08:25 | 05/08/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - The Republic of Korea (RoK) is one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam, especially in the field of textile and garment. For its part, Vietnam is the top textile and garment exporter to the RoK. There are opportunities for the two countries to increase bilateral investment and trade in textiles and garments.
According to Ahn Seong Ho, Trade Counselor at the Consulate General of the RoK in Ho Chi Minh City, economic cooperation and investment between Vietnam and the RoK have yielded good results. Bilateral trade has grown more than 20 percent annually, reaching US$64 billion in 2017, and is expected to increase to US$100 billion by 2020. With foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam exceeding US$58 billion, the RoK has become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam. The free trade agreement between Vietnam and the RoK (KVFTA) has opened opportunities to increase bilateral trade.
In 2017, the RoK had 44 FDI projects in Vietnam in the field of textiles and garments, with total registered capital of US$178.16 million. The RoK’s projects use modern technologies, including 3D printing technology, and focus on design. Korea International Trade Association data show that in the first quarter of 2018, made-in-Vietnam products accounted for 34.05 percent of the total value of the RoK’s textile and garment market, a rise of 2.33 percent compared with the same period last year. With this result, Vietnam moved ahead of China to become the number-one textile and garment exporter to the RoK.
Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) President Vu Duc Giang said that over the past three years, VITAS had cooperated with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) in a number of trade promotion, training and technology transfer projects.
According to Vu Duc Giang, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to enable the textile and garment sector to increase productivity, reduce production costs and improve worker management, as well as the working environment. VITAS and KITECH will further cooperate to contribute to the development of the textile and garment sectors of the two countries.
In the opinion of Nam Seung IL, Director of Fashion Sales Research at the Korean-based E-Land Group, to acquire more share in the RoK market, Vietnamese companies should pay special attention to apparel materials and functions to create wrinkle-resistant, dry fast, and comfortable garments. RoK and Japanese consumers prefer items with feathers to boost warmth, he said.
Experts have explained how fashion is shifting from seasonal trends to periodical trends, with trend lifecycles spanning from four to five weeks. As a result, automatic technologies in textile production are needed to cut manufacturing times so items can be shelf-ready quickly.
More than 2,000 companies from 16 countries and territories have invested about US$15.75 billion in the Vietnamese
textile and garment sector. The RoK tops the list with US$4.4 billion and is followed by Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong
(China) and Japan.