Rising costs in China cause Western buyers to find alternative production locations.
Western apparel brands and retailers are cutting back on sourcing from China, due to rising costs there, according to issue 169 of Textile Outlook International from global business information company Textiles Intelligence.
Buyers have limited options, however, as no other single country is able to provide the capacity, quality, skills variety and complete supply chain offered by the Chinese textile and clothing industry. With factory safety concerns in Bangladesh, and recent labor unrest in Cambodia, many Western buyers are turning to Vietnam.
In 2013 U.S. textile and clothing imports from Vietnam grew in value by 14.6 percent, the fastest growth rate among imports from the 10 largest U.S. suppliers. Imports continued to increase by 15.5 percent in the first four months of 2014, when compared to the same period of the previous year.
In addition, negotiations are aimed at establishing a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, which would provide tariff benefits and flexible rules of origin for Vietnamese imports into the U.S.
Vietnam growth has been slower in the EU import market, with Cambodia and Bangladesh seeing larger increases in 2013, and Vietnam growth increasing to 14.5 percent from January-March 2014.