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Bright days for Vietnam's leather, footwear sector: LEFASO
Mar '18
Vietnam’s leather and footwear sector will witness more orders and an expanded export market share in 2018, according to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear, and Handbag Association (LEFASO). The Vietnam-European Union (EU) free trade agreement, expected to be signed this year, will offer Vietnam’s footwear products a big competitive advantage over China, it feels.

The sector’s export revenue last year was $18 billion, up 10.7 per cent over 2016 figures. The United States remains the largest export market for such products, accounting for 34 per cent of the sector’s total export turnover, followed by the EU, South Korea, Japan and China, according to a Vietnamese state radio report.

The Skechers Group of the United States, which is planning to shift investment from China to Vietnam, is exploring investing in a large project in the country with about 20,000 workers.

But the sector will also face some challenges, including the impact of the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and the problem of enhancing labour productivity, LEFASO feels. Up to three-fourths of leather and footwear enterprises now find it difficult to invest in automation; only a fifth of them start at a small scale; and less than 5 per cent are planning to make investments in the area.

Apart from these, the protectionist policies implemented by certain countries also pose a big challenge to the sector.

In 2018, Vietnam’s leather and footwear sector has set an export revenue target of $20 billion, a 10 per cent rise over 2017. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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