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Vietnam Footwear Industry set to benefit from 2015 AEC launch
October 1, 2014
As the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) moves closer to its 2015 inauguration, the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) reports that Vietnamese footwear exports will enjoy a zero tariff, allowing footwear producers to expand their markets and access new materials.
The ASEAN spent over $1.8 billion US Dollars on footwear imports in 2013, representing a substantial market for Vietnam. Once the AEC is up and running in 2015, Vietnam stands to benefit from a wide range of benefits.
Speaking recently to the official Malaysian news agency - Bernama - the General Secretary of the Vietnamese Leather Footwear and Handbag association (LEFASO), Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, said that the availability of qualified, low-cost workforce gave the country a strong competitive edge over Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The AEC will give its member states a better chance to develop new materials thus reducing their reliance on imports and increasing the added value of its end products, Phan Thi Thanh Xuan continued. She went on to say that it was also expected that the AEC will better enable its member states to provide a steady stream of footwear exports enabling them to gain a solid foothold in major market like the US, the EU, and Japan.
However, Phan Thi Thanh Xuan also cautioned that the zero tariffs would inevitably lead to an intensification of competition.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang, has asked the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association and LEFASO to consider plans to develop support industries. Domestic firms are being urged to concentrate on improving the quality of their products with a view to raising their trademark profiles.