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‘Garment, shoe industry vital for VN’   2009-01-22 - VNS

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked the textile and garment industry and the leather shoe industry to focus on maintaining production and boosting exports to ensure social welfare.

He made the request at an online conference with participation of those industries from Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City.

Currently, the two industries have limited export opportunities because of a reduction in purchasing power in other countries.

EU’s anti-dumping suit against Viet Nam’s shoe exports to the European market is also still causing impacts to Viet Nam’s shoe exports.

Most of these enterprises have expressed their concern that they may fall far short of the export target of nearly US$15 billion this year.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) Le Hoang An said in the first quarter this year, some enterprises had enough orders to maintain production till April, but most other enterprises lacked jobs.

"Workers worry about having a job and their income, and managers worry for the enterprises’ survival," he said.

Some enterprises have been attempting to rescue themselves by branching out to new markets such as ASEAN, Africa, Southern and Central America while maintaining the traditional markets in the US and European Union.

Pham Xuan Hong, general director of the Sai Gon 3 Garment Corporation, also said after the lunar New Year, some foreign direct investment enterprises as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises would reduce production and exports by 20 per cent. This would mean a more accurate target for the textile and garment industry to be under $9.5 billion.

Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Department Do Thang Hai said this year, Russia would be a key market.

The State should have an insurance fund for exports to help enterprises export to new markets where enterprises may face many risks, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Bui Xuan Khu.

An said the State should not apply value-added tax on imported equipment or collect insurance on unemployment until the global economic recession ends to help enterprises in these industries.

Deputy Prime Minister Hai said opportunities still remained to help the 2 million labourers of these sectors retain their jobs. The Government would issue new policies on labour, investment in infrastructure and simplify administrative procedures; these policies would be implemented after Tet, he said.

Associations for the textile, garment and footwear industries should co-ordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to find solutions to help individual enterprises obtain capital, Hai said.  

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