Economic experts say the fact that the average annual growth of exports has held at over 20% for the past three years.
According to the statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, import value of textile and garment materials from China reached nearly US$9 billion last year, making up more than 42.7% of the country’s total imports and up more than 12% on last year. The value trade was nearly four times higher than that of the Republic of Korea and nearly five times higher than that of Taiwan (China) - the two major import markets of Vietnam in recent years.
China and Vietnam are seen as chief rivals in many garment export markets. China’s textile and garment exports have hit US$260 billion annually, while Vietnam’s apparel products were initially exported to the Chinese market, rising to over US$31 billion last year.
The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) forecasts that it will be easier for the association to ship greater numbers to China from 2018 as a result of drastic growth in Chinese, Russian and Cambodian markets. Especially, exports to China account for a relatively meagre 3% of the country’s total textile and garment export value.
Vu Duc Giang, Vitas president, has analyzed the contributory factors to the increase and concluded that Vietnam’s fibre exports to China benefit greatly from a zero percent tariff under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, while products from other markets such as India and Pakistan are subject to duties of 3-5%.
In addition, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN and the six countries of China, the ROK, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand which is currently under negotiation will also give a wealth of create solid opportunity for Vietnam to boost its exports to China.
By the end of 2017, China was among the top five consumers of Vietnam’s textile and garment products with the value reaching over US$3 billion.
Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), says Vietnam has so far been the world’s leading textile and garment exporters, but Chinese products are dominating the domestic market. However, remarkable improvements have been seen in Vietnam’s exports to China.
China has begun to consume Vietnamese products, including fibre, fabric, and finished products like jackets and shirts, showing the great efforts by garment and textile businesses to make an entry into the huge potential market.
Vietnamese businesses say that China, as the world's most populous nation, has many goods divisions, thus enabling Vietnamese textile and garment products to gain a foothold for further success. If businesses know how to choose the appropriate product niche they will be able to develop their brands on the highly lucrative market.
With a firm grasp of the necessary steps to greater market penetration and the short-term and long-term investment programs, Vietnam’s textile and garment brands will be widely known internationally.