Footwear exports gaining momentum

(VOV) - Despite the impact of world economic slowdown, the footwear sector expects to achieve an average growth of more than 10 percent this year.

Judging by the latest statistics from the Vietnam Customs, the footwear sector is likely to earn US$7.3 billion from total exports in 2012, up 12 percent compared to last year’s figure.

By far, it has exported US$5.45 billion worth of different products, up US$600 million from a year earlier, showing its growth of 12.3 percent.

In the first two quarters, footwear exports rose 16.4 percent to more than US$3.5 billion against the same period last year. This was owing to co-ordinated efforts by businesses to fulfill contracts signed with the EU and other countries.

The EU was Vietnam’s largest market, accounting for US$1.29 billion or 40.2 percent of its total export turnover (up 6.5 percent). Footwear exports to Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic increased considerably, by 228.8 percent, 147.6 percent and 136.7 percent respectively. The footwear sector also achieved impressive export growth in Sweden (43.2 percent), Belgium (25 percent) and France (10.1 percent).

The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association said that in order to achieve this year’s export target of US$7.3 billion, the sector has closely coordinated with relevant agencies, international organisations and major partners to iron out snags in export business, especially in the face of trade protection and anti-dumping lawsuits. It has also focused on improving both production and management capacities.

There is a long-term plan afoot to establish and develop satellite production establishments, employ human resources from rural areas, overcome labour shortages, raise incomes for rural labourers, and step up sales and marketing activities.

The bottom line is that businesses need to maintain traditional markets such as the EU, the US, Japan and China and find new markets like Canada, India and member countries of the ASEAN bloc.