Shoes produced at Sao Viet Company in Binh Duong province's Di An Industrial Zone (Photo: VNA)

According to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), footwear export revenue was expected to reach USD20 billion while handbags achieved USD4 billion this year.

Nguyen Duc Thuan, Lefaso’s president, said foreign-invested producers remained the major driver for footwear and handbags, citing statistics that foreign-invested firms accounted for 75.8 percent of the sector’s export revenue in 2019.

The industry, however, saw a slight expansion of domestic producers in recent years, accounting for 24.2 percent of the export revenue in 2019, from 19.7 percent in 2017 and 21.6 percent in 2018.

Thuan said that the US-China trade war would continue posing risks to Vietnam’s footwear and handbag exports.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said that the Government would continue to provide support for footwear and handbag firms in expanding markets and improving production capacity.

The ministry was developing a strategy to turn leather and footwear into a spearhead industry for export.

Hung also urged footwear and leather firms to take advantage of opportunities from free trade agreements while preparing for challenges from uncertain global and regional trade developments.

He also said firms should be proactive in renovating technologies and enhancing their production capacity as well as focusing on market research and development.

The industry reached an export revenue of USD22 billion in 2019, representing a rise of 12.2 percent over the previous year. Up to USD18.3 billion of the export revenue came from footwear exports and USD3.7 billion from handbags.

The US was the largest market for Vietnam’s footwear and handbag products, with a revenue of USD7.41 billion (up 13 percent) in January-November, followed by the EU with USD5.418 billion revenue (up 7.2 percent) and China at USD1.776 billion (up 19.3 percent)./.