The Hanoitimes - With export turnover of US$8.6 billion in the first four months of this year, textile and garment was Vietnam’s second foreign currency earner behind mobile phones and parts.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the product’s export revenue in the period rose 15.7 percent year-on-year.
The United States was the largest export market of Vietnamese textile and garment products with export value of $3.04 billion in the first three months, accounting for 47.3 percent of the country’s total export revenue.
The export value of the products to Japan reached $855.44 million, 19.6 percent higher than the same period last year, accounting for 13.3 percent of the total export value.
Vietnam’s textile and garment export to the United States was at $3.04 billion
The shipment to South Korea stood at $798.6 million and $268.95 million to China, an increase of 14.8 percent and 40.9 percent, respectively, against the same period in 2017.
The export turnover rose by 11.8 per cent to reach $806.23 million worth of exports to the European Union and by 26 per cent to $228.36 million worth of exports to the ASEAN market compared to the same period last year.
Truong Van Cam, Vice President and General Secretary of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), said that many garment and textile enterprises have received orders until the end of the third quarter, which, in combination with favorable prospects for the world and domestic economy in 2018, makes the export target of $34-34.5 billion for 2018 an achievable goal.
Domestic textile and garment firms also expect to benefit from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Within CPTPP, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore often import Chinese textiles and garments. When CPTPP becomes effective, it will create advantages for Vietnamese textile and garment products to enter these markets thanks to preferential treatment under tariff reductions.
VITAS’s Cam said in Australia, for example, the current growth of Vietnam’s textiles and garment exports to Australia was just below 10 percent, but with the signing of CPTPP, the rate was expected to reach a double-digit growth.
Reports showed that total textiles and garments import turnover of the CPTPP member countries exceeded $53 billion in 2017, of which Australia was the third-largest import market, with a total turnover of over $6.2 billion, accounting for 11.67 percent.
As committed in CPTPP, Australia will reduce its import duties to 5 per cent in the first three years after the agreement comes into effect and to zero per cent from the fourth year for almost all products.
Moreover, Australia is gradually shifting to importing and outsourcing of textiles and garment products in Vietnam because of cheaper labor cost and lower tax rates than in China.
Cam said Australia’s textiles and garment import turnover grew by 3 to 5 percent annually in the past five years. In 2017, the country imported some $9.32 billion worth of textiles and garment products from various countries. Vietnam’s exports to Australia reached only $173 million, equivalent to just 1.9 percent of its total textile import turnover.
According to Tran Van Quyen, a representative of Woolmark Company of Australia in Vietnam, the purchasing power of Australian consumers is even higher than that in the United States and Europe. However, orders from Australia are usually small because Australian firms operate in the form of online businesses, so they usually order in small quantities to avoid a large inventory.
Large Vietnamese enterprises are not interested in small orders, while small firms do not have a social responsibility certificate to qualify for exports to Australia.
Experts said to get better access to the market, Vietnamese businesses should enhance promotion and study more to understand its characteristics.