Vietnam sees bright prospects for handbag exports

Handbag exports have grown impressively with most markets reporting high increases in the first five months of this year.
Handbag exports have grown impressively with most markets reporting high increases in the first five months of this year.

According to statistics from the General Customs Department, the export revenues of suitcases, handbags and umbrellas in the January-May period reached 744.58 million USD, up 22.22 percent against the same period last year. The total turnover of these products was only 1.518 billion USD in 2012 and 1.33 billion USD in 2011.

Vietnam’s leading handbag importer was the US with a value of 317.63 million USD, representing a 31 percent increase year on year. The value for May alone was 86.84 million USD, up 9 percent from the previous month.

Japan was the second biggest market buying 93.28 million USD worth of handbag products in the period, an increase of 32.7 percent year on year. Germany followed with 54.53 million USD, up 21.59 percent; Belgium - 40.93 million USD, up 11.8 percent; and the Republic of Korea - 28.01 million USD, up 26.6 percent.

Other markets which generated over 10 million USD in turnover for the sector included France (23.3 million USD), Holland (22.1 million USD), China (18.7 million USD), the UK (17.1 million USD), Canada (13.8 million USD), Spain (12.02 million USD) and Italy (11 million USD).

Besides these major markets, the handbag sector saw a sharp increase of export turnover in Hong Kong (up 56.76 percent), Sweden (up 56.14 percent), Malaysia (55.27 percent), and Thailand (54.66 percent).

The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) has set a target of 1.7 billion USD in briefcase and handbag revenue this year and expects an export growth rate of 30 percent in the coming years.

Nguyen Duc Thuan, President of Lefaso, said that eight out of ten global handbag brand names have transferred their orders to Vietnam . This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to enhance their international prestige.

In the past, FDI enterprises produced the bulk of handbag exports. Two years ago, domestic businesses began to get involved in the sector. Since 2011, the handbag, suitcase, umbrella and wallet producers have succeeded in earning more than 1 billion USD in annual revenue.

According to Lefaso, the domestic demand for handbags and knapsacks rose to 25 million units last year. But only 15 million products were made of local materials. For luxury handbags, Vietnam still depends on imported materials.-VNA

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