Vietnam reaped roughly $7.3 bn from exporting garments and textiles in the first quarter of this year, up 13.3 per cent on-year, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. The turnovers of Vietnamese garments and textiles exported to the United States went up 12.3 per cent, to the European Union (EU) up 9.8 per cent, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) up 40.5 per cent, to Japan up 7.4 per cent, and to South Korea up 6.4 per cent.

In March alone, the garment and textile export turnovers stood at $2.7 bn, seeing a yea-on-year rise of 15.9 per cent. The revenue surge was mainly attributable to strong market demand, with many orders already placed for the first six months of this year or even the whole year, said the Ministry. By the end of this year, total export turnovers of the industry may reach $40 bn, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association forecast.

Vietnam, among the world’s five biggest exporters and producers of garments and textiles, posted garment and textile export turnovers of over $30.4 bn in 2018, up 16.6 per cent from 2017. However, Vietnam had to spend more than $12.9 bn importing cloth last year, up 13.5 per cent, the association said, noting that most of local cloth has yet to satisfy quality requirements of the country’s key garment export markets.