Vietnam's garment industry has smooth start, eyes $30 billion of exports this year

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Textile and garment firms in Vietnam have exported $2 billion worth of products in January 2015. Photo: Minh Khue/SaigonTimes Textile and garment firms in Vietnam have exported $2 billion worth of products in January 2015. Photo: Minh Khue/SaigonTimes

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Many Vietnamese textile and garment companies have received enough orders to stay busy for at least the first half of the year and they are positive about the industry's export target of US$30 billion this year.
Pham Xuan Hong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, told news website Saigon Times that most member companies have a smooth start and some have already scored a large number of orders that can keep their factories running through the entire year. 
The industry shipped $27 billion worth of products in 2015 and aimed to raise that by more than 10 percent to $30 billion this year. 
Hong said even though it is less than two months in, he is confident that the annual goal is within reach.
Textile and garment exports increased 5.8 percent in January to $2 billion, compared to the same month last year, according to official trade data. 
Le Quang Hung, board chairman of Garmex Saigon, which has secured orders for a full year, said the industry seems to be doing well.
But he said local companies are not able to bring in big money for themselves, mostly because they are generally doing contract work for international clothing brands instead of selling their own products. 
Hung said that out of $21.6 billion of export revenues taken home by the garment sector last year, 70 percent went straight to foreign invested companies although they only account for 30 percent of the number of businesses.
He said the government needs to offer both financial and technical support to local companies so that they can move up the value chain and gain more from free trade agreements, particularly the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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