Vietnamese shoemakers struggle for domestic foothold

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade asseses the local footwear market at more than US$1.5 billion, but adds that Vietnamese firms are unable to get a decent share of it.

Vietnamese footwear producers are able to meet only 40 percent of the market demand, estimated at 130-140 million pairs a year. The market is now controlled by foreign products, mainly from China, the Vietnam Economic Times reported Thursday.

Nguyen Thi Tong, general secretary of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association, admitted local producers were losing out on the domestic market because of their export focus. Ninety percent of Vietnamese footwear products are made for export, she said.

But Tong also said that Vietnamese footwear producers are trying to expand their business at home, aiming for a 60-70 percent market share by 2015.

On the export front, Vietnam's footwear shipments reached US$2.3 billion in the first six months, up 7 percent from the same period last year, Tong said in the Vietnam Economic Times report.

She said the industry will be able to achieve its annual export target of $4.4-4.5 billion this year, noting that many companies have received enough orders for production in the remaining months.

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