The footwear industry will reach a record export value of 8 billion USD this year, experts have said.

The Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) said the average export value in the first nine months stood at about 675 million USD per month, and t he record would be reached if this average value continues in the final months of the year.

In the first nine months of this year, the industry earned over 6 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year increase of more than 15 percent.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Vietnam Customs showed that in the first half of October, the industry exported nearly 310 million USD, pushing the total footwear export value since the beginning of this year to 6.31 billion USD.

During this time, exports were reported to rise in most markets.

The US led the list with nearly 2 billion USD, surging by 17 percent compared with the same time last year. This figure accounted for more than 32 percent of the industry's total export value.

It was followed by the UK with 400 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 9.3 per cent.

The third biggest market was Germany with 297 million USD, a year-on-year surge of more than 8 percent.

The other markets were Japan, Holland, China, Brazil and Spain.

Experts urged domestic companies to make more efforts to improve quality and productivity.

As the global economy has yet to recover, key markets for Vietnamese footwear have slumped, hence companies must plan accordingly.

This is especially important, they said, because foreign-direct investment companies have contributed more than 76 percent of the industry's total export value.

Currently, about 1,100 enterprises are involved in footwear production in the country, employing 720,000 workers.

In addition, there are thousands of individual producers and handicraft villages that take part in export activities.

With this capacity, the Vietnamese footwear industry is expected to meet export demand.-VNA