Leather, footwear sector takes steps to improve production

06:00 | 19/06/2020 Industry

(VEN)- The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso) are discussing how to encourage enterprises to take a proactive approach in the production chain. Vietnam Economic News’ Viet Nga interviewed Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, Secretary General of Lefaso, about this issue.

leather footwear sector

The implementation of government policies to support the development of supporting industries in general and the leather and footwear sector in particular has not been effective as expected. In your opinion, what are the difficulties in implementing those policies?

Decree 111/2015/ND-CP reflects the great interest and support of the government and the MoIT in the development of supporting industries to key Vietnamese exports. However, the development policy spans so many different areas, each with specific features, resulting in inadequacies.

Therefore, we need to take into consideration the specific characteristics of each industry. For example, it is better to develop specific policies for each group of similar industries, such as textile/garment, and separately for footwear - rather than the current common policy for both. If we can solve that problem, I think the supporting industry in general and that of footwear sector in particular will see better development.

What are your recommendations to develop support industries for the leather and footwear sector?

Footwear is a fashion industry, which is also a rapidly changing and diversified industry. For example, there are hundreds of types of raw materials for the leather and footwear industry, not to mention new inventions. If the policy only focuses on the existing ones, it will not be able to keep up with change.

Creative innovation enterprises can create new materials that do not have any standards yet and appropriate policies will encourage them to develop those materials. The policies should focus mainly on requirements rather than strict regulations and specific standards that limit and restrict the creativity of the footwear sector’s support industries.

At present, the MoIT and Lefaso are developing a strategy for the development of supporting industry for the leather and footwear industry, and amending Decree 111. I hope this will help the development of supporting industries.

What are the highlights of the development strategy of the footwear industry?

The development strategy is still under discussion. However, we can see that sourcing is not a difficult problem, but labor and new technology are two weaknesses that need to be thoroughly addressed.

In fact, labor and technology interact with each other. Enterprises can solve labor shortages with machines and technology, but not all businesses can do it, especially the small and medium-sized enterprises that face difficulties in accessing capital resources.

At present, businesses still have raw materials to maintain production, but the difficulty is the lack of orders for export. If the situation does not improve, it will affect jobs. Therefore, both enterprises and the state need to have solutions to protect workers’ livelihoods and continue production when the market and orders resume.

Secretary General of Lefaso Phan Thi Thanh Xuan: The development of the support industry for the footwear sector cannot be achieved overnight, but it is certainly essential in order to supply raw and auxiliary materials, and draw foreign investors to Vietnam.

leather footwear sector

Viet Nga