Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the research, development and marketing organisation for the Australian wool industry, has been implementing an Out of Vietnam project since last June, aiming to develop a sustainable supply chain in Vietnam, and expand its manufacturing sector.
With Australia currently sending about 80 percent of its wool to China and becoming increasingly reliant on this country, AWI sees the need to develop a new processing and manufacturing market for Australian wool, its General Manager for Product Development and Commercialisation, Jimmy Jackson, told the English-language daily Vietnam News.
“Vietnam comes out on top in comparison with other countries," Jackson said.
"Vietnam meets a host of essential criteria, including its low sovereign risk, its well-established textile manufacturing industry and infrastructure, a large, skilled workforce, its large and growing exports of textile products, its large trade access including a Free Trade Agreement with the US and an abundant supply of water”, he said.
After visits and meetings with potential partners, AWI has realised that "the time is right for wool in Vietnam."
Jackson said the country offers an alternative to relying so heavily on China as the major buyer of Australian greasy wool.
"We have received a fantastic response to this project. Apart from the 30 partners we also have four new wool spinning plants looking to invest as well as about 20 knitters."
AWI owns the Woolmark Company, which is the world's leading wool textile organisation.