Vietnam wants to become a global top-five clothing manufacturing and exporting nation by 2020, according to the global business information company Textiles Intelligence.
The report said Vietnam has set an export target in the range $20 billion to $22 billion for 2020, up from $15.8 billion in 2011. Between 2005, Vietnam’s textile and clothing exports tripled from $4.8 billion to $15.8 billion, with exports up 7.4 percent through the first three quarters of 2012.
Much of the targeted growth to 2020 will come after 2015, with an expectation that export levels will moderate over the next two to three years due to tough economic conditions in its two main markets, the United States and European Union.
Textiles Intelligence said Vietnam plans to grow based on “a strategy of specialization and modernization and an increase in added value. The process of value addition has already started. Between 2005 and 2011, the added value rate of Vietnam's textile and clothing exports increased markedly, from 30.2 percent to 47.8 percent.”
Aiding Vietnam’s cause are the country’s incentives to attract foreign direct investment and its participation in free trade agreements (FTAs). Vietnam is part of the ASEAN bloc, a wider ASEAN-China agreement, and ASEAN partnerships with Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and South Korea. It also has bilateral agreements with Israel and Japan, and is in negotiations to sign a comprehensive FTA with the European Union. Finally, Vietnam is a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions, which seeks to establish free trade relations between 11 Pacific Rim nations on four continents. - Eric Johnson