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  • News
  • Benin
  • Togo
  • 21 April 2022

Opportunities for businesses to boost fashion exports to Africa

The national program on trade promotion in 2022 attracts more than 50 Vietnamese and African businesses operating in fashion production and industry (textiles, leather, footwear…). They exchanged opportunities to promote the shift of production chains of these items to the African market shortly.

On April 14-15, 2022, in collaboration with Trade Offices – Vietnamese embassies in African countries, the Trade Promotion Department organized the conference on online trade-in fashion products of Vietnam – Africa 2022. This conference aims to promote promotion, find partners, connect business opportunities, and export to African markets.

With a large population, Africa accounts for 17% of the world. Africa’s consumer demand is very high. However, the domestic production chain has not yet met the current request. Despite abundant raw materials and a large workforce, the textile industry in Africa is still underdeveloped. Africa is considered a potential export market for Vietnamese goods, including textiles, footwear, and fashion accessories.

With the increase in population and income, Africa will become a promising consumer market for textiles, leather, and footwear. The reason is improved income, diverse tastes, and interests.

African countries have great demand for textiles and footwear, especially South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Although Vietnam is one of eight major textile and garment exporting countries globally, the export value of this group of goods to Africa is still relatively modest.

According to Mr. Le Hoang Tai, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Department, over the past time, trade turnover between Vietnam and African countries has been significant, but it is still not commensurate with the development potential of both sides.

To take advantage of the labor force, good sewing skills and productivity, high quality and cheap raw materials available to produce textiles and garments to serve the needs of the host country and for export, Vietnam is assessed to be able to increase exports of textiles, leather, and footwear to Africa. In addition, Vietnam is also considering investing in installing some large manufacturing markets in Africa for benefits such as reducing logistics costs to Europe and the US.

The online trade conference also provided potential information, cooperation opportunities, and challenges when trading fashion with African countries presented by Mr. Mohamed Kassem, President of the Association of Fashion Designers export to Egypt; Mr. Opeyemi Alaran, Acting President of the National Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture Nigeria.

Although the export potential of Vietnam’s goods to the African market is assessed to be large, experts and Vietnamese trade representatives in many African countries recommend:

  • According to Mr. Hoang Duc Nhuan, Vietnam Trade Office in Algeria, Vietnamese footwear products have many potentials and opportunities to increase exports to this market. Currently, Algeria’s supply capacity meets about 5% of the consumption demand of the footwear industry. The remaining 95% still has to be imported from other countries. While importing this item from Vietnam only accounts for a small proportion.
  • From a business perspective, Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), said that despite being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic in the past time, the economy of this region has increased. Rapid growth in recent years has led to increased consumer demand, including textile products. Meanwhile, now 43/55 African countries have joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), so these countries have gradually removed non-tariff barriers and reduced import taxes. On the other hand, people in many African countries sympathize with the people and achievements of Vietnam’s socio-economic development. This is also an advantage for Vietnamese goods in general and Vietnamese textiles and garments in particular to increase market share in this region.

VITAS representative wants African businesses to invest in stages in Vietnamese fashion products’ green and sustainable production chain for cooperation and development.

Besides, Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises can also increase their import of cotton materials from West Africa, Central Africa… and, more significantly, research and invest in African countries to take advantage of their advantages in the source of raw materials, the geographical location of this continent.

To gain information about market demand and business practices, Vietnamese enterprises participating in the Conference enthusiastically exchanged and introduced their potentials and strengths in the production and business of pharmaceutical products and fashion items to African partners.

After the conference session, the Organizing Committee arranged online trading sessions to create opportunities for Vietnamese businesses and businesses from African countries to discuss options, cooperation possibilities, and export fashion and accessories products shortly.