Vietnam's central Thua Thien-Hue Province is understood to be investing more than VND6.6trn (US$295m) on transforming itself into a textile and garment hub.

The move is part of plans for the province's 2016-2020 period, and will focus on developing the domestic market as well as expanding export markets; the latter being a driving force for the sector's development, according to local reports. The investment is expected to give priority to boosting research, product design, brand-building and promotion for the country's apparel and textile industry.

In order to develop the sector sustainably and ensure enough supply of materials for production, the province is working with the Vietnamese government's board of key economic zones to build a centre for supplying apparel materials. The centre will cover 400 hectares in the Phong Dien Industrial Zone, according to Vietnam News. Research is also being conducted into the addition of a modern wastewater treatment system. 

The province is currently home to 50 textiles and garment enterprises, many of whom are said to have expressed willingness to expand their factories. 

This week, Vietnam labour groups and businesses agreed on a 7.3% increase in the national minimum wage – just a week after proposing a freeze on salaries for the country's garment workers. 

The rise, however, is the smallest since a minimum wage system was first introduced in 1997. The industry has concerns it may miss its export target for 2016 due to slowing consumer demand and increased competition.

Vietnam minimum wage to rise 7.3% in 2017