At a workshop conducted in Hanoi, Nguyen Cam, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, discussed Vietnam’s textile and apparel sector. The workshop discussed ways to promote the participation of APEC small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of textile and apparel global value chains. The aim of the event was to support the effective integration of SMEs into the APEC region. There is a need for SMEs to participate in the global value chains (GVCs) in general and the apparel sector in particular.
The value chain follows the creation of products or services through different production phases, including physical transformation, the input of various manufacturing services, the distribution of products to consumers and their disposal after consumption. These activities can be conducted within the enterprises of a particular geographical area.
What emerged from the workshop is that the GVCs are a new and more comprehensive approach to international divisions of labour. However, access to international divisions of labour based on GVCs would help enterprises have a better understanding of their position in the global market, and therefore they can actively select appropriate phases to maximise their benefits.
Pham Quynh Mai, Deputy Director of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, discussed the difficulties faced by the textile and apparel sector despite its fast growth. The sector is still depending on raw materials and materials imported from foreign countries, especially China. To access markets, enterprises need knowledge, while SMEs should sign design and outsourced manufacturing contracts with large enterprises to learn from their experiences, according to Nguyen Huong Tra, a SME development expert at the workshop.