The footwear industry will aim for export turnover of US$8 billion this year, an increase of 10.4 per cent over last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The ministry said that sport shoes and sneakers would remain the industry's key export staples this year besides leather handbags and briefcases.
To achieve this goal, the ministry has urged the footwear industry to increase the production of raw materials so that 60-65 per cent of the industry's demand can be satisfied by domestic materials. Currently, the footwear industry still relies heavily on imported parts, causing it to face difficulties as the world market remains volatile.
The industry is also closely working with the garment and textile industry and other relevant industries to create an industrial complex specialising in producing footwear accessories.
According to the Viet Nam Leather and Footwear Association, the industry also plans to build research and trade promotion centres to become more competitive.
Despite these economic hardships, the industry's export value still surged 10.6 per cent last year to $7.2 billion. Domestic footwear exporters said that the number of orders businesses have received from traditional importers had fallen 25-30 per cent against the previous year. Some footwear makers said that they had to adjust production, cut costs, increase product quality and even accept breaking even just to survive.
To gain last year's $7.2 billion, instead of only focusing on traditional markets in the EU, US and Japan, the footwear industry successfully won export contracts from new markets in South America and other Asian countries.
Last year, the industry also co-operated with large footwear material producers of India and Brazil to churn out footwear accessories.