Vietnam's annual footwear exports jumped 17.2 per cent year-on-year in 2002 to $1.83 billion, official figures revealed on Thursday.

Data from the General Statistics Office showed the EU accounted for 78 per cent of that total, while the US increased its share to 10.3 per cent from 6.9 per cent in 2001.

However, shoe exports to Japan and other countries slipped slightly.

Industry chiefs said they were pleased with the results and will invest up to $100m in two new giant footwear complexes over the next few years, one of which will be able to produce up to 25 million pairs of shoes a year by 2010.