Footwear exports hit over US$3 billion

VGP – Footwear export turnover touched US$3.1 billion in the first five months of 2013, representing a year-on-year increase of 11.4%, according to the General Statistics Office.

In May, overseas shipment revenue was US$750 million thanks to stable orders from traditional markets and increases in contracts from new importers.

Viet Nam’s traditional markets include the US, the UK, Belgium, Japan and China. According to the Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO), footwear producers had secured stable contracts by the June-September period.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are expected to open up opportunities for the Vietnamese footwear industry to penetrate into large markets as made-in-Viet Nam footwear would enjoy a zero-percent preferential import tariff instead of the current rate of 14.3%. Accordingly, Vietnamese exports would be more competitive against other big footwear producers from non-TPP member states.

In addition, Vietnamese footwear would benefit from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in the EU market from early next year.

However, according to the LEFASO, TPP would bring about challenges for the domestic footwear industry which is heavily relying on imported raw materials while the TPP agreement has a compulsory regulation on a localization rate of up to 40%.

Earlier, the Ministry of Industry and Trade encouraged footwear enterprises to strengthen investment in producing raw materials and applying environmentally-friendly technologies in order to reach the goals of US$9.7 billion export turnover in 2013 and enter the list of the world’s Top five leading footwear exporters by 2020./.

By Kim Loan

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