Vietnam's textile and garment industry expects to surpass its initial 2013 export target of 19 billion USD by an extra 1 billion USD.

Pham Xuan Hong, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (Vitas), said the textile and garment industry, despite many challenges in production and business, was one of the two industries reaching more than 10 billion USD in export value for this year's first nine months.

Hong said the industry expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 15 percent in export value for the year thanks to the Government's export promotion policies and the textile and garment enterprises' efforts.

As a result, it will add 1 billion USD to its initial export value target to bring the industry's total export value to 20 billion USD for the whole year.

Nguyen An, general director of the Saigon Garment Production and Trading Joint Stock Company, said the company found new partners at a fashion fair held in the US in August and it expected to get new export orders and expand production by year's end.

In addition, the localisation rate for export products has increased to 40-50 percent against the previous year's 20-30 percent, Hong said.

This caused imports of material and sub-materials to fall, an advantage for the textile and garment industry in export activities once Vietnam joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, he said.

The industry has paid attention to investment in design, production and new production technology to improve the quality and value of those products.

However, Hong said local producers must compete with rivals from other countries, such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia, in export pricing due to higher salaries for workers in Vietnam over other countries.

Local producers have also faced difficulties in sourcing and importing material and sub-material for making textile and garment products due to competition with other countries in the region.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade's statistics show that in the first nine months of this year, the textile and garment industry earned an export value of 13 billion USD, up 18 percent from the same time last year.

The US, the EU, Japan and the Republic of Korea are the biggest importers of Vietnamese textiles and garments, with exports to these markets accounting for 49, 15, 12 and 9 percent of the industry's export revenue, respectively.-VNA