Vietnam footwear industry receives boost from subcontracting

Registering sustained growth over much of the past five years, Vietnam’s footwear industry is one of the country’s leading export earners, trailing only textiles, crude oil and electronics. Annual foreign sales as of 2011 have exceeded $6.5 billion, the highest in a half-decade.

A crucial factor driving overseas revenue growth is the prevalent view of Vietnam being a viable alternative hub for subcontracted production in the Asia-Pacific region. A number of these clients are prominent brands that have established factories in the country. These include adidas, Nike and Converse.
Rising overseas sales have also been augmented by the removal of EU-imposed anti-dumping tariffs on footwear made in Vietnam. The regulation, which had been in effect from April 2006 to April 2011, was implemented to control the heavy influx of low-priced shoes from developing countries that were competing with those manufactured by EU suppliers.

With the rule lifted, Vietnam’s footwear exports in 2011 reached $6.5 billion, which was 27 percent higher than the previous year.

In 2011, the International Trade Centre ranked Vietnam as the third-largest footwear exporter in the world, representing 7 percent of global turnover.

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