Vietnam hopes for a seven per cent growth in exports of textiles and garments this year. In 2016, Vietnam’s apparel exports were up 5.7 per cent year on year, lower than expected. However, Vietnam recorded higher growth than major competitors such as China, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Garment employees’ average income rose eight per cent over the previous year.
The industry gained strong results because enterprises focused on increasing productivity and ensuring deadlines on delivering goods. Reforms on administrative procedures for saving money and time improved the business environment and created great support for garment exporters by increasing their competitiveness and exports. Garment and textile enterprises have received enough orders to keep them busy through the first quarter of this year. The Vietnam-EU free trade agreement will come into effect in 2018. After the FTA is in place, Vietnam can compete with other countries exporting garments to the EU through the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, which allows developing countries to pay less or no duties on some exports.
Other bilateral and multilateral trade agreements are expected to bring in more opportunities in exporting textile and garment products to small and medium-size enterprises. However, enterprises still have to improve productivity, reduce the time needed to deliver cargo and strengthen distribution systems to international markets.