Vietnam 's plastics industry will need 175.53 trillion VND (8.52 billion USD) for its development until 2020 under a plan approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The plan aims to raise the sector's industrial production value to 78.5 trillion VND (3.81 billion USD) by 2015 and 181.57 trillion VND (8.81 billion USD) by 2020.

It plans plastics will make up 5 percent of the country's overall industry by 2015 and 5.5 percent by 2020. Currently it is 4.48 percent.

It targets an annual export growth rate of 15 percent to reach 2.15 billion USD and 4.3 billion USD by 2015 and 2020, respectively.

Priority will be given to high quality, competitive products with diversification of product design to meet domestic and export markets.

Investors will be encouraged to recycle and introduce technologies to produce degradable plastic products.

The nation now has 1,064 plastics producers, 80 percent of which are in the south, including provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and HCM City.

The industry exports products to 55 foreign markets, with last year's exports valued at 1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent. Packaging products made up half the export revenue, followed by household plastic items, 15 percent, and technical plastic goods, 10 percent.

The biggest obstacle for the industry is its heavy reliance on imported materials, the ministry's Industry Policy and Strategy Institute said. Of 2.2 million tonnes used a year, about 85 percent is imported. This also exposes producers to foreign exchange risk and world oil price volatility which affectes competitiveness, the institute said./.