Apparel exports to Japan up 20 percent despite recession

TN News

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Despite the recession in Japan, Vietnamese textile exporters find it a steady market with volumes and prices remaining quite high since the beginning of this year.

Japan, Vietnam's third-largest textile export market, received shipments worth US$210 million in the first quarter, a 20-percent year-on-year increase, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).

Exports last year were worth $820 million and Vietnam expects that to increase 20 percent this year.

Saigon 3 Garment said it is busy getting 800,000 denim and khaki trousers ready for shipping to Japan.

The company's Chairman, Pham Xuan Hong, said the country accounted for 65 percent of the company's total exports of $25 million this year.

"Japan is the only market that does not cut orders or prices," he said.

Other garment and textile firms like Viet Tien, Nha Be and Phong Phu have also continued to get orders from Japanese buyers.

"Unlike other export markets, Japan is stable once [garment and textile] manufacturers win its trust," Phan Van Kiet, deputy general director of Viet Tien Garment Joint-Stock Corp., said.

Japan now accounts for 33 percent of the company's exports, outpacing the US and the EU, he said.

Luu Van Thanh, director of bag and suitcase maker Hoang Kim Garment Company, said the firm is receiving more and more orders from Japan, many from new customers.

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) said it has signed an agreement with Japan's Mitsui Group to supply its products.

Le Quoc An, chairman of Vitas, had said earlier this month that textile firms should take advantage of the global difficulty to boost exports to Japan.

As a result of the economic crisis, Japanese people have cut spending and prefer lower-priced apparels from countries like India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam to higher-priced Chinese ones, he explained.

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