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Tough year ahead for Vietnamese garment makers
Mar '12
Vietnamese textile and garment industry is heading towards a tough year owing to continuing global economic uncertainties and a drop in export orders, said experts.

Dang Phuong Dung, General Secretary of the Vietnam Textiles Association, said Vietnam's leading garment importers including the EU, US and Japan would continue tightening their economic policies and reducing expenses in the coming months.

Vietnam's apparel exports to the US, with a year-on-year rise of 12 percent, grew to US$ 6.87 billion during 2011, making it the second largest exporter of apparels to the US.

Likewise, exports to the EU, the world's second biggest apparel importer, with a year-on-year rise of 33 percent, grew to US$ 2.5 billion, while that to Japan grew by 45 percent to US$ 1.86 billion.

Vietnam now ships its garments and textiles to 180 countries, with the Canada, US, Australia, EU, South Korea and Japan being its major export destinations.

According to economists, the current year and the next few years would be tough for Vietnamese textile and apparel industry as importers would continue to reduce their spending on these items.

During the last few months of 2011, Vietnamese textile and garment industry witnessed a drop in sales as well as orders in domestic as well as overseas markets.

Several enterprises, particularly the small and medium scale ones, have stated that during the first quarter of the current year, they are struggling to bag orders for the third and fourth quarters.

Meanwhile, experts predict that the world garment and textile markets would witness more stiff competition in coming times, as several countries would try to improve their quality.

Moreover, the EU and the US have permitted China to do away with the garment and textiles quota, following which Vietnam would face more stringent competition from China. Vietnam apparel sector is also likely to face increased competition from other Asian nations including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, experts say.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, General Director of Garment 10, said Cambodia and Bangladesh have earned zero-duty export facility to the EU market, while Myanmar is lined up for the same. This would cause Vietnam to face stiff competition from these countries.

In order to withstand this competition, Vietnamese apparel firms would have to produce premium quality, finely designed goods, while closely managing the manufacturing process, Huyen added.

Vietnamese apparel export firms should keep a close eye on any changes in leading export markets and should also try to exploit potential of markets like Turkey, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Canada and Russia to boost their exports, Huyen said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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