A new textile technology training and research centre has opened up in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, equipped with Italian machinery and with training provided by Italian experts.

The Italy-Vietnam Textile Technology Centre – an Italian-funded project – was opened at the HCM City University of Technology this week. The initiative has been developed between the university and the Italian Trade Agency, with technical support from the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers and the International Polytechnic for Industrial and Economic Development.

The centre is understood to be equipped with Italian machinery, while Vietnamese lecturers and engineers have been trained by Italian experts. It is expected that it will be a place for training and supplying skilled managers and workers for Vietnamese and Italian textile-garment businesses, according to local reports.

Vietnam's garment and textile sector has seen exports top US$21.4bn in the first ten months of the year, an increase of 9% year-on-year. However, challenges include a reliance on imported materials and a lack of qualified designers and workers to operate technology.