The exports of garments and textiles from Vietnam during the first seven months of the current year touched US$ 9.636 billion, showing a rise of 16.3 percent year-on-year, according to the latest statistical data.
During the same period, the Vietnamese garment and textile industry imported raw materials valued at US$ 7.646 billion, registering an increase of 18.2 percent year-on-year, Viet Nam News reported.
The 18.2 percent increase in import of raw materials is greater than the rise shown in exports of finished products, which is a cause of concern, and it would be the biggest challenge when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes into force, according to analysts.
Under the TPP’s ‘yarn-forward’ rule of origin, garments made using yarn produced in only a TPP member country would be eligible for receiving duty-free access, but Vietnam currently imports raw materials from many countries that are not members of TPP, especially China.
In such a situation, Vietnamese enterprises are hoping that TPP negotiators will agree on giving a special duty-free access for clothing made in Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico, even if they are made using yarn and fabric imported from non-TPP member countries.
Vietnam has set garment and textile export target of around US$ 19 billion this year, compared to exports worth US$ 17.2 billion made during 2012.
The US is among the 12 countries that are currently negotiating the TPP and in 2012, Vietnam exported garments and textiles to the US were valued at US$ 7.4 billion, accounting for 38 percent of the total export turnover from Vietnam to the US and almost one half of Vietnam’s total export value of textiles and garments during the year.
At present, Vietnamese apparel and textiles attract an average of 17 percent duty in the US.
Vietnam is currently the second biggest garment exporter to the US, next only to China, and has a market share of 8 percent.