“Challenges for the Textile Industry: Present & Future” ITMF 2012 Conference in Vietnam : A Report

The 2012 Annual Conference of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) was held on November 4- 6 in Hanoi, Vietnam for the first time. The theme of this year’s conference, organized by The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), was “Challenges for the Textile Industry: Present and Future”. It was attended by about 250 representatives from 26 ITMF member countries. They discussed issues such as changes in the materials market in the context of the ongoing debt crisis in some developed countries; the development of the garment and textile sector in Vietnam and China; US garment and textile policies; and supply chain management.

Hoang Trung Hai
Hoang Trung Hai

Hai said the Prime Minister had already approved a development strategy that focused on strongly improving support industries, producing raw materials and raising added value for textile products. Vinatex, which is co-hosting the conference, was the core of this plan. He said the weaknesses and difficulties facing the local garment and textile sector could be overcome by trying to improve Viet Nam’s role in the international market. In particular, the garment and textile sector was facing a drop in garment and textile contracts due to the global economic downturn, price changes for raw materials, rising input costs and poor design capacity. Hai said this was due partly to a lack of support industries. Therefore, the conference was an opportunity for domestic spinning and weaving manufacturers to learn and exchange experiences.

According to ITMF President Bashir H. Ali Mohammad, the attendance of Vinatex’s accession to ITMF has helped the Federation’s businesses learn experiences from Viet Nam. He said Viet Nam’s garment and textile industry took second place in United States market share after China.

Vietnam’s textile exports have increased sharply over the past few years, from US$5.9 billion in 2006 to US$15.8 billion in 2011. Currently, Vietnam is the second biggest supplier of garments and textiles to the US, the third largest to Japan and the fourth biggest to the EU.

Vu Duc Giang, President of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association and Chairman of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX) said the event will help increase mutual understanding between ITMF members and Vietnam, and offer the country a chance to receive the latest fiber, weaving and dyeing technologies. Vu Duc said after a year’s membership of ITMF, Vinatext had connected directly with textile industry in many countries and had been updated with many new technical advances in the production of yarn and fabric. He said the conference was an opportunity for Vinatex to introduce Vietnamese garments and textiles to customers around the world and call for investments.

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