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No intention to break monopoly of Chinese in Japanese market - VITAS
May '09
The Vietnamese textile and garment had been flying very high on back of exponential growth in exports from the sector in the last few years. But the economic crisis has put brakes on the sector which is witnessing a slowdown never seen before in its key markets of the US and EU.

But there is a ray of hope for the Vietnamese T&G sector. The governments of Japan and Vietnam have signed a free trade agreement which entails zero percent tariffs on exports of textiles and clothing to Japan from Vietnam.

To know more about the potential and the impact that the agreement can create and bring on the textile and garment sector in Vietnam, Fibre2fashion spoke exclusively to Mr. Nguyen Son, Deputy Secretary General of the premier textile and garment trade body, Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).

We first asked Mr Son to share with us the amount of exports from the sector to Japan in 2008 and how much is Vietnam's market share in Japanese markets, to which he replied by saying, “In 2008, T&G export from Vietnam to Japan reached US $820 million, which has increased by 16.38 percent, when compared to 2007 and according to JTIF figures, exports of textile and garments to Japan from Vietnam in 2007 ranked third after China and Italy”.

We then asked him as to what all steps has the textile and garment industry taken to exploit this agreement to which he explained by saying, “We are conducting more promotional activities to make Vietnamese T&G companies known to Japanese textile importers and retailers; called on Japanese and overseas companies to invest in the T&G sector of Vietnam, especially in the field of material, fabric production to better exploit the garment production in Vietnam”.

He continued by saying, “Worked with Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia to have better access to their fabric sources, so as to improve garment production in Vietnam for export to Japan; working with Japan for facilitating textile and garment trading centre's in Vietnam, to provide better services to our Japanese importers and also work with Japan for human resource training”.

When asked about breaking the monopoly of Chinese who are holding 80 percent market share of clothing export to Japan, he reply diplomatically by saying that they only want to increase their export and market share and that they do not intend to break monopoly of Chinese in Japanese market.

On asking as to what kind of competition Vietnam is expecting from countries like Thailand and Indonesia, who also enjoy benefit of free trade agreements with Japan, he said, “Vietnam still has certain advantages compared with Thailand on cheaper labour forces, but, we shall also work closely with Thailand and Indonesia to bring fabric from those countries to Vietnam for garment processing and export to Japan, so that we all benefit from that agreement”.

We concluded the interview by asking Mr Son to forecast the market share the Vietnamese textile and garment sector will be able to garner in the next three years, to which he was not willing to put a finger on the figures.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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