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Targets set high for textile & garment sector
Jul '08
Financial crisis and shortage of labor have become the order of the day in Vietnam but despite these daunting circumstances, the textile and garment sector has set an export target of US $9.5 billion for this year.

Mr Le Quoc An, Chairman of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association said at a press conference on July 7, that the sector secured $4.2 billion as turnover in the first half of this year, representing an annual increase of 20 percent.

According to Mr An, since Vietnam has already inked a number of contracts with importers, it will not be very difficult for the country to meet the remaining export target of $5.3 billion in the second half.

However, the problems of labor shortage and inaccessibility to bank loans that are eroding profits of the manufacturers, cannot be disregarded altogether. Mr Le Quoc An noted that from January to June of 2008, profits of Vietnam Textile and Garment Group stood at VND119 billion or $7 million which is only half of its set target for the first six months.

Besides, price hikes and inflation had further added to the existing problems of the workers forcing them to go either on strike or resign completely. The sector, being the largest foreign currency earner of Vietnam, accounting for about 15 percent of the total export turnover, cannot afford to carry on with these situations for long.

Presently, Vietnam has more than 2,500 textile and garment businesses in operation that employs about two million workers and creates some 100,000 jobs annually. If the sector seeks to reach its expected target this year, it will have to expand its domain from the traditional markets in US and Europe to those in Middle East, Czech Republic, South Africa and other countries.

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