08:53 | 05/08/2015 Trade
Vietnamese footwear exports rose 21.2 percent against the same period last year to more than 5.85 billion USD for the first six months of the year, the General Department of Customs reported.
Vietnamese footwear exports rose 21.2 percent against the same period last year to more than 5.85 billion USD for the first six months of the year. (Photo: VNA)
The figure is expected to reach 14 billion USD by the end of the year, according to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso).
Of the figure for the first half of the year, exports to the US increased by 30.2 percent to 2 billion USD, equal to export earnings from the EU, which saw a growth of 17 percent.
The EU continues to be the largest importer of Vietnamese footwear.
In 2009, footwear exports to the US totalled about 1 billion USD, half of the value earned from the EU market.
Truong Thi Thuy Lien, Director of Lien Phat Footwear Company in the southern province of Binh Duong, said footwear exports rose in the second quarter of this year.
Most footwear enterprises had orders up to the end of February next year, she said.
Both foreign direct-invested and local businesses are focusing on the US market, she added.
According to statistics from the Office of Textiles and Apparel at the US Department of Commerce, the US imports about 78 percent of footwear from China and 12 percent from Vietnam.
However, footwear imports from China have fallen steadily since 2010, the US office said.
Meanwhile, imports from other Asian countries, particularly from Vietnam, have increased sharply in recent years as US businesses try to become less dependent on Chinese imports.
Nguyen Duc Thuan, President of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association, said the industry was likely to fulfill its target of 14.5 billion USD in exports this year, with an annual growth of 20 percent set by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Last year, Vietnam exported 10.34 billion USD worth of footwear, a rise of 23 percent over the previous year, making up 6.89 percent of the country's total exports, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In December, footwear exports totalled 1.08 billion USD, an increase of 13.8 percent over November.
Last year, Vietnamese footwear was exported to more than 40 markets, including the US, EU, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
Of the markets, footwear exports to the US registered a yearly growth rate of 26.7 percent to 3.33 billion USD.
The US market alone made up 32.2 percent of the country's total footwear exports last year.
According to Lefaso, the footwear industry's competitive capacity has increased because of improvement in technology and equipment./.