Viet Nam’s garment-textile and footwear sectors have endured the brunt of COVID-19 and firms may take a long time to recover, experts said.
The sectors greatly contribute to the country’s exports as well as generate jobs for a large number of workers. However, many factories remain closed due to difficulties triggered by the pandemic.
Estimates showed that a footwear firm with about 9,000 workers needs to spend approximately US$1 million on preventive measures, while the costs of input materials have risen 5-10 per cent.
Some businesses said they are facing fines for late delivery and risks of losing orders for the next season.
To maintain orders for the following year, Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), said the association has proposed easing the restrictions in three phases.
Prospects for this year and even of 2022 have become gloomy, she added.
Chairman of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) Vu Duc Giang said if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, firms may not be able to maintain and stabilise operations as well as retain customers.
It is important to keep the workforce amid uncertainties in production plans, COVID-19 vaccine shortages and unpredictable developments of the pandemic, according to Vitas.
To restore production of the sectors, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will work to remove bottlenecks and provide the most possible support to help factories resume operation and take advantage of orders at year’s end in the European and US markets.
In addition, the MoIT will step up the implementation of a development strategy for garment-textile and footwear to 2030, with a vision to 2035, and the building of a programme on sustainable development of the sectors until 2030.
It will also strive to expand export markets, capitalise on the advantages of existing free trade agreements, diversify export items and improve the competitive edge of products and brands.