The exports of garments and textiles from Vietnam increased by 18 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of the current year to US$ 13.154 billion, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Of this, the exports of fabric were worth US$ 538 million, up 6.3 percent year-on-year.
The US continued to be the largest importer of Vietnamese apparel and it accounted for 49 percent of all Vietnamese garment and textile exports from January to September this year.
The EU, Japan and South Korea were the other leading importers of Vietnamese apparel and textiles, and these nations accounted for 15 percent, 12 percent and 9 percent respectively, of all Vietnamese clothing and textile export revenue during the nine-month period.
Vietnamese garment businesses depend heavily on import of raw materials as domestic cotton meets only 1-2 percent of demand. Similarly, local fabric production is able to meet only about 12-13 percent of the garment sector’s demand, according to Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX).
This will affect Vietnamese exporters once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is signed as Vietnamese textile and garment businesses would have to use raw materials made in one of the TPP signatory countries to avail the benefit of TPP tax preferences.
Meanwhile, the 12 countries negotiating the TPP—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam—have announce that they are on track to complete the TPP negotiations.
“We see the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with its high ambition and pioneering standards for new trade disciplines, as a model for future trade agreements and a promising pathway to our APEC goal of building a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,” the leaders of the 12 countries said in a statement.
“As we work to conclude these negotiations, we will further intensify consultations with stakeholders to craft a final agreement that appropriately addresses the interests of our citizens,” they said.
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.