Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s garment and textile export turnover in the last six months reached a mere $12.8 billion, of which, exports to the European market exceeded $2 billion, according to the ministry of industry and trade (MOIT). Last year, the export turnover of such items was around $39 billion, of which, the European market contributed more than $8 billion.
The European Union (EU) is the third-largest garment and textile importer of Vietnam after the United States and Japan.
High tax rates and high labour costs in the past two years have weakened the competitive advantage of Vietnam’s textile and garment products compared to those of Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, India, and Bangladesh, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
Another problem of the sector is that many enterprises exporting to the EU are small and medium enterprises with limited resources and their production processes do not meet European standards. They have not invested adequately in researching and developing products, have not effectively exploited the intellectual property assets and trademarks, according to a report in Vietnamese newspaper.
They also lack human resources with foreign language skills and professional trade negotiation skills to carry out export activities to the EU market.