Garment, textile firms face tough, bigger rivals hinh anh 1Workers at Korean-invested DHA Global Co. (Source: VNA)
Several domestic garment and textile companies would face more challenges from large rivals following integration, said Tran Quang Nghi, Chairman of the National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex).

Nghi, speaking at a conference entitled "Garment and Textile – Opportunities and Challenges", focusing on integration and held in Hanoi September 30, that a shortage of capital and backwards technology, along with weak management capacities, had created difficulties for the businesses.

He added that the development of Vietnam's garment and textile industry was behind other countries.

‘This caused considerable competitive pressures in the local garment and textile industry after Vietnam joins the free trade agreements," Nghi added.

Vietnam has some 5,000 businesses in the sector. Most of them are small- and medium sized enterprises with weak associations.

Echoing Nghi, Truong Thi Thanh Ha, General Director of Dong Xuan Knitting Company, said their technology remained backwards, as several machines were purchased 20 years ago.

Of note, domestic garment and textile companies have not been able to invest in modern technology lines to enjoy benefits from the FTA, especially FTA Vietnam-EU and Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP).

Ha said domestic firms had been faced with more challenges than opportunities. This was the reason that the Government should provide supports for businesses, in terms of land rental and taxes.

In the first half of the year, Vietnam's garment exports to markets participating in the TPP accounted for 70 percent of its total export value.

However, Phan Chi Dung, Head of the Light Industry Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said there were few enterprises manufacturing in all stages, from cotton to completed products. Especially, local firms have much depended upon imported materials, in combination with low productivity, thus making them difficult to enjoy benefits from FTAs.

Dung said the added value in garment exports was still limited, despite high growth rates of 15-20 percent a year.

"Domestic garment and textile companies have not developed their own markets and products, which have been shortcomings for the sector," he added.

According to the development strategy for the garment and textile sector to the year of 2020, approved by the ministry, the country's exports would reach 35 billion USD and up to 60 billion USD by 2030.

Further, Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said investment in material areas and support industries would have special meaning in improving their competitiveness.

Hai also said the association among businesses in this sector could create a large capital base and improve management capacities, as well as technology, which would be a decisive factor for firms to better compete with rivals.-VNA