Vietnam 's garment exports fetched over 8.95 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, rising by 29.2 percent over the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (Vitas).

Vitas attributed the good performance to the abundance of contracts won by local producers.

With current export growth, the garment and textile sector will likely exceed this year's export turnover target of 13 billion USD, reaching 13.5 billion USD instead, Vitas said.

The past few years have witnessed a shift in garment orders from China to other countries, a tendency that went up sharply since the beginning of this year with Vietnam receiving the highest number of garment orders in the world, said the HCM City Textile, Embroidery and Knitting Association chairman Pham Xuan Hong.

Nha Be Garment Corp general director Pham Phu Cuong said that his company had managed to generate 50 million USD from exports in the first eight months of this year, in part attributable to increasing efforts in fulfilling FOB (Free on Board) orders from foreign clients, bringing in 30 million USD in export turnover.

Dong Nai Garment Corp (Donagamex) announced that it had received export orders at prices that had risen by 15-20 per cent compared to 2010, enabling an export target of 45 million USD for this year (an 18 percent surge).

While increasing orders offered local garment enterprises a chance to increase production capacities, in order to fulfil these orders, it was vital that firms keep their workforces stable, especially in terms of skilled labour, experts said.

Labour quality remained a leading concern, agreed Donagamex General Director Bui The Kich.

Donagamex, currently employing 3,000 workers, has struggled to manage its workforce in order to effectively increase productivity alongside rising production costs.

A well-managed labour force could help reduce pressure brought on by increasing costs, Kich confirmed.

Dong Binh JSC said that it still lacked 100 employees for its garment plant in northern Bac Ninh province.

Along with difficulties caused by the global economic downturn, poor purchasing power as well as increasing electricity, coal and petroleum costs, labour shortages have caused difficulties for garment enterprises, said the company's general director Tran Van Khang. /.