Blog: Leonie BarriePutting the boot in

Leonie Barrie | 20 June 2006

 A new report by NGO ActionAid Vietnam suggests that as EU footwear sanctions start to bite, they’re putting up to 500,000 workers in Vietnam’s footwear industry out of work. One million people in Vietnam could soon be living on just around EUR1 a day it says. The research was carried out by ActionAid Vietnam and the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), and calculates a lack of orders from the EU has cut Vietnamese sales by 15-60% this year.

The findings mirror exactly what has happened to Chinese exports to the EU (and US) after quotas were imposed on some of its clothing exports last year. Instead of sourcing locally or from countries closer to home, retailers and importers have simply transferred a substantial amount of their business to countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. And all this means an acceleration in the move offshore - which is the very result the industry lobbyists hoped to avoid.

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