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Global political instability and strong competition from other Asian footwear exporting countries such as Bangladesh are said to have led Vietnam to a single-digit export growth for 2016, lower than expected.
Vietnam's footwear sector is to report a growth of 8% in export revenue in full 2016, lower than the targeted 10% according to Vietnam Customs. It is expected the one-digit growth in 2016 will put more pressure on the leather sector’s export plan in 2017
Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, General Secretary of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), told local media several small and medium sized enterprises in the leather and footwear sector saw a decline of 30-60% in orders in 2016 compared with the previous year. However, the expertise, technology and other investments brought forward by foreign-invested firms and joint-ventures mean Vietnam continues on a strong path for export growth.
Vietnam ranks fourth among the world's top footwear manufacturers, behind China, India and Brazil, but is the third biggest exporter in term of revenue after China and Italy.
A comprehensive five-page report on Vietnam’s leather sector, with an overview on the importance of foreign capital investment, the challenges of material shortage and sourcing, the development of the industry over the years as well as the rising numbers of tanneries establishing themselves in the country, can be found in the upcoming January/February 2017 print and digital App edition of International Leather Maker.