In the first five months of 2014, the textile and garment sector maintained stable export growth compared with the same period last year and continued to stand among the top sectors in terms of the export value, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

According to the data released from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first five months of 2014, the export value of the textile and garment sector reached 7.44 billion USD, a rise of 17 percent compared with the same period last year. In terms of export value, textiles and garments ranked second, after telephones and components.

Textile and garment exports to major, traditional markets remained stable. The US continued to be the largest export market. In the first four months of 2014, Vietnamese textile and garment businesses earned 2.95 billion USD from its exports to the US market, up 17.9 percent compared with the same period last year. Japan market ranked second with 783 million USD and the other large export markets were the Republic of Korea (570 million USD), Germany (205 million USD), and Spain (165 million USD).

Exports to smaller markets impressively increased. For example, exports to the United Arab Emirates grew 131 percent; Mexico 62 percent; Hungary 80 percent; Australia 45.3 percent; and Canada 31 percent.

While many people concerned about the impact of the situation in the East Sea on the import of materials for domestic production, Cao Anh Dung, Director of the Light Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, affirmed that since the beginning of this year, textile and garment businesses had maintained stable export activities, and that the import of materials for domestic production had continued to take place normally via border crossings.

Hoang Ve Dung, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, said there had been no changes in the textile and garment material market, and many member companies of the group continued to import materials from the Chinese market.

In the first five months of 2014, the import value of materials for domestic textile and garment production strongly increased, for example cotton imports up 32.1 percent; fiber and yarn imports up 7.8 percent.

According to Hoang Ve Dung, to get ready for making the most of opportunities from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, large-scale domestic textile manufacturers have invested in expanding production to increase supplies for the domestic market and gradually reduce imports.

Recently, the Century Synthetic Fiber Corporation broke ground to build a new plant under the third-stage expansion of its Trang Bang branch with total investment of 33.9 million USD. When it comes into operation, this plant will supply an additional about 15,000 tonnes of partially oriented yarn (POY) and 15,000 tonnes of drawn textured yarn (DTY) each year. In Quang Binh Province, the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group has carried out three investment projects and will carry out four new projects with total investment of about 4.8 trillion VND. These include large projects in fields such as yarn production and cotton and gum tree planting.

In the time to come, the textile and garment sector will take the initiative in intensifying trade promotion activities and continue to invest in domestic fabric and yarn production to increase material supplies for domestic companies. The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association has sent an official letter calling upon businesses to take the initiative in seeking potential markets from which they can import materials such as Thailand, the Republic of Korea and Indonesia. The association encouraged businesses to import yarn from Thailand, Indonesia and India and fabric from the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Malaysia to prevent heavy dependence on a single market.-VNA