fund to extend financial help to cotton cultivators and to ensure stability in crop prices. This could even serve as help to investors desirous of undertaking cotton cultivation on a large scale, he added.

Presently, Vietnam's Government is aiming to boost the country's cotton cultivation acreage to 30,000 hectares with an average output of 1.5 to 2 tons per hectare by 2015.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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