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Vietnam garment exports expected to hit $31bn target

Vietnam's garment industry is expected to reach its export target of US$31bn, the country's national textile and garment group Vinatex has said.

In the first six months of 2017, exports increased by 10.5%, making it likely the industry will hit its target.

Vietnam's garment exports have increased steadily in recent years, reaching $28.2bn in 2016 from $27.5bn a year earlier. The industry has benefited as producers and buyers diversify their supply chains into the country, helped by its low labour costs and its industry focus on specialisation, modernisation, and increasing value added. The country also stands to gain from improved access to the EU market once the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement comes into force.

Recent statistics show that Vietnam has the lowest productivity of the world's five major apparel exporters, according to Vinatex. It therefore says now is the time to train employees and take charge of building and assessing the efficiency of factories and corporate culture.

Hoang Xuan Hiep, head of Hanoi Textile and Garment University, recently said that improving the skills of workers in Vietnam's textile and garment industry could help manufacturers tap into the value-added chain by boosting their competitiveness and productivity.

According to the university, around 25% of workers employed across Vietnam's garment industry are trained, leaving 75% either not trained, or working with less than three months of training.

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