|A footwear production line for export. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt|
HÀ NỘI — An interactive video conference on “Promoting Việt Nam - US Trade in Footwear Post COVID-19” took place in Washington DC on May 27 (US time) to connect Vietnamese producers and American distributors and retailers.
The conference was co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), the Việt Nam Trade Office in the US in partnership with Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), the Việt Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), and USAID Linkages for Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME), to boost the export of footwear – one of Việt Nam’s main foreign currency earners – to the US.
It was the first video conference ever held bringing Việt Nam’s footwear sector to a foreign market.
As both countries gradually reopen their economies, the conference and its business matching session provided a platform for Vietnamese firms and US importers to learn about each other’s needs and capacity, seek deals, and promote trade in the “new normal”.
The event presented Vietnamese firms with the latest updates on the US’ footwear market and how it is being affected by COVID-19. US experts also advised Vietnamese footwear makers on specific market segments they should focus on and how to improve competitiveness and properly access the US market.
The conference also offered Vietnamese companies a chance to discuss the challenges facing them in exporting footwear to the US.
Speaking at the event, Counsellor Bùi Huy Sơn, Head of Việt Nam Trade Office in Washington DC, said they would co-operate with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) to organise other conferences connecting Vietnamese firms with US ones. In addition, they have always been ready to support and exchange information to help the two countries’ businesses to learn their demands and promote trade co-operation.
“Many experts forecast that the demand for footwear products in the US would increase post COVID-19. It was the reason that Vietnamese footwear producers should focus on trade promotion to the market,” said Vũ Bá Phú, Vietrade’s director.
Việt Nam exported US$18.3 billion worth of footwear products in total last year, up 12.8 per cent against 2018. The US remained Việt Nam’s largest footwear market, buying $6.65 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14.2 per cent.
Shipments of footwear to the US grew 10 per cent year-on-year to $1.56 billion in the first quarter of this year.
The ministry would organise B2B online trading conference on May 29 and 30 for Vietnamese and the US businesses. Of which, 16 Vietnamese firms would introduce and offer for sale to the US distributors and importers of footwear products. — VNS