Vietnam's Industry Ministry on Wednesday unveiled ambitious plans to pump around $466 million into the county's leather and footwear industry over the next 10 years.

The cash will be used to modernise production units, organise mass cattle breeding and slaughtering programmes to ensure a constant supply of leather, and to forge links with the textile, plastics and machinery sectors to produce materials for shoes.

More money will also be poured into the designing and building of trademarks for Vietnamese shoes on the world market, with officials hoping the investment will lead to 640 million pairs of shoes and sandals, with a record export value of $4.7 billion, being produced in2010.

The Ministry has also called on the government to slash the rate of VAT on leather and footwear products to less than five per cent and wants the government to provide state-owned footwear enterprises with 50 per cent of their working capital and obtain loans for the remaining 50 per cent.