Viet Nam aims to be major global face-mask producer

Thursday, May 07, 2020 18:44

The Wakamono Group is manufacturing 20 tonnes of antimicrobial gecide fabrics every day to supply Vietnamese garment companies that make masks and protective clothes. — Photo courtesy of the group

Vietnamese companies are manufacturing more non-woven and antimicrobial fabrics to reduce reliance on imported materials and to help the country become a major global supplier of cloth and medical face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given the green light to the export of medical face masks without any cap on export volume.

Phan Quoc Cong, chairman of the Wakamono Group, said this would be a good opportunity for Vietnamese companies to enhance their competitive capacity in facial mask exports.

Viet Nam has not seen an increase in new COVID cases, but because of its strong presence in many other countries, demand for facial masks remains high.

“Antimicrobial fabrics are important materials for the production of medical face masks and protective clothes,” Cong said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, two of the main materials used for masks are non-woven and antimicrobial fabrics. Viet Nam has had to import nearly 70 per cent of antimicrobial fabrics from China and 30 per cent from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and others.

Because of high demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply sources of antimicrobial fabrics have been limited and garment companies in the country have faced difficulties buying this material and have had to pay higher prices.

Cong's company is now manufacturing 20 tonnes of antimicrobial gecide fabric every day to supply garment companies in the country. Customers from Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea and others have contacted the company for orders.

But the company has given priority to domestic companies. Because of so many orders, the company is raising capacity to 50 tonnes per day, Cong said.

“This antimicrobial gecide fabric that uses nano biotech is 30 per cent lower in price than market prices,” he said. The materials have been tested and meet domestic and foreign standards.

When the Prime Minister released his decision on no caps on face mask exports, Vietnamese enterprises invested in machines to produce standard medical face masks and protective clothes for export.

Cong said that with such production, Vietnamese names would appear on medical clothes and masks.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to change production rapidly and to innovate, he added. — VNS

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