Vietnam aims to export leather for 20 billion dollars, in 2018: “We’ll also enhance our tanneries”. Yet innovation…

Not just finished products, most of all, but also, more and more, supplying materials, leather in particular, thus enhancing the national tanning industry. According to Diep Thanh Kiet, vice-President of LEFASO (Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbags Association), Vietnamese tanneries might be able to provide 60% of leather for shoes and bags by 2030. They currently supply around 45% of it. Big figures and big volumes, considering that in 2017 Vietnam exported leather products for over 18 billion dollars, most of which coming from footwear (16,4 billion dollars, +12% compared to 2016). The most important business markets are The United States (36%) and Europe (30,6%). Vietnamese leather industry, which relies on 1,500 companies and nearly one million workers, in addition to 500,000 more employed in satellite activities, aims to reach 20 billion dollars this year. During the Shoes Summit 2018, held in Ho Chi Minh City, Kiet pointed out that Vietnam’s strength hangs on a few elements that can be hardly found elsewhere: Vietnamese working-age population amounts to 67% overall and their workers are better qualified than the ones hired by the other Asian competitors; furthermore, manufacturing costs here are lower than in China. Such advantages have been driving Vietnam to sign some free trade agreements with a few important markets, including European Union. We still have to face some challenges, such as the impact of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), while striving hard to improve and boost our work productivity, remark from LEFASO.


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