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Vietnam apparel, footwear exports grows in November post lockdown


Vietnam’s apparel and footwear exports in November 2021 jumped 18.5 per cent from last year, the most since May post opening up after lockdown, reveals Hanoi-based General Statistics Office. Coronavirus restrictions had led to the closing of many factories, particularly in the Southern industrial belt, that produce shoes and clothes for global brands such as Nike and Abercrombie & Fitch. The restrictions were lifted in early October. Plants have struggled to lure migrant workers, who returned to their home provinces amid the nation’s worst outbreak, back to assembly lines.

Most workers are returning. However plants, with much of their workforce back, now worry three-week mandatory quarantines for vaccinated workers who test positive could affect orders for early 2022. Many Christmas orders remain unfulfilled. Business associations are now seeking a reduction in quarantine time. The pandemic is still complicated, with rising numbers of new virus patients in the community.

Current factory operation rules in Vietnam remain strict and very complicated, which could hinder employees’ ability to return to work. Several factors weigh against expectations for a fast resumption in production activities. These include the likely persistence of labor shortages, rising raw material costs and supply chain disruptions in many other parts of Asia.