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Garment sector struggles to survive in its own market

Nov '07
Clothing industry of Vietnam has greatly increased the country's export turnover. However, quiet strikingly, the country's own domestic market has only 25 percent of Vietnamese apparels.

In other words, the country is facing difficulty in competing with foreign brands even in the domestic market. Popular international brands are replacing local ones in Vietnam shops in spite of the fact that only a small section of the affluent class can afford these products.

The youth in Vietnam are increasingly getting accustomed to foreign brands made in China. Some of these brands include Mango, Bossini and Giordano. In contrast to this, local brands like Ninomaxx, PT 2000 and Blue have to face stiff competition even though they are 2-3 times cheaper in price.

In addition to this, the market for children's clothing has also receded from 70 to 40 and 45 percent in the recent years.

Le Quoc An, Chairman of Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), opined that local industry could not capture the market mainly because Vietnam lacks skillful designers while Chinese clothes are price competitive and superior in design especially in the women's segment.

Market sources also confirm that nearly 70 percent of garments stocked-up for the upcoming festive season are from China and that Chinese T-shirts which are disqualified in its own country, have taken up a large space in Vietnam, selling at merely VND8,000-10,000.

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