The Vietnamese leather and footwear sector will strive to increase its share of the domestic market to ease its dependence on export while raising the rate of locally made raw materials to 50 percent.

At the same time, the sector is aiming for an export growth of 12 percent this year, with 7.3 billion USD from footwear and 1.5 billion USD from handbags, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Nam Hai at the ministry’s meeting in Hanoi on Mar. 5 in Hanoi .

According to the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (LEFASO), the sector plans to supply nearly 70-75 million footwear products and 16 – 18 million handbags to the domestic market this year, meeting between 55 and 64 percent of domestic demands, respectively.

To achieve this goal, it will further uphold Vietnam’s competitive edges to maintain traditional markets, while continue to improve research capacity for development, reform managerial and production technologies and issue a reasonable pricing policy.

In the near future, the sector will also expand satellite production facilities away from major cities to make the best of human resources in rural areas.

Statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that in February, footwear enterprises faced issues such as dependence on imported raw materials for production and a workforce shortage.

During the first two months of this year, the country produced 8.7 million pairs of shoes and boots, up 11.6 percent, and 45.6 million pairs of sports shoes, down 5.4 percent from the same period last year.-VNA