Vietnam needs to strike a better balance between its footwear exports and domestic sales or risk losing out on a significant share of the home market, experts say.
Local footwear companies now focus too much on export markets and they need to cut back on doing contract work for foreign footwear brands, the Vietnam Economic Times cited the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association as saying.
Diep Thanh Kiet, chairman of the association, said most of footwear producers in other Asian countries try to maintain a balance in exporting and supplying to the domestic market.
Vietnam, however, exports around 92 percent of what it produces, while the ratio is much lower in Thailand (42.5 percent), Indonesia (40.5 percent), Malaysia (37.9 percent) and the Philippines (only 5.4 percent), Kiet said.
According to an industry plan approved by the government on November 25, the footwear sector will continue to be one of Vietnam's economic spearheads for the next ten years.
The plan envisions Vietnam's footwear exports to reach US$9.1 billion in 2015 and $21 billion in 2025. Another goal is to increase the use of local materials in footwear products to 60-65 percent in 2015 and 80-85 percent ten years later.
Footwear exports in the first ten months of the year reached $4.06 billion, nearly equalling the export value of 2009.