The question of how to help Vietnamese footwear enterprises fully grasp the market situation, trends, and opportunities of promoting footwear exports to the United States during and after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic was a key talking point during a recent online conference held in Washington DC
In attendance at the conference were an array of American footwear distributors and agencies, various Vietnamese organisations and businesses from five provinces and cities nationwide, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Ha Nam.
In the current climate, both nations are gradually reopening and restoring economic development following the epidemic, with conferences and trading sessions aiming to create opportunities for local businesses and US importers to gain a better understanding of the needs and capacity of each other.
Greater knowledge of each side’s respective strengths will help forge an agreement on opportunities for co-operation and trade promotion as a means of proactively developing businesses in the face of new market adjustments due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, therefore enhancing mutual trade ties.
Throughout the event both US and Vietnamese experts gave updates on the latest information in terms of the situation of the US footwear market, along with assessing the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the market, and the possibilities and development trends of the market in the near future. In addition, growth segments occurring in the US market were also mentioned, offering Vietnamese suppliers a chance to identify them in order to increase their investment in production.
Both sides also discussed a range of measures for local suppliers to in a bid to improve their competitiveness in the US footwear market, market approaches, and recommendations regarding new strategies for Vietnamese footwear enterprises to take on so they can develop more effectively amid the highly lucrative market.
Meanwhile, representatives of Vietnamese businesses also touched upon current and upcoming difficulties in footwear exports, as well as co-operation alongside US firms due to their high standards for social conditions, quality systems, along with technical and environmental barriers.
In his address, Bui Huy Son, Minister Counselor in charge of the Vietnam trade office in the US, said that following the conference, the Embassy of Vietnam’s Trade Office in the US will co-ordinate efforts with the US-ASEAN Business Council to organise an array of similar events which connect Vietnamese businesses and their North American counterparts. In addition, the Trade Office is always ready to support, share, and exchange information in a bid to help firms from both nations gain greater insights into the needs and conditions necessary to promote trade co-operation activities.
Recent years have seen bilateral trade between both sides enjoy steady growth from US$1.5 billion in 2000 to US$75.72 billion in 2019 following the signing of a Bilateral Trade Agreement. The US has therefore for many years been the country’s largest export market, with the nation now the North American country’s 13th largest trading partner, with both sides keen to work together to build harmonious and sustainable trade relations.
Over the course of the opening months of this year, despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the US remained the country’s largest export market, contributing significantly to Vietnamese export growth. According to the General Department of Customs, the first four months of the year saw total trade turnover between the two sides reach US$24.92 billion, with US$20.16 billion from Vietnam's export turnover and US$4.76 billion from its imports.
Footwear remains one of the nation’s key export sectors, with 2019 considered a successful year for footwear exports as turnover hit US$18.3 billion, representing an annual rise of 12.8%, of which the US was the largest export market with a turnover of US$6.65 billion, representing an on-year rise of 14.2%.