|Workers make T-shirts for export to the US at Garment 10 Co. Experts suggest the domestic garment and textile industry adjust its development strategy over the next 10-20 years. —VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— The development strategy for the domestic garment and textile industry over the next 10 to 20 years should be adjusted to meet the needs of global integration.
This was the main topic discussed at a conference collecting ideas to adjust the strategy, which was first approved in 2008.
Deputy minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the sector had contributed 8 per cent of GDP yearly - and taken the lead in the country's exports with turnover of US$17 billion last year.
Thoa said Viet Nam was in the top five of the world garment and textile industry and had an average growth rate of 16 per cent a year during 2008-12.
She said the sector's development has brought positive changes to the country's socio-economic development as well as contributing to the shift from agriculture to industry.
However, she said while most workers in the sector came from rural areas, their incomes were not enough to sustain them or their families in the cities, where the work existed.
This was why there should be a strategy to shift operations from urban to rural areas to create favourable conditions for people in remote regions.
A representative from the Garment and Textile Institute said Viet Nam had been taking part in several bilateral and multilateral free-trade agreements. The world garment and textile industry therefore would head to countries which had cheap labour costs.
The representative said the domestic sector had to import most of its materials, machines and chemicals, despite the number of garment businesses.
For example, domestic fabric output met only 3-4 per cent of the country's demand while accessories met 45-67 per cent.
In addition, the sector faced weak supply chains, low added value and a lack of skilled workers and marketing strategies.
The sector aims to become a key export industry with famous brand names in the world market by 2020.
Accordingly, export turnover is expected to be $31-32 billion by 2020 and up to $60-65 billion by 2030.
Le Tien Truong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Textile and Garment Association, said the sector should prepare to take advantage of the Trans-Pacific Strategy Economic Partnership (TPP) which would come into effect next year.
Truong said if businesses had been active in using domestic raw materials, they would be given tax preferences when the pact came into effects.
Experts at the conference proposed the industry focus on building markets and brand names, management, technology transfer, developing support industries, human resources and finance.
The strategy does not encourage establishment of garment and textile factories in Ha Noi and HCM City, which are being set aside as centres for design and supplying materials and trade.
It plans to provide investment for the sector of VND81.5 trillion ($3.9 billion) from 2011-15 and VND134 trillion ($6.4 billion) from 2016-20. — VNS