Textile-clothing exports expected to reach USD 43 billion this year: VITAS

Vietnam’s textile-clothing producers aim to earn up to USD 21 billion from exports in the second half of 2022, bringing total shipments for the year to around USD 42-43 billion, chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Clothing Association clothing (VITAS) Vu Duc Giang said at a press conference on July 21.

The industry has seen a gradual recovery this year after being affected by COVID-19 for two years, according to VITAS. It enjoyed a trade surplus of 8.86 billion USD in the first half of the year.

Textile and apparel exports totaled some $22.3 billion from January to June, an increase of 17.7% over the same period last year.

Apparel exports alone rose 19.5% year-on-year to USD 16.94 billion and fabric exports reached USD 1.4 billion, up 20.8% year-on-year.

Vietnam imported trimmings and accessories worth USD 13.4 billion in the first half, up 9.8% year-on-year.

Chairman of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), Vu Duc Giang, predicted that the industry faces a bumpy road with various obstacles in the remaining months of 2022. The immense risk of resurgence of COVID-19 caused by new variants is still present, he said, adding that strict virus control measures remain in place in many major trading partners of Vietnam such as China, Japan and Taiwan (China), disrupting its input supply chain and sales.

There are also other threats, including record inflation among major importers, including the United States and Europe, and Russian-Ukrainian tension triggering a sharp rise in input prices, he added.

Textile-clothing exports expected to reach USD 43 billion this year: VITAS hinh anh 2

Prices of cotton, crude oil and gasoline have climbed 19.1%, 40% and 67%, respectively, compared to the start of this year and transport costs have tripled compared to the average rate of the five years, pushing up total spending by Vietnamese exporters by as much as 20 to 25 percent, he said.

He further noted that compared to their rivals, Vietnamese exporters face exchange rate disadvantages. They have also faced a post-pandemic labor shortage and are struggling to meet FTA commitments on rules of origin and environmental protection, Giang said.

To maintain production and sustainably develop the industry, producers need to innovate in technologies, promote green transformation and pay more attention to training designers, according to Giang.

VITAS has been striving to connect domestic and foreign enterprises for the formation of supply chains, expand markets and strengthen international cooperation in the implementation of projects in renewable energy, the efficient use of water, design, branding and labor management, he said.

Michael O. Stutler