U.S. Still Vietnam’s Largest Apparel Market

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May 14 – The country’s biggest apparel export market remains to be the United States despite its economy grappling with the current financial crisis.

According to Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) secretary, Nguyen Son, apparel exports to the United States decreased by 4 percent during the first quarter while total export turnover to the increased 2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Son added that the reduction in the first quarter was attributed to the U.S. recession. The global slowdown also affected business with China that led to a decrease of 11 percent in apparel exports during the first two months.

Local apparel makers are forecasting a growth in the industry when U.S. importers resume apparel imports in a few months time. Industry professionals also told Vietnam News that apparel exports were recovering as more export orders were placed in April and apparel companies hired workers.

Vitas is telling apparel exporters to increase competitiveness by improving on price and quality of service. The country’s apparel industry earned US$2.6 billion from exports during the first four months, an increase of 2 percent compared to the previous year.