Experts: Orders Rise for Garment and Footwear Companies, Yet Value Remains Unchanged

According to experts, some garment and footwear exporters are experiencing a resurgence in orders, albeit mostly of low value.

Pham Xuan Hong, the chairman of the HCMC Textile and Garment – Embroidery Association, highlighted the sluggishness of the garment industry in the first two months of this year, with many firms barely breaking even. “Global demand for Vietnamese textile products has been weak this year due to ongoing tensions and consumers tightening their budgets,” he noted.

Nguyen Gia Khanh, chairman of the Shoes and Leather Association of HCMC, indicated that only three or four out of every ten footwear firms have observed an increase in orders.

Le Hoang Tai, deputy director general of the Trade Promotion Agency, pointed out that garment firms are grappling with excess inventory due to low demand last year.

Tai reported a decline in exports by over 9% to US$40 billion last year during a press conference on Friday.

He further explained that major markets like the U.S. and EU have reduced their garment purchases this year, and weak demand is anticipated to persist due to the global economic slowdown.

Additionally, Tai noted that garment firms face heightened standards with the implementation of policies such as the Extended Producer Responsibility and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, along with the industry’s shift towards sustainable fashion, green transformation, and digitalization.

Meanwhile, rising transport costs are contributing to increased product prices.

Shipping costs from Vietnam to the U.S. and Europe have seen significant increases since the end of last year.

To address these challenges, the Trade Promotion Agency is collaborating with event organizer Messe Frankfurt to host the Vietnam International Trade Fair for Apparel, Textiles, and Textile Technologies 2024 (VIATT 2024) from February 28 to March 1. This exhibition, involving over 400 Vietnamese companies for the first time, aims to foster connections between Vietnam’s garment and footwear industries and the global market, as well as attract investment from major foreign textile companies.

This year, the garment industry aims to achieve exports of $44 billion, reflecting a 9.2% increase from 2023.

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