Several free trade agreements (FTAs) and a diversified supply chain have set the stage for a strong comeback for Vietnam’s footwear and textile sectors, say experts. The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) said the sectors reported strong export figures for 2020, with foreign brands and partners saying they would either increase production or place additional orders in 2021.

“In the short-run, firms should be trying to seek new markets and diversify their products. In the long-run, they must eye sustainable development and advanced automation,” Do Quynh Chi from the ministry of labour, invalids and social affairs, was quoted as saying by a Vietnamese newspaper.

The pandemic encouraged domestic firms to connect among themselves to secure supply materials and establish joint production operations. It was especially important for smaller firms as they were able to learn from bigger players, to adopt better technologies and access more advanced machines, the report said.

Nguyen Van Thoi, chief executive officer of textile maker TNG, said international supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic forced his firm to look for domestic suppliers.

In addition, FTAs set strict standards for textile firms on product origins, forcing firms to source production materials domestically, said VITAS president Vu Duc Giang.

According to VITAS, demand for textile products in major markets such as the US and the EU is set to return to pre-pandemic levels in the latter half of 2022. The association urged firms to stay connected, to share solutions and to pool their resources to overcome the pandemic as well as to improve management and production efficiency.

Author: Ssmundra2612