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Vietnam to Boost Textile and Garment Exports 20% in 2015

In order to boost its textile and garment industry, Vietnam expects to increase its production by 20 percent this year, and in turn, raise the sector’s export value by $4 billion to $28.3 billion.

The country can afford the sizeable increase as production costs, including fiber and oil prices have dipped, Vietnam News reported Le Tien Truong, general director of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) as saying.

In exports to the United States alone, Vietnam intends to increase its textile and garment exports by 13 percent to $11 billion. For the European Union, the country plans to increase its exports by 17.6% to $4 billion, and exports to Japan should reach $2.9 billion, a 9 percent jump.

According to the country’s General Customs Department, Vietnam’s import/export turnover totaled $926.6 million in January, a 1 percent increase over December and a 25.5% increase year-over-year. Within that, textile and garment exports were up by 2.1 percent to $1.9 billion.

The U.S. is still Vietnam’s largest market for textile and garment products, with $926.6 million in exports for January this year, though down 3 percent over the prior year period, the General Customs Department reported.

Textile and garment exports to Japan, however, saw a 6 percent uptick to $242 million.

Truong said even though Vietnam gained market share in the U.S., E.U. and Japan, the country should take care as its competitors, like China and India, will be ramping up competition to regain some of that market share this year.

“Vietnam achieved a growth rate of 12.6% in the United States last year, while other major competitors, including China and India, could only achieve a growth rate of below 1 percent and 6 percent, respectively,” Vietnam News reported. “In Japan, Vietnam boost its market share to 6.6% in 2014, up 0.6% from 2013, while the biggest exporter to this market, China, cut its share from 70 percent to 67.2,” Truong said, according to Vietnam News.

The country has started to improve its production facilities, though the fruits of those upgrades won’t yet be realized, as it will take some time for the facilities to be fully and properly operational.

Truong noted that Vietnam has signed several free trade agreements, including one with the E.U. and also Russia, and though these agreements won’t be approved for at least the next 18 months, Truong said they will help Vietnam create partnerships with potential customers while it waits for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to take effect.