The domestic textile and garment industry was still striving to reach its export revenue target of $40 bn this year despite facing many difficulties, said Vũ Đức Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS). To achieve this target, the industry needs export value growth of at least 11-12 per cent for the rest of the year, he said.
According to the association, growth reached only 9.1 per cent in the third quarter, much lower than the same period in 2018. However, it was higher than other textile producers including China, India and Bangladesh. The association is hoping textile enterprises will be able to deliver big orders to push export value up in December.
The most important thing is for textile and garment enterprises to search for markets and alternative partners. Currently, the businesses can take advantage of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to promote export expansion to some markets in the EU as well as Canada and Australia.
Canada holds a lot of potential for Vietnam with import value of textiles and garments reaching more than $13 bn each year, while Vietnam’s textile and apparel exports to this market reach only about $550 mn per year. Vietnam does not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada so the CPTPP opens the door for Vietnam’s textile and apparel products. Businesses need to seize this opportunity and seek partners in Canada.
Thân Đức Việt, General Director of Garment 10 Corporation, said to achieve export success, enterprises needed to be aware of requirements on price, quality, and quantity and production time. Moreover, they must also ensure production stability. At the same time, enterprises also needed to cooperate with each other through affiliate programmes and support from the association to meet the rules of origin stated in FTAs.
Enterprises, especially small businesses, should build a production chain to meet the demand of large contracts in terms of quantity, quality and time of delivery, as well as to create a name for them. In recent years, the textile and garment industry had developed strongly and exports had grown year by year, according to the association. However, it still faced many challenges in production and business, such as low labour productivity, lack of high quality human resources and mainly processing products rather than manufacturing them.
In addition, challenges from export markets had also put pressure on them, including increasing protectionism, higher quality demands, and environment and technical tests. According to VITAS, local apparel producers were facing falling export orders. Since mid 2019, some businesses had been able to sign export contracts for small quantities each month. Meanwhile, in the same period last year, many large enterprises had export orders stacked up till the end of the year.