Strengthening the supply chain in ASEAN textile sector towards sustainable development was the focus of discussion at an international conference in Hanoi on November 1.

The event was part of the meeting of the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries 2016 (AFTEX) hosted by Vietnam.

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President of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) Vu Duc Giang highlighted the strategic role of Vietnam’s textile and apparel in the bloc, saying that Vietnam tops ASEAN countries in apparel export.

The sector is also among the nation’s biggest foreign currency earners, which helps name Vietnam in the world’s top five largest apparel exporters, Giang said.

In 2015, the country earned USD 27 billion from textile and apparel export. The figure is expected to reach USD 29 billion this year. The sector has over 6,000 enterprises, creating jobs for over 2.5 million laborers.

Vietnam needs to develop a master plan for developing the garment sector by 2020, with a vision to 2040, he said, adding that the sector should have incentives to draw foreign investors while enterprises need to develop their own brand names.

VITAS joined the AFTEX in 2001. The federation has made significant contributions to forming a free trade zone among the Southeast Asian nations, and the building of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

Source: VNA