Leather, shoe exports top 9.6 billion USD
Workers at My Phong Shoe Company in the southern province of Tra Vinh produce shoes for exports. (Photo: VNA)
Leather and footwear exports in the first eight months topped 9.64
billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 12.2 percent, according to the Ministry
of Industry and Trade.
Vietnam’s leather and footwear products went to 100 countries, with the US, EU,
Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea being the main buyers, it said.
Foreign companies accounted for more than 81 percent of the figure.
The Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso) said local
companies lack the resources to expand production or market, while
foreign-invested firms have for many years invested to expand to capitalise on
free trade agreements that Vietnam had signed or was set to sign, it said.
So the latter’s exports keep increasing, it added.
Though intra-ASEAN exports enjoy zero tariffs, leather and footwear exports to
member countries remain modest compared to the sector’s potential.
The exports were worth less than 400 million USD last year, going mainly to
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
According to trade experts, footwear companies do not treat ASEAN as a key
But according to Lefaso, ASEAN is a hard market to crack since many other
members are also strong players, especially Thailand and Indonesia.
Besides, many put up technical barriers to protect their domestic production,
the ministry said.
Experts said that this year the world economy is expected to be better than in
2016, and China would continue to reduce investment incentives for textile and
footwear to focus on high-tech sectors, meaning orders for shoes and bags would
continue to move from China to Vietnam.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, Lefaso Chairman, said production and export of leather and
footwear have been good this year.
The association forecasts exports to be worth 17.8-18 billion USD this year, an
increase of 10 percent over last year, he said.-VNA