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South Korean investments rise in Vietnam’s textiles industry

Korea is investing in Vietnam’s textile and garment industry in a big way. The move is to satisfy growing orders from US importers, mostly leading retailers such as Target, Walmart, Kohls, Kmart, Sears and Tesco. With more than 500 businesses based in Vietnam, and nearly $2 billion in total committed capital, Korean investment has helped bolster Vietnam’s textile and garment industry.

The Sea-A group has been operating in Vietnam for nearly six years and has a garment plant that turns out seven million products a year and has a workforce of 3,000. Korea is now Vietnam’s fourth largest export partner in terms of value, after the US, the EU and Japan.

Vietnam’s textile and garment exports to Korea have jumped sharply in recent years, from less than $300 million in 2009 to nearly $1.2 billion in 2013 and an estimated $750 million in the first five months of this year. This has given Vietnam’s textile and garments a 24.2 per cent market share in Korea, only behind China, with 43.2 per cent.

After the Asean-Korea free trade agreement Vietnam’s textile and garment industry saw significant growth. South Korea currently provides nearly 20 per cent of Vietnam’s textiles and with the large volume of ancillary materials it also exports.