Many footwear companies in the south have received export orders until July and August this year, signalling a successful year for the industry, reported Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Leather and Footwear Association Nguyen Van Khanh said 30 percent out of the 100 surveyed enterprises received orders until August prior to the Lunar New Year holidays.

The sudden increase was due to the fact that foreign partners shifted orders from China to Vietnam to take advantage of tax incentives from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in the future, Khanh explained.

The rise shows that the industry is thriving, he said.

According to Director of Binh Duong-based Lien Phat Footwear Company Truong Thi Thuy Lien, her company received orders for 800,000 pairs of shoes until August, a year-on-year increase of 200,000 pairs. Seventy percent of them came from the European Union (EU), the rest from Japan and the US.

With the abundant orders since the beginning of the year, the company targeted making 2 million pairs of shoes and an export value of 20 million USD this year.

According to the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO) Chairman Nguyen Duc Thuan, the industry’s export target of 12 billion USD this year is attainable because it will benefit from tariff preferential agreements signed between Vietnam and the US, the EU and ASEAN.

The industry started to enjoy the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016 with duties for footwear reducing from 7.69 percent to 3.5-4 percent, which will offer made-in-Vietnam footwear products advantages when competing with similar ones exporting to the market, Thuan said.

The industry’s biggest concern is how to attract investment to building a large-scale material centre in order to make full use of opportunities brought by TPP once the agreement is signed.

Last year, Vietnam earned 10.3 billion USD from leather, footwear and bag exports.-VNA