Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) set the industry development target this year for export turnover at $40 bn, which would mark a 10.8 per cent year-on-year increase. The industry’s trade surplus is expected to reach $20 bn this year. Employment will be ensured and income for 2.85 mn workers would be increased, said VITAS.

These targets were based on a successful year in 2018, when export turnover of garments and textiles products reached more than $36 bn, marking a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent. This level of growth would make the nation one of the top three largest exporters of textiles and garments in the world.

In addition, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into effect last month, was expected to help the economy grow by 1.3 per cent. It should boost export turnover by 4 per cent. The textile and garment industry is seen a key sector with many opportunities to expand the market.

Chairman of VITAS Vũ Đức Giang said the signs for order statuses for 2019 were also very positive. Many businesses already had orders for the first six months of this year and even the whole year. “The sector has gradually completed the supply chain thanks to increasing flow of capital invested in the textile and dyeing industry, making its products more competitive,” said Giang.

Besides, according to Chairman of the HCM City Textile and Garment – Embroidery Association Phạm Xuân Hồng, CPTPP will have an impact on the sector. It will cut import tariffs and diversify products available in CPTPP member countries.

Hồng said that although the sector had prepared for the implementation of the trade deal, many businesses had not yet met the demands. “Enterprises have tried to limit imports of raw materials but still have to import over 60 per cent of foreign raw materials, of which 50 per cent comes from China,” Hồng said. “Therefore, enterprises need to understand the regulations, customs procedures and logistics laid out in CPTPP.” The State should support businesses by creating a fair playing field and minimising administrative procedures to raise competitiveness in domestic market,” he said.