Vietnam becomes the second largest garment exporter in the world
Vietnam surpassed Bangladesh to become the world's second-largest garment exporter with a value of $29 billion in 2020.
This is the result of the latest assessment of world trade statistics by the World Trade Organization (WTO). With this result, Vietnam is only behind China and surpasses Bangladesh in global apparel sales. Garment products "made in Vietnam" account for 6.4% of the world market share. In 2010, the market share was only 2.9%.
Garment exports of Vietnam and Bangladesh decreased in 2020 due to Covid-19, but Bangladesh's exports fell faster, to $28 billion. Bangladesh's share of the global apparel market fell to 6.3% last year. According to WTO ranking, Bangladesh has been the world's second-largest garment exporter since 2010.
Bangladesh's garment output dropped significantly during the pandemic as factories closed as many Western brands canceled orders or delayed payments. In addition, most factories have to stop working for a long time to comply with epidemic prevention regulations.
Globally, Bangladesh is a popular starting point for low-priced manufactured goods. Meanwhile, Vietnam has recently produced many high-end garments with an educated workforce. Bangladesh's Dhaka Tribune newspaper said that this South Asian country has faced great challenges since Vietnam had the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). In addition, Vietnam also benefited from orders shipped from China during the early stages of the outbreak.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a member of the Center for Policy Dialogue Bangladesh (CPD), said that the relatively good Covid-19 control situation in Vietnam last year is an advantage. In addition, the garment industry of Bangladesh also revealed many weaknesses when it was surpassed by Vietnam in terms of labor productivity, capital productivity, and product diversification.
Data from the General Statistics Office shows that Vietnam's textile and garment export turnover in the first 7 months of the year reached 18.6 billion USD, up more than 14% over the same period last year. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, some main export markets such as the US and Europe increase the demand for clothes and shoes when the economy starts to recover and the social distancing orders are removed. This creates an opportunity for the textile and garment industry to reach its target of $39 billion this year, the same growth figure as before Covid-19 appeared.
Many enterprises received orders until the end of the year when the total demand for textile products in main export markets such as the US and EU increased sharply. However, the complicated and prolonged epidemic situation is becoming a burden for the growth target of the whole industry.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Deputy Secretary-General of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), shared that about 3% of enterprises in the industry can meet "3 on-site" for production, so far are also asking for help because they have to worry about F0 appearing in the company. Infected workers are currently isolated at the production site. This causes businesses to stall, unable to continue production.
Recently, the Textile and Apparel Association; Footwear & Handbags; Electronic Enterprises, and Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts & Woodworking Association have actively sourcing vaccines from the UAE. These units requested the Government and the Ministry of Health to lead negotiations with suppliers from the UAE or appoint qualified Vietnamese importers to carry out procedures, giving priority to supporting vaccination associations for workers at the factory.