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Footwear exports tipped to grow   2010-03-31 - Viet Nam News

The country's footwear industry expects robust export growth this year despite ongoing concerns about anti-dumping duties in the European Union (EU) market, a recent study finds.

At present, Viet Nam's footwear products, mainly sports shoes, cloth and leather shoes and sandals, are exported to 50 countries and territories worldwide.

A survey by the US-based non-profit Kearny Alliance Foundation shows that 90 per cent of footwear exporters anticipate export growth this year, and 47 per cent will target the EU market.

It also indicates that 60 per cent of footwear makers would maintain their quotas for the next year.

While footwear makers are concerned, about the EU's 10 per cent anti-dumping duty imposed on made-in-Viet Nam products, survey respondents also noted that the 16 per cent duty imposed on China gives Viet Nam an advantage.

"The Vietnamese footwear sector enjoys a number of competitive advantages, among which are an abundant supply of raw materials, favourable government support and the large pool of skilled suppliers with proven original equipment manufacturer capability," said Alexander Boome, programme director of Kearny Alliance.

"This is clearly supported by a number of well-established international brands entrusting their production to Viet Nam suppliers. As a result, the country is the fifth-largest exporter of footwear in the world," Boome added.

Tran Duc Trieu, director of T&T Fashion Shoes, one of the suppliers featured in the report, said, "We are confident that Vietnamese footwear makers can meet the high demands of quality and budget-conscious buyers worldwide".

The country's footwear industry posted an export turnover US$147.8 million last year.

The footwear sourcing report, which is one of series of the Developing Country Sourcing Reports, features profiles of 32 experienced large, mid-sized and emerging export manufacturers.

Included in the report are 108 bestselling export products ranging from casual shoes and sandals to sports and formal shoes.

Running the numbers

Turnover from footwear exports reached more than US$1 billion in the first quarter of 2010, up 10 per cent over the same period last year.

According to the General Statistics Office, the EU continues to be Viet Nam's largest importer of footwear with turnover reaching $326 million in the first two months of this year - 48 per cent of total exports. It was followed by the US and Japan.

At present, Viet Nam's footwear products, mainly sports shoes, cloth and leather shoes and sandals, are exported to 50 countries and territories worldwide. Total turnover from the sector comes just behind garment and crude oil exports.

According to the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), Viet Nam now ranks fourth among the world's 10 leading footwear exporters.

In 2009, turnover from footwear exports reached nearly $4.8 billion. It is expected to rise to $5.6 billion this year, up 17 per cent against last year.

To boost stable growth and competitiveness in the global market, Nguyen Duc Thuan, Lefaso chairman, recommended that domestic businesses pay more attention to design, while producing products suitable to each market's particular demands.

The association also suggested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to urgently build a trademark for the sector and train more workers to boost competitiveness.

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