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Garment sector needs to seek new markets

Update: August, 10/2012 - 10:34

HA NOI — Seeking new markets was key to boosting consumption of local garment products, said policy-makers and experts at a seminar to discuss ways of boosting the sector.

The seminar on solutions to access resources and expand the garment business globally was co-hosted by the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and Vietinbank with Dun&Bradstreert (D&B) yesterday in Ha Noi.

At the seminar, leading experts in the field of garments and textiles and trade and exports shared experiences and outlined the potential and limits of the local garment and textile industry and solutions to find new customers.

They also looked at ways to attract potential customers in traditional markets and handling current difficulties for exporters.

Slow domestic consumption has been attributed to the global economic crisis.

Over the last seven months, Viet Nam's garment and textile exports reached $9.3 billion, maintaining annual growth rate of 7-8 per cent. This was viewed as modest compared to the country's growth of 22 per cent.

Dang Phuong Dung, deputy chairwoman and general secretary of Vitas, said the major exporters were the US, the EU, Japan and South Korea. Exports to South Korea alone had grown following the signing of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with some of the ASEAN nations, including Viet Nam, to further promote the country's trade volume with the bloc.

Looking back at 2011, inflation was low and exports orders remained high, but in 2012, the US has faced ongoing public debt and unemployment that has affected consumers.

The US and the EU market have seen low growth, and the eurozone crisis has also had a significant effect on garment exporters.

The first solution to accelerate consumption of garment products was to seek new markets. Apart from traditional markets, domestic exporters needed to expand their markets.

In addition, trade promotions needed to be enhanced to establish new partners, said Dung.

Also speaking at the seminar, Nguyen Thi Khanh Phuong of Vietinbank said her bank would help its customers access capital through export support programmes from different countries.

Vietinbank would also help garment exporters to balance their forex demand between members of the garment and textile sector to minimise the reliance on foreign currencies while ensuring payment ability and avoiding exchange rate risks. — VNS

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