High-flying handbag exports help nation gain tidy purse

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 09:20

Viet Nam's leading handbag importer was the US with a value of $317.63 million.—Illustrative image/Photo Chinhphu.vn

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Handbag exports have grown impressively with most markets reporting increases over the past five months.

According to statistics from the General Customs Department, the export revenues for suitcases, handbags and umbrellas in the January-May period reached US$744.58 million, a 22.22 per cent increase over last years' figures. The total turnover for these products was $1.518 billion in 2012 and $1.33 billion in 2011.

Viet Nam's leading handbag importer was the US with a value of $317.63 million, a 31 per cent increase over last year. The value for May alone was $86.84 million, up 9 per cent from the previous month.

Japan was the second biggest importer, buying $93.28 million worth of handbag, an increase of 32.7 per cent year on year. Germany followed with $54.53 million, up 21.59 per cent; Belgium – $40.93 million, up 11.8 per cent; and the Republic of Korea – $28.01 million, up 26.6 per cent.

Other markets which generated over $10 million in turnover for the sector included France ($23.3 million), Holland ($22.1 million), China ($18.7 million), the UK ($17.1 million), Canada ($13.8 million), Spain ($12.02 million) and Italy ($11 million).

Besides these major markets, the handbag sector saw a sharp increase in export turnover in Hong Kong (up 56.76 per cent), Sweden (up 56.14 per cent), Malaysia (55.27 per cent), and Thailand (54.66 per cent).

The Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) has set a target of $1.7 billion in briefcase and handbag revenues this year and expects an export growth rate of 30 per cent in the coming years.

Nguyen Duc Thuan, President of Lefaso, said that eight out of ten global handbag brand names have transferred their orders to Viet Nam. This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to enhance their international prestige.

In the past, foreign direct investment (FDI) companies produced the bulk of handbag exports. Two years ago, domestic businesses entered the sector.

According to Lefaso, the domestic demand for handbags and knapsacks rose to 25 million units last year. But only 15 million products were made from local materials. For luxury handbags, Viet Nam still depends on imported materials. — VNS

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