Garment and footwear manufacturers have been told that they should open offices overseas in a bid to boost direct sales and profits in an effort to reduce their dependence on subcontracting. Deputy PM Nguyen Manh Cam recently advised industry representatives that as tariffs and other import restrictions are gradually removed, competition is hotting up. He said companies could apply to the Government for financial assistance and should look at establishing joint ventures with American, Japanese, European and Chinese companies to open sales channels in these markets.