|Shoes are made in Huu Nghi Da Nang Joint Stock Company in An Don Industrial Zone, Da Nang City's Son Tra District. Footwear exports brought Viet Nam US$3.1 billion in the first five months of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam earned US$3.1 billion in footwear exports in the first five months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 11.4 per cent, according to the General Statistics Office.
Last month alone, export turnover reached $750 million due to the stability of traditional export markets and increasing orders from new importers.
In the first four months of the year, the industry enjoyed high export turnover from its traditional markets. The US took the lead with turnover of $755 million, followed by Britain with $149 million, Belgium with $140 million, Japan with $121 million and China with $114 million.
Shoe producers had stable orders, with many big enterprises receiving orders for up to the third quarter.
According to the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO), the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations would bring about opportunities for the Vietnamese leather and footwear industry to penetrate the large market.
The association added that Viet Nam's leather and footwear products would enjoy preferential tax of zero per cent, reduced from the current 14.3 per cent.
This would help Vietnamese shoe enterprises to increase their competitiveness over other big shoe exporters that were not TPP members.
In addition, the products would be subject to Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) taxes in the EU market from the beginning of next year.
EU taxes would be zero per cent when the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and the EU came into effect.
Several British and German shoe importers, therefore, have been searching for business opportunities in Viet Nam.
However, the association said the TPP would also bring about challenges for Viet Nam's shoes industry, as the agreement had a compulsory localisation rate for raw materials.
Domestic businesses have a low localisation rate of 40 per cent, as the industry depends highly on imported materials.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade encouraged footwear businesses to increase their investment in material production, modern and environmentally friendly technologies.
The country aimed to reach an export turnover of $9.7 billion this year, up 10 per cent over last year. Shoe exports are expected to gain $8 billion.
It also aims by 2020 to be one of the world's top-five producers and exporters of footwear.
Footwear manufacturers from Thailand are in HCM City on their first-ever trade mission in the country to further business partnerships and seal business deals with local manufacturers.
Panjit Pisawong, executive director of Thailand's Bureau of Trade and Investment Cooperation of the Department of Foreign Trade, said that ample trade opportunities exist in footwear business between the two countries.
The Thai trade official was speaking at the Thailand-Viet Nam Business Forum and Business Matching held yesterday in HCM City.
The delegation consists of government delegates and 30 members of the Association of Thai Footwear Industrial Promotion.
"Viet Nam is by far one of the world's major producers of footwear. Opportunities abound when it comes to seeking to expand bilateral trade and cooperation in this sector," said Panpimon Suwannapongse, the Thai Consul General in HCM City.
She said Thailand wanted to build a network of business contacts between the footwear producers of the two countries.
Diep Thanh Kiet, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association, said Thailand was a good source of tanned leather for Viet Nam.
The forum was organised by the Thai Ministry of Commerce's Department of Foreign Trade in collaboration with the Association of Thai Footwear Industrial Promotion and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. — VNS