Vietnamese garment exports defied overall slowing trends in manufacturing, expanding at an annualized rate of 6% in the first eight months of 2012. Overall, export turnover reached $10.8 billion, and the sector has taken the lead among the country’s exports.
Following government efforts earlier in the year, the sector has been focused on localization of materials and equipment. Previously, exporters had struggled with a lack of locally available raw materials. Localization is now at 49.5%, and is showing robust growth.
Export turnover was driven by increases to the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Initial expectations had forecasted a slight decline, due to a 4% drop in exports to the European Union. Stronger than expected consumer spending in the US led to higher demand for Vietnamese goods.
The sector is now expected to meet or exceed its export target for 2012 of $15 billion dollars, as the government textile policy improves value add and local procurement.