The leather and footwear industry earned an export revenue of about 2 billion USD in the first quarter this year as part of a 7.3 billion USD annual target, up 21.7 percent against 2011.

Nguyen Thi Tong, Deputy Chairwoman and General Secretary of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), made the statement at a seminar jointly held by the association and the Vietnam Leather and Shoe Research Institute in the capital on March 21.

The event was aimed at launching a campaign to encourage Vietnamese creative designers to take part in the 4th International Footwear Design Competition 2012 in the Asia region. The competition will take place in Guang Zhou , China , from May 30 to June 1 and will be organised by the Asia Footwear Association and regional industrial associations.

"The industry has been promoting enterprises and designers, especially the youth, to create unique designs in an effort for shoe makers to implement direct orders rather than sub-contracts," Tong noted.

Most local producers utilise sub-contracts or outsource deals to international partners in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea among others, with great dependence on imported raw materials and accessories, designs as well as equipment.

Tran Tuyet Mai, a representative of the Vietnam Leather and Shoe Research Institute, said that active participation of Vietnamese designers will make a great contribution to the country's shoe industry as it still lacks qualified and professional players.-VNA