Both the advantages and challenges for Vietnam’s textile and garments industry when exporting their products to France and the EU were discussed at a seminar in HCM City on March 8.

The sector has seen remarkable growth over recent years, but still lags behind China, Italy and Bangladesh, said delegates.

Several industry insiders said that due to the world’s economic meltdown, Vietnamese businesses faced a range of difficulties with EU customers, especially the French, who now require the origin of materials to be clearly stated as well as a greater diversity of designs.

To step up exports to this market, the President of the Business Association for top quality Vietnamese goods, Vu Kim Hanh, suggested businesses produce products to match each individual export market. They should seek out value-added contracts along with those for larger volumes of goods, she added.

Working closer with overseas retailers will offer more opportunities for businesses to boost their exports to other markets and also be equipped with more accurate market information and a better insight into market demands, said the seminar.

Last year, the Big C supermarket, part of Casino Group, exported food and textiles worth 21 million USD to nine countries where there are Casino outlets.

A representative from the French Chamber for Commerce and Industry in Vietnam Guillaume Crouzet, said that they are helping Vietnamese businesses to identify consumer demands as well as seek retailers, suppliers and importers across the EU and providing up to date information on each different market.-VNA