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Local garment producers see opportunities in Japan  (11/05/2009) 
Tin tuc Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) Le Quoc An, who made a fact-finding tour of Japan in early April, has urged domestic garment companies to seize this “rare opportunity” to penetrate and step up exports to the Japanese market.

Japan is a huge potential market for Vietnamese garments as a growing number of Japanese consumers are choosing lower-priced products to reduce spending during the current global economic downturn, industry insiders have said.

Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas) Le Quoc An, who made a fact-finding tour of Japan in early April, has urged domestic garment companies to seize this “rare opportunity” to penetrate and step up exports to the Japanese market.

An said that Vietnamese garments have “a great competitive advantage” because these days Japanese importers are interested in cheaper products. In addition, Japan has waived all import taxes on Vietnamese garments since the beginning of this year, in line with the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), he said.

Japan has adjusted its import policies, cut down the amount it imports from China and increased the flow of inexpensive products from other Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

To secure a market share in Japan, local garment companies should focus on building up confidence by ensuring product quality and delivering on schedule from the word go, said An.

The Vitas chairman also asked garment producers to reduce production costs so that Vietnamese products could compete with similar commodities which are supplied in great numbers by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Despite requiring high quality products, Japan has been a traditional market for Vietnamese producers for years and one of the largest importers of Vietnamese garments and textiles. The country’s turnover in textile and garment exports to Japan has constantly grown in recent years, hitting 820 million USD in 2008, accounting for almost 9 percent of its total textile and garment export turnover.

During the first two months of this year, Vietnam’s textile and garment exports to Japan surged by 27 percent to reach 138 million USD, although its total exports to the market saw a 35 percent drop, largely due to impacts of the global financial crisis.

Vitas forecasts that the country would post a 20 percent growth in earnings from textile and garment exports to the Japanese market this year, equivalent to 984 million USD./.

ECVN

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