Vietnam earned US$4bn from textile and apparel exports in the first half of 2008, representing a 17.7% increase on last year but equivalent to just 42.9% of fiscal year targets.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said the figure for June alone was $780m, up 8.3% on May.

This growth was attributed to buoyant exports to the US market where business resurged after the Department of Commerce decided Vietnamese textile and garment products were not being dumped.

In addition, the weak Vietnamese currency helped exports to both the EU and the US capitalise on the slowdown from China.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Bui Xua Khu, is currently on a ten-day mission to the US with a delegation of Vietnamese textile and apparel industry representatives in a bid to boost trade between the two countries.

By Ngo Tuan.