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Vietnam remains world’s second largest footwear exporter

 The export turnover in 2019 would increase 10% compared to 2018 to US$21.5 billion, accounting for 9% of Vietnam’s total export value.

The export turnover in 2019 would increase 10% compared to 2018 to US$21.5 billion, accounting for 9% of Vietnam’s total export value.


Vietnam shipped more than 1 billion pairs of shoes last year, helping the country maintain the position as the second biggest footwear exporter in the world, after China, according to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO). 

In the first 11 months of 2018, Vietnam exported footwear products worth US$17.68 billion, up 8.4% year-on-year,  said Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, general secretary of LEFASO. 

According to Xuan, the FDI sector contributed a major part in the country’s exports, reaching US$13.97 billion or 78.8% of the total. Of the total 3,000 enterprises operating in the footwear industry, the number of foreign invested companies reached nearly 1,200, accounting for nearly 40%. 

The gap between the FDI and domestic companies has been narrowed as the local ones accounted for 21.2% of Vietnam’s footwear exports in 2018, up from  19.4% in 2017, Xuan stated at a conference held at the end of 2018.

Vietnam currently exports footwear to over 100 markets worldwide, recording export turnover of over US$1 million in 72 countries and territories. 

The country’s top five export markets accounted for 82.3% of total exports, including the US, EU, China, Japan and South Korea, she added. 

Notably, the export value of a Vietnamese pair of shoes averaged at more than US$15 last year while the world’s average was at only nearly US$9, indicating significant improvements in the product quality, Xuan continued. 

LEFASO expected there would be a growing demand for footwear products in Vietnam’s major markets in 2019, especially when China is shifting its investment incentives from garment and footwear industries to high-tech sectors. 

Moreover, the impacts from the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into force on December 30, 2018, the upcoming EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the ongoing US – China trade war, also added to the growing trend. 

Xuan forecast the export turnover in 2019 would increase 10% compared to 2028 to US$21.5 billion, accounting for 9% of Vietnam’s total export turnover and localization rate to reach 60%. 

Footwear and handbag would remain Vietnam’s fourth and tenth in the country’s top 10 export staples. 

Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Duy Hai said there should be a better linkage between the domestic and foreign companies in the industry, so that the locals could integrate more deeply in the global supply chain. 



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