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US still top market for clothing forecast to grow 3% this year

Update: January, 26/2013 - 09:42


Workers of the Ha Quang Garment Factory in the central province of Quang Binh produce clothes for export to the US, Japan and Europe. The US continues to be the leading market for Vietnamese garments. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HCM CITY (VNS)— The US, Japan, the EU and South Korea are expected to remain Viet Nam's four key markets for the garment industry this year, according to the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).

For the next few years, the US will continue to be the biggest market, with a forecast growth rate of about 3 per cent this year.

According to Vitas, Japan this year could topple the EU as the second-biggest importer of Vietnamese garments.

This year, Japan's import value is expected to be about US$2.37 billion, a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent over 2012.

Meanwhile, the EU's import value for garments is predicted to decline somewhat this year, as it did in the previous year, while Viet Nam's other key markets are expected to see increases of about 5 per cent each.

According to Vitas, most garment companies have received orders for the first quarter, and some have orders for the second and third quarters as well.

The association and its members are waiting for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to go into effect, which is expected to be signed this year.

The agreement is currently being negotiated by nine countries, the US, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam.

Under the agreement, Vietnamese garment companies would enjoy either a zero or low per cent import tariff.

Currently, import taxes from the US and other countries are very high, affecting the competitiveness of Vietnamese garment products.

To help domestic garment companies, Vitas has asked the Government to invest more in the national garment-trademark programme.

It also wants the government to strengthen trade promotions at Vietnamese embassies around the world.

Close co-operation among companies is also needed to further develop exports, according to Vitas. — VNS

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