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Garment industry going from strength to strength   2008-11-19 - VNA

Vietnam ’s garment sector has enjoyed strong growth in the two years since the country’s WTO accession despite facing stiff competition, according to participants at a seminar in Hanoi on November 18. 

Phan Chi Dung, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Light Industry Department, said that the garment sector’s most noteworthy achievement has been to increase its export turnover to more than 7.8 billion USD in 2007, more than double 2004’s figure and accounting for 15 percent of the country’s total export revenue.
The result has helped lift Vietnam to the ninth position among the world’s biggest garment exporters, he added. 

The sector’s growth rate was maintained during the first ten months of this year, with total export turnover reaching 7.64 billion USD, up 20.3 percent over the same period last year. This figure is predicted to reach 9.5 billion USD for the whole year. 
The US remains Vietnam ’s largest garment importer, contributing 57 percent of the country’s export turnover, followed by the EU with 18 percent and Japan with 9 percent. 
As one of the nation’s large hard currency earners the garment sector has made major contributions to ensuring employment for local workers. There are now around 2,000 garment businesses in the country, providing jobs for more than 2 million workers. 
To attain their goal of recording 12 billion USD in total export earnings by 2010 Vietnamese garment companies should draw up suitable business strategies in order to make the best use of their competitive advantage, said Dinh Thi Ty, a representative from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association.
She also said that the association plans to coordinate with authorised agencies to create the sector’s development strategy and strengthen international cooperation and trade promotion activities in an effort to expand the flow of Vietnamese products into the global market.-

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