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India and Vietnam: Building the textile bond

by Apparel Resources

22-December-2018  |  7 mins read

textile bond
Image Courtesy: shutterstock.com

Vietnam Customs Statistics in one of its recently released data affirmed about the growing apparel and textile trade relations between Vietnam and India. The garment and textile trade between both the countries touched US $ 799 million during the January to August period of the current year – an astronomical increase of 35 per cent from what it was in the first 8 months of 2017. When Team Apparel Resources recently met Maksym Sukhanov, General Director, Maximum Sourcing Co. Ltd., he was quick to add, “We have contributed significantly to the 35 per cent jump in the bilateral textile trade between India and Vietnam. 70 per cent of our denim fabrics are from India whereas 30 per cent are from Pakistan.” Maximum Sourcing is a design-to-delivery garment supplier that majorly makes jackets, jeans and ladies dresses.

The huge contribution made by Indian textile companies in Vietnam especially over the last decade is a well-known fact. Some of the Indian companies that have made it big in Vietnam are some of the success stories that have become exemplary, be it that of Saitex, Classic Fashion Apparel, Premco Global, Premier Fashion and some others. Elucidating further on the same, K. Srikar Reddy, Indian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, said that Vietnam holds an important place in Indian Government’s Look East Policy. Through 175-plus projects, India has invested nearly US $ 814 million in Vietnam, thereby standing 28th among 126 countries investing in Vietnam. While speaking at a conference, Reddy added that under India’s “automatic route” policy, overseas investors can invest in India without seeking any approval from the Government in advance. He also said that Vietnamese apparel and textile firms can take complete advantage of this policy and the market potential to produce yarns, fabrics and readymade apparels in India.

India and Vietnam have realised the importance of each other’s contribution in enhancing trade relations, which in turn is instrumental in driving social and economic development of both the nations. At a recently concluded event in Ho Chi Minh City, Parvathaneni Harish, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, expressed hope that the cooperation between both the countries especially in the apparel and textile sector will remain one of the key priorities in efforts to increase the bilateral trade value to US $ 15 billion by 2020.

The graph presents the fast-growing textile trade relations between India and Vietnam
The graph presents the fast-growing textile trade relations between India and Vietnam

Presently, India has a strong fibre and yarn production industry that has been successfully producing almost all kinds of fabric and supporting materials available in the market, making the country one of the three largest textile product manufacturers in the world. “Some specialised yarns are not available in Vietnam, but from India, we are able to import lots of high quality yarns. Our sourcing is very strong in India and that gives us advantage as we get the sourcing support here in Vietnam also,” said Kamal Mangwani, Vice General Director, Premco Global Vietnam. Since last 4 decades, Premco has been manufacturing high quality knitted and woven elastics.

Sharing the same thoughts, Anil Rajvanshi, Chairman, Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council of India averred, “India is strong in manufacturing and exporting textile products from synthetic yarn, a material fabric that is being used widely in the world garment industry with high expansion prospects in the future.” He also added that India has been urging the garment and textile companies in Vietnam to actively participate in Indian fairs and exhibitions as well and thereby help in strengthening the business relations between both the countries.

Therefore, it was pleasing to see the enterprising participation of Vietnamese garment and textile companies in the recently concluded India International Silk Fair (IISF) in New Delhi. There were over 20 textile establishments at the event with participation from several Vietnamese dignitaries including Vietnam’s Ambassador to India, Pham Sanh Chau. Besides, there were representatives from provinces such as Hanoi, Tuyên Quang and Lạng Sơn. IISF was an exclusive exhibition of fabrics, accessories as well as silk garments and one saw active presence of The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX) too.

Never before had India seen such an active participation from Vietnamese companies in an Indian garment fair. Similarly, Indian apparel and textile firms have also been regularly participating in SaigonTex show with the intent of exploring investment opportunities. It is clear that both the nations are now keen to take the textile trade relations much further. It is important to note here that India exported garments worth US $ 429 million to Vietnam in 2017, which is an increase of astounding 44 per cent from what it was in 2016. Vietnam, on the other hand, exported US $ 178 million worth apparels to India in 2017.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Deputy General Secretary, Vietnam Textile and Apparel association (VITAS)

Despite being one of the top five garment exporters in the world, Vietnam also has the distinction of importing the highest amount of garment and textile materials in the world. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Deputy General Secretary, Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), corroborated that while Vietnam will gain from India with regard to the latest technology and more textile materials and products, India too can expand its market. She also appreciated the quality of Indian fabric. Lot of business firms in Vietnam urged the Government of both the countries to sign bilateral free trade agreement. Free trade agreement will help in cutting taxes for goods of each other.

Considering the pace and consistency at which the textile trade relations have grown between both Vietnam and India in 2018, it will not be a surprise to see both the countries give a new dimension to their relations in 2019.