Similarly to the textile and apparel industry, the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has caused footwear export turnover during the reviewed period to suffer a fall of 7.9% to US$9.53 billion. This equals a drop of US$770 million from last year’s corresponding period which had seen footwear exports enjoy growth of 13.5%, reaching an export turnover of US$10.3 billion in the process.
After going on to meet the export target of US$22 billion last year, the leather and footwear industry had previously set a target of making US$24 billion in exports over the course of the year. Despite these lofty ambitions, the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association has since reduced this year’s export target by over 10% due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
With the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) having come into effect on August 1, the industry expects leather and footwear exports during the third and fourth quarters of the year to witness growth once again, therefore helping to make up for the losses witnessed during the opening months of the year.
At present the EU represents a traditional market for the Vietnamese leather and footwear industry, accounting for nearly 30% of its annual export turnover, equivalent to roughly US$6 billion.