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Major footwear makers switch from China to Vietnam
August 19, 2014
Some of the world’s top footwear makers are making the switch from China to Vietnam, according to LEFASO, the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association.
The association says that during the first half of 2014 several major footwear multinationals have diverted their orders from factories in China to those in Vietnam. This elite group includes Nike, Adidas, Puma and Timberland.
Key factors for the shift to other countries include China’s rising labour costs and its steadily increasing pollution.
Vietnam is a key beneficiary of this trend. The country has a disciplined, reasonably priced workforce with a growing expertise in footwear manufacturing.
This year, Vietnam has seen major growth in its footwear exports to several key markets. In May, it exported USD 943 million worth of footwear to the US, according Vietnam’s General Department of Customs, a 9.5% growth compared with May 2013. Exports to the US totaled USD 3.9 billion during the first five months of this year, increasing 21.2% compared to same period the previous year.
Vietnam’s footwear exports have grown rapidly to other markets as well, including to Finland, Poland, Israel, Chile and the UAE.
In addition to attracting major footwear manufacturers, Vietnam is home to the manufacturing plants of several tech giants, many of whom had also arrived in the country after scaling back operations in China. These include Samsung Electronics, Intel, LG and Microsoft.