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Footwear exports to achieve lofty heights – experts
Mar '10
According to the Leather and Footwear Research Institute, this year, exports of leather and footwear could see heights at US$6.2 billion as against last year when they stood at US$5.3 billion.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade-run institute said that the leather and footwear sector in last few years has posted significant growth to attain third position as the biggest export earner in the country next to textiles and garments and crude oil.

Over 700 firms are operational in the sector, providing employment to around 700,000 to 750,000 workers of which 80 percent compromise women workers.

But of the total, around 70 percent of the firms are simply active as sub-contractors of foreign firms and thus the techniques, technologies, and designs they employ entirely depend on their foreign buyers.

The experts are of the opinion that competitive advantage of nation's footwear industry over its rival countries like China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand in terms of price is slowly decreasing as meager value addition is generated by the Vietnamese footwear products, mainly owing to the industry being dependent on imported raw materials.

According to them in order to attain sustainable development while at the same time attain more competitiveness, the sector needs to be reorganized and at the same time hike the proportion of local contents.

In order to satisfy the increasing consumer demands they need to upgrade technology, enlarge its range of products and also improve quality, they said.

They insisted that the industry should take services of designers and generate its own designs in spite of merely awaiting orders and producing products rooted in designs supplied by the buyers.

Market research and expanded distribution networks are the tools that footwear firms can utilize to conquer the market, they said. At present around 90 percent of its output is exported by the industry.

While vending its products across 50 countries and territories, EU, US, and Japan being the main amongst them, Vietnam has acquired a prime position in export of footwear, the world over. Sports, canvas, leather shoes and sandals are the main items of export.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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