Vietnamese Exports to the U.S. Grows Despite Trend

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Jun. 19 –Vietnamese exports to the United States grew by 3 percent to US$3.75 billion, one of the only 30 countries whose shipments increased for the first four months of the year.

The rise in exports was mainly driven by clothing and footwear industry. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, China’s exports dropped by 12 percent, Japan’s 43 percent, South Korea’s 18 percent while Singapore’s decreased by 23 percent.

Vietnam is benefiting from a “rebalancing” in exports amid the global economic recession due to lower labor costs and because many companies are reluctant to become too dependent on Chinese production, said the American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City in a note released this week.

“Our analysts who speak to companies that operate in both China and Vietnam say the operating environment in China has become more challenging,” Gary Chia, president of Yuanta Investment Consulting in Taipei said in an email to Thanh Nien News.

He added: “In particular, products made in Vietnam like garments and shoes would face competition from the Chinese Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas, and I know of businesses in both those deltas that are shutting down their production.”

The trend shows cheaper production has been moved to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh while Vietnam is moving  upwards the value chain by making better high-quality stuff.

Apparel shipments to the United States increased by 4 percent through April to $1.55 billion, while footwear shipments grew 23 percent to $460 million.