Footwear exports to the US post record growth

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 14:54

Viet Nam's footwear exports totalled US$5.85 billion in the first half of 2015, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 per cent. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Viet Nam's footwear exports to the United States reached US$2 billion in the first half of this year, posting a record high year-on-year 20 per cent growth.

The local press cited the figures put out by the General Department of Customs, reporting that the growth helped the US market stay abreast of the European Union, which is the traditional and largest export market for the Vietnamese footwear industry.

About six years ago, footwear exports to the United States hovered only around $1 billion, half of such exports to the European Union.

Truong Thi Thuy Lien, director of the Lien Phat shoe company in the southern Binh Duong Province, said foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises and a few major domestic firms have tended to shift to the US market.

She told The Saigon Times online that every order from the United States featured, on an average, 10,000 pairs of shoes, and these big quantities helped the enterprises cut costs and make more profit than they did with smaller orders.

Meanwhile, small and medium-sized companies mainly chose the EU market with orders consisting of 3,000 to 5,000 pairs of shoes.

The Saigon Times cited data of the United States Department of Commerce, reporting that Vietnamese products accounted for more than 12 per cent of the United States' footwear imports, which hit roughly $1.1 trillion in the first five months of 2015.

The United States has been seeking to be less dependent on China, where wages for workers are increasingly higher, and is importing more from other Asian countries, including Viet Nam.

In the first half of this year, Viet Nam's footwear exports totalled $5.85 billion, an increase of 21.2 per cent over the same period last year.

Lien said the footwear export business has especially prospered since the second quarter of this year, and most exporters have booked orders for implementation until February next year.

Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman of the Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), agreed that orders for leather and footwear products are showing satisfactory development.

He said the leather and footwear sector can definitely reach an export turnover of $14.5 billion with a year-on-year growth rate of 20 per cent this year, as per the target set by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The customs department said foreign direct investment enterprises account for 70 per cent to 80 per cent of all footwear export. They have continuously expanded production, winning a sizeable number of orders from US and EU markets.

Many well-known footwear firms such as Nike, Adidas and Puma have shifted their orders from China and Bangladesh to Viet Nam, eyeing production expansion and risk limitation since last year.

Viet Nam exports footwear products to 47 global markets. The export value of these products last year totalled $10.22 billion, or 6.8 per cent of the country's total export revenues, according to the department. — VNS

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