Is TPP a game changer for the Vietnamese textile and clothing industry?
Following the launch of a transition process from a planned to a market economy in 1986, the textile and clothing industry was one of the first industrial sectors to establish itself and start growing. It is a trend that has continued until today, and one that was given an extra boost following accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007. The textile and clothing industry receives a great deal of support from the Vietnamese government: ambitious plans were drawn up to develop the sector further. Although the figures vary, it is estimated that 2.5 million people are employed in this sector, with most of the workers being women. The Vietnamese Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) recently estimated that the sector comprises a total of more than 5,000 companies, of which approximately 4,500 are sewing rooms, 500 weaving mills and 100 spinning mills. Currently, textile and apparel account for 13.6 percent of Vietnam’s total export value; accordingly the sector ranks second only to electronic products in terms of net proceeds.