According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the total export of garment and textile products was US $ 22.58 billion till December 15 of the current year, marking a year on year growth of 4.8 per cent which is lowest in last 10 years. Equally, shoe exports showed the same picture as Vietnam exported US $ 12.3 billion worth of shoes during the period with a growth rate of 8.1 per cent, lower than 16.3 per cent of 2015 and 22.9 per cent of 2014.
Speaking at a conference on reviewing the annual performance of the apparel sector, Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VITAS) attributed the slow growth to fluctuating material prices and comparatively lower foreign direct investment during the period.
Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, General Secretary of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association reportedly averred that the growth slowed down due to the less-than-desirable results on the backdrop of global political instabilities, especially Britain’s exit from the European Union, which resulted in falling orders from importers.
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However, EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which will become effective in 2018, will prepare the importers, customers and investors for better growth in future. Moreover, there are other free trade agreements as well – such as the one with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which the Vietnamese shoe and apparel exporters haven’t fully exploited yet to further boost exports.