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Vietnam becomes world’s 2nd biggest garment exporter

Vietnam becomes world’s 2nd biggest garment exporter

Workers at a garment company at the Tan Do Industrial Park in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

Vietnam overtook Bangladesh last year to become the world’s second largest garment exporter with a turnover of US$29 billion, according to statistics from the World Trade Organization.

Vietnam gained a global market share of 6.4 percent last year, less only than China’s 31.6 percent. In 2019, it had only had a share of 2.9 percent.

Bangladeshi garment output fell last year as many western firms canceled orders or delayed payments and garment factories closed down amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prof Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at Bangladesh’s Center for Policy Dialogue, said Vietnam’s fairly good control of the pandemic in 2020 was a contributing factor in boosting garment production and export, while its garment industry outdid Bangladesh’s in terms of labor and capital productivity and product diversification.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the first seven months of this year Vietnam’s garment and textile exports were worth $18.6 billion, a year-on-year increase of over 14 percent.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said some major export markets such as the U.S. and Europe have higher demand for garments and footwear amid the economic recovery and the end of social distancing, making conditions favorable for Vietnam to achieve its export target of $39 billion this year.

Many companies have their order books full for the rest of the year. However, the continuing Covid-19 outbreak is affecting the industry.

Four industry trade groups have called on the government to allow them to import Covid vaccines from the UAE for their workers.