Vietnam's giant textile and apparel maker Vinatex has signed a rental agreement with Lien Anh C, owner and operator of the Lien Anh centre which supplies materials and accessories for garment and footwear production.

The centre will produce a range of materials for the two industries, from cotton, fabric and yarns for garments to leather, rubber and labels for footwear

Accordingly, Vinatex will rent 30% of the centre's total space for its member companies to form the biggest centre for textiles, apparel and footwear material in the country.

In addition to Vinatex and several local companies, the Binh Duong province-based centre is expected to attract participation from foreign suppliers.

"To satisfy demand from local producers, we will have to call on suppliers from all countries in the world to bring their products here.

"However, our targetted suppliers shall be ones from China, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand who have many years experience in supplying the material to Vietnamese partners," Truong Thi Ngoc Anh, general director of Lien Anh Co said.

Lien Anh Co has already inked an agreement with the Chinese Taipei Agency for Culture and Economy and China Leather and Shoes Association.

While Vietnam is an emerging textile and apparel exporter, there is a lack of materials for local production - something that Lien Anh hopes to tackle.

"Our determination is a key factor in our decision to invest into this centre," said Truong Thuy Lien, vice chairman Lien Anh Co, "and because we understand thoroughly the difficulties which local apparel and footwear enterprises have been suffering."

The centre will cost Lien Anh Co US$12m in the first phase and US$8m in the second phase, starting operation in the first quarter 2008.

By Ngo Tuan.