US largest export market for VN’s footwear, bags

The United States (US) has been the largest export market for Vietnamese footwear, bags and suitcases in the first five months of 2017, the General Department of Customs said.

At US$1.99 billion, the export value of local footwear products to the US saw a year-on-year increase of 13.9 per cent, and accounts for 35.2 per cent of Viet Nam’s total footwear export value, the Vietnam News Agency reported today.

The European Union (EU) ranks second at $1.76 billion, which is a surge of 9.7 per cent over the same period in 2016, and accounts for 31.15 per cent of the total footwear export revenue.

Other leading export markets of local footwear products include China at $418.4 million, up 31.1 per cent; Japan at $284.4 million, up 4.4 per cent; and South Korea at $158.3 million, up 15.5 per cent.

In the first five months of this year, the US was also the largest export market for Vietnamese handbags, suitcases and briefcases, bringing in $555 million, which is 6 per cent higher than the same period in 2016. The EU is its second largest export market at $365 million, up 8.2 per cent. The other three large export markets for these items include Japan at $146.5 million, up 1.7 per cent; China at $57.6 million, down 6.8 per cent; and South Korea at $52.8 million, down 0.4 per cent.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs show that in the first half of 2017, the total export value for footwear products saw a year-on-year increase of 11 per cent, to $8.7 billion. Currently, Viet Nam exports footwear products to 100 countries, of which 72 bring an export value of $1 million per market, said the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso).

Trade experts said that this year, the world economy is expected to be better than it was in 2016, and China will continue reducing investment incentives in the textile and footwear sectors to focus on high-tech industries. So, orders for processing shoes and bags will continue to move from China to Viet Nam.

The total export value of the leather and footwear industry is expected to touch $17.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 10 per cent against 2016, experts said. To achieve this target, footwear producers must take advantage of the free trade agreements (FTAs) and explore export markets in countries that have signed FTAs with Viet Nam, the association said.

Enterprises must also invest in innovative production models and join the chain of footwear production in the country, the region and the world. They must revamp technology, modernise equipment and expand production to increase productivity and quality of export products, it said. — VNS

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