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Quality & design in clothing can gain access to Japan – Expert
Apr '11
Dao Quang Loi, Former Trade Attache at the Vietnamese embassy in Tokyo, recently while speaking at a seminar on 'Exporting Apparel to Japan' in Hanoi, said that, quality and designs would be decisive factors in selling garment and textile items to Japan.

Loi while speaking at the seminar on April 26 stated that, quality and design norms of Japan require Vietnamese businesses to adapt to new technology and to provide assurance regarding safety of their goods. He added that, Japan follows stringent norms, particularly with regards to safety and hygiene of kid's wear.

The sophisticated Japanese market, unlike the US and the European Union markets did not place bulk orders, but bought goods with variety of designs and colours, in small quantities.

This was for the reason that, lady customers in Japan prefer buying unique items, as also the market too experiences significant seasonal changes, especially during New Year and Christmas and during the Golden Week in month of March and April, when four holidays fall in a row.

Further, for reasons like copious availability of inputs, geographical proximity, low-cost labour and worker's knowledge of Japanese language, garment importers from Japan had formed closer associations with China over last 10 years.

However, Loi revealed that, labour costs in China have risen almost two-fold to 960 Yuan or $125 per month over the last eight years, following which a leading Japanese manufacturer is gearing up to shift all its production units from China, over the next five years.

Though, the company has yet not finalized the location where it would move its factories, but Vietnam is considered to be a preferential location due to cheap labour availability.

Labour in Vietnam costs slightly less than 50 percent than that in China, but is bit costlier than that in Bangladesh and Cambodia. However, all the three countries are experiencing dearth of inputs.

As stated by the Japanese and Vietnamese experts, the later still needs to constitute an agency for inspecting product quality prior to their sell in the market. Presently the quality checks are conducted only at factory levels, they added.

According to the experts, in order to compete with Chinese firms, the Vietnamese businesses need to concentrate on conducting quality checks before delivering the products, upgrading their knowledge of foreign languages and designs and production techniques.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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