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Top RMG exporter, Vietnam still lags a popular domestic brand

Although Vietnam is one of the five biggest apparel exporters in the world, there aren’t any known Vietnamese brands. The textile and garment sectors spearheads the country’s export and generates the biggest number of jobs -- about 2.5 million. However, most employees in the sector are manual workers in charge of simple steps while the steps requiring technical skills like dyeing or designing are facing a shortage.

Shortage of high-quality manpower is also one of the reasons why local production of apparel remains undeveloped and Vietnam has to depend on imported materials. Meanwhile, not much is being done about generating high value additions like designing products or on brand building.

Only about 30 per cent of the 6000 textile-garment businesses in Vietnam operate in textiles, including weaving, dyeing, printing and finishing fabrics. Most of the remaining firms make products ordered by foreign fashion brands. Only a few are able to create their own products, from manufacturing fabrics, designing, to making apparel.

Many companies still have to hire foreign experts and technicians at high costs to be responsible for dyeing, completing fabric and designing products, thus augmenting production costs and reducing their products’ competitiveness compared to foreign rivals.