|Workers on a production line at Dong An Economic Investment and Development Company in Ha Noi. This year, the footwear industry expects to reach a growth rate of 15-20 per cent in export value thanks to opportunities from FTAs. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS) — Export value of the domestic leather and footwear industry could grow between 15 per cent and 20 per cent this year due to opportunities from free trade agreements (FTAs).
At a conference on production, export and import of leather and footwear in Ha Noi yesterday by the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said signing of negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and other FTAs would present more opportunities in production and business for Viet Nam's enterprises, including firms from the textile, garment, leather and footwear industries, reported online newspaper bnews.vn.
"To take advantage of those agreements, the local leather and footwear industry should prepare material at home to join preferential tariffs from the deal when exporting their products to the US, the European Union and some other markets," Thoa said.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, Lefaso chairman, said the local leather and footwear industry will have more business opportunities from the agreements, including the TPP, but those agreements will also create more challenges for the export activities of local footwear firms.
However, buoyed by the recovery in the economy and trade activities, the local firms expect to achieve high growth in revenue this year, he said. To ensure that, they should implement technology to improve production.
Last year, the domestic leather and footwear industry gained a year-on-year increase of about 16 per cent in export value to US$15 billion, including $12 billion from footwear, and $3 billion from handbags.
This year, the industry expects to reach a growth rate at 15-20 per cent in export value due to leftover development from last year and more export opportunities from the FTAs, especially from the ASEAN Economic Community and the TPP, Thuan said.
In 2015, traditional markets of the local footwear products registered high exports as against 2014, including the US with growth rate at 20 per cent, the EU at 10 per cent, and China at around 50 per cent.
The local footwear firms had also initiated reforms in production to increase productivity and quality of products, and also sought and expanded their export markets, he said.
A representative of the Phong Chau Leather and Footwear Company said last year, the company expanded its export markets to Africa and the ASEAN countries so its export value increased between 5 per cent and 7 per cent in 2015, as compared with 2014.
This year, the company will promote exports to those markets, while seeking out new export markets and increasing investment for expanding production scales. — VNS