Vietnamese on its way to achieve the textile and garment export target of $31 bn for 2017, according to Le Tien Truong, General Director of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex). As the average export growth rate in August and September indicates the target is achievable, another $8 bn worth of exports is needed before the year end.

Of the five major destination markets for Vietnamese clothing goods, the United States, Japan, South Korea and China are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and jointly constitute 70 per cent of export turnover, contributing remarkably to the country’s export growth in 2017. The fifth is the European Union (EU). Exports to these five markets have witnessed exponential growth, said Truong.

From January to September this year, the clothing industry grossed $23 bn in export turnover, including yarn exports at $2.6 bn, materials and non-woven fabrics at $1.1 bn and clothes at $19.6 bn. Exports to the US market have grown by 6.5 per cent and are expected to reach about $13 bn this year. Exports to Europe and Japan have posted slower growth, between 4 and 4.5 per cent. Exports to the South Korean market are expected to hit nearly $2 bn this year.

In the first eight months of this year, apparel and textile exports to China rose by 30 per cent to $670 mn. Export turnover to the Russian market will likely exceed $200 mn this year making it among the top 10 apparel export markets. Russia is considered a potential market for Vietnam over the next five years. In 2016, Vietnam’s textile and apparel exports were worth $28 bn and exports growth is projected to reach 10 per cent this year. According to Le Tien Truong, the US’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has not affected Vietnam’s apparel exports to the US