Footwear production picks up pace12 February 2003
Over the first days of 2003, leather footwear businesses in the port city of Hai Phong secured enough export contracts to keep work forces busy until June. Last year, the producers sold 40 million pairs of shoes overseas, up 20% from 2001 and representing 30% of Vietnam's total footwear exports. As the capital of shoe-making, Hai Phong lists 28 exporters with about 100 state-of-the-art production lines. In 2002, the enterprises invested VND100 billion (US$6.5 million) overall in production growth and export diversification. Having succeeded in expanding outlets to North America in addition to sustaining markets in the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the sector targets a 15-20% year-on-year growth for 2003. A leading enterprise in the city, the State-owned Hai Phong Leather and Footwear Company, exported ten million pairs of shoes last year, making up a quarter of local output. Vietnam ranks fourth among the world's top footwear exporters after China, Hong Kong and Italy with last year's export value worth an estimated $1.95 billion. The EU is its biggest buyer, accounting for 80% of the country's total footwear sales overseas, followed by the US (6%) and Japan (5%). Source: Daily 'Vietnam News'