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Footwear exporters target US$11.5 bn by 2015, LEFASO
15
May '09
According to the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO), the sector plans to expand its outlets and increase investment in the production of raw materials so that the proportion of domestically made materials rises to 90 percent by 2015.

It also plans to double the number of workers to about 1.2 million over the next six years.

However, an industrial analyst from LEFASO, Tran Thi Huyen Trang, says that Vietnam 's footwear industry has faced a lot of barriers, which has stunted its development. She cited the anti-dumping lawsuits the industry is facing in its major markets. At present, Vietnam 's leather-capped shoes have to bear an EU anti-dumping tax rate of 10 percent. In addition, Canada began an investigation into the dumping of Vietnamese waterproof shoes in February.

Moreover, the industry is yet to solve the problems of poor quality materials and designs. Until it builds up a strong recognised trademark for its products, the Vietnamese footwear industry will remain unable to compete with imported products, even in its home market.

According to the LEFASO, the export turnover of the country's leather footwear in recent years has continuously increased at an average rate of 23 percent per year and the products were acknowledged as being one of Vietnam 's major strategic exports during 2006-2010.

In the first four months of this year, due to the impact of the ongoing global economic crisis, Vietnam earned 1.2 billion USD from leather footwear exports, a drop of 11 percent over the same period last year.

The country has now over 500 businesses exporting footwear, bags and materials.

The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO)

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