The following is a round-up of apparel and footwear news from the world's local media. just-style has not checked these stories so cannot guarantee their accuracy.

  • Vietnamese textile and garment firms should target African countries as part of efforts to diversify their export markets, the country's Ministry of Industry and Trade has said. According to the ministry, countries in the South African Customs Union, which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, are considered as having the highest development potential in Africa. VIETNAM NEWS BRIEF SERVICE.
  • Sumikin Bussan has entered an agreement with Vietnam's Phuoc Long Investment JSC to build a garment contract costing VND23bn (US$1.1m) in Ho Chi Minh City. VIETNAM NEWS BRIEF SERVICE.
  • Leaders in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Liaoning provence, have announced plans to shut a chemical plant after thousands of protesters confronted riot police and demanded its closure because of safety concerns. The plant makes paraxylene, an ingredient used in the production of polyester. Paraxylene vapor can cause eye and nose irritation and, in high concentrations, death. The announcement followed a storm last week which raised concerns that chemicals might leak from the factory as the factory is located close to a sea wall. THE NEW YORK TIMES.
  • Indian woolen apparel manufacturers are focusing on growing demand from affluent customers in the domestic market for high-end products as uncertainty in the global market, particularly in Europe and the US, continues to slow down exports. Lower demand from the EU and US led to a 16.3% decline in exports in 2010/11, with ongoing problems putting a shadow on export products for the current year as well. THE ECONOMIC TIMES.
  • Japanese apparel and merchandise manufacturers are planning to curb production in China to cope with rising labour costs there, opting for locations in Southeast Asia. Aoyama trading plans to reduce its ratio of Chinese production from 75% to less than 50% in three years, while Ryohin Keikaku, which owns Muji, plans to reduce Chinese production to less than 50% in three years from 60% at present. Fast Retailing plans to increase production outside China for its g.u. apparel stores to 50% from 20-30% at present. NIKKEI REPORT.