Vietnam apparel exports exceeded $20 billion in 2013, surpassing the $19 billion targeted for the industry, according to a report from Vinatex, The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group.
The U.S. is Vietnam’s biggest apparel customer by far. Garment exports from Vietnam to the U.S. grew 14.2% in 2013, to nearly $8.6 billion, or 43 percent of the country’s total garment exports. Apparel from Vietnam currently comprises over 10 percent of total U.S. apparel imports.
Industry forecasts in Vietnam indicate that the country expects to export $10 billion worth of apparel to the U.S. in 2014, a number that is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2020.
Exports to the Eurozone totaled nearly $2.7 billion, or 14 percent of total exports, up 8.8% from the prior year; Japan accounted for more than $2.4 billion (12 percent of total), a 20 percent rise; and South Korea accounted for $1.87 billion (9 percent of total), up 44 percent from 2012.
According to Vinatex, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have spurred investment in textile and apparel production in the country. If the group’s predictions are correct, due to the rule of origin provisions in the TPP, increased investment in fabric production in Vietnam is expected to outpace that of garment production in the next year.