|Workers produce footwear for export at the Da Nang Huu Nghi Company. A report by the General Statistics Office says footwear exports have reached $2.9 billion in the first four months of the year, 22 per cent or $511.2 million higher than the same period last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Dien
HA NOI (VNS) — The footwear industry is strolling towards a US$12 billion export target for this year, thanks to encouraging export results in the first four months, industry insiders have said.
The General Statistics Office's report revealed that footwear exports have fetched $2.9 billion during the reviewed period, 22 per cent or $511.2 million higher than last year's corresponding period.
Industry insiders attributed the four-month significant growth to the EU's generalised system of preferences, which gave developing countries unilateral tariff preferences for the 2014-16 period. The lower tariffs have facilitated Vietnamese footwear exports to the bloc, Viet Nam's largest footwear importer.
Improved demand in other markets also contributed to the rapid export growth during the January and April periods, footwear companies have said.
If the economies of importing countries recovered, exporters would receive benefits immediately, a representative of Puon Chen Viet Nam Company told Thoi bao kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper.
According to experts, the domestic footwear industry would also benefit when Viet Nam signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
But to receive the full benefits, experts urged local companies to use local materials or imported materials from TPP members to enjoy zero tariffs and to make more of an effort to improve quality and productivity.
Currently, around 1,100 companies are involved in footwear production in the country, employing 720,000 workers.
In addition, there are thousands of individual producers and handicraft villages that take part in export activities.
With this capacity, the Vietnamese footwear industry was expected to meet the increasing export demand.
The industry's export turnover was $10.3 billion in 2013, up 18 per cent from the previous year. — VNS