The Ministry of Industry has submitted a plan to the government that targets leather and footwear export earnings of $3.1-3.5 billion by 2005 and $6.5-7 billion by 2010.

It also calls for the use of domestic materials to increase to 50-55 per cent and 75-80 per cent of exports by 2005 respectively - and says manufacturers should invest in training and equipment if they are to meet these objectives.

For the first half of this year, leather and footwear exports generated $851 million. To meet its yearly target of $1.9 billion, the industry needs to raise productivity and reduce production costs to export goods worth at least $156 million a month in the second half the Ministry of Industry says.

Vietnam is the world's fourth largest leather and footwear exporter behind China, Hong Kong and Italy, with a total annual capacity of 310 million pairs of shoes.