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WTO membership fuels Vietnam's apparel exports
Aug '12
The apparel sector of Vietnam seems to have benefited from the country’s status as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member.
Since Vietnam joined WTO in 2007, its apparel exports have increased at an annual rate of 21.7 percent over the past five years. Apparel exports, which stood at just US$ 5.9 billion in 2006, soared to US$ 15.8 billion in 2011, making the country second largest apparel exporter to the US, third largest to Japan and fifth largest to the EU.
Around 15-16 percent of the countries overall exports are apparel exports. The sector provides livelihood to about 2.5 million workers.
WTO membership helped several garment firms to explore new markets and avail preferences like most favoured nation status. Also, it has drawn several overseas investors into the Vietnamese apparel industry.
During 2007 itself, 150 new projects involving a total investment of US$ 690 million came to the Vietnamese garment industry. From 2007 to 2012, 485 FDI projects with a total investment of over US$ 2 billion have ventured into the country’s apparel industry.
However, the path was not easy, as global financial slump severely impacted the industry, with a sharp fall in garment prices and orders. Moreover, the benefit of cheap labour that the country enjoyed for long too has almost faded away.
According to experts, the clothing industry in Vietnam is currently very much under pressure and is confronted with a threat of losing even the home market.
To bring the things back on the track, garment makers in Vietnam are urging the Government to fine-tune its policies to provide clarity. They are also demanding that the Government come out with a clear idea about its plans with regards to implementation of the WTO commitments.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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