As one of the major contributors to Vietnam’s economic development, the textile industry maintains good growth with increasing orders and high exports in 2018. The export revenue from Vietnam’s garment products in Q1 2018 reached US$5.98 billion and increased 12.49% compared to the same period of last year. However, according to Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import-Export Department, Vietnam’s textile sector is facing long-term difficulties. The industry’s focus is on outsourcing, which is highly dependent on imported materials. In addition, Vietnam’s enterprises are weak in marketing – an activity that can bring high added-value for textile and garment products.
In order to deal with these problems, the government is urging fast ratification and implementation of trade agreements which are expected to have significant influence on Vietnam’s textile and apparel industry, including the Comprehensive and Progressive agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). These FTAs will significantly reduce tariffs, creating great opportunities for Vietnamese products to enter the markets of participating countries. Vietnam’s textile and garment exports to CPTPP countries are expected to reach US$4.8 billion in 2018, a 10.5% increase compared to 2017. CPTPP countries will become the second largest export market for Vietnam after USA, which accounts for 47% of Vietnam’s total garment and textile export turnover.
These FTAs might nevertheless not make the growth of the local garment and textile industry sustainable in the long-term, and Vietnamese companies need to find a way to increase their added-value and competitiveness. To do so, they are concentrating their efforts at building and promoting strong national brands in general and their own brands in particular.