Blog: Michelle RussellVietnam's textile-garment plan hits hurdles

Michelle Russell | 19 November 2019

Eleven years after Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade approved its textile and garment industry development strategy for 2010-2020, the availability of domestically-made textile inputs remains a major problem that continues to hinder clothing manufacturers in the country.

In China, the state’s textile planners are strengthening ties with Mekong River countries within Southeast Asia in the textile and apparel sectors. The move contradicts assumptions that the Chinese government wants to oppose the exodus of domestic producers to this region.

Stakeholders of Bangladesh's denim industry are being urged to analyse and conduct responsible business practices when dealing with the country's vendors. Speaking at the Bangladesh Denim Expo, which celebrated its 11th edition this month, CEO Mostafiz Uddin, said: "It is the duty of all stakeholders in the denim industry to acknowledge their responsibility and to analyse the business practices for the benefit of all.”

Meanwhile, sportswear giant Adidas has announced production at its Speedfactories in both Germany and the US will be discontinued next year amid plans to deploy Speedfactory technologies at two of its Asian suppliers by the end of 2019. It expects the move to result in "better utilisation of existing production capacity" and more flexibility in product design.

Clothing and textile executives attending a New York conference have been told they need to take special care when assessing their supply chains to ensure they are not tainted with human rights abuses – because not only may the reputational risks be severe, but criminal liability may follow. Ryan Lynch, the head of corporate social responsibility at BSI, the British standards organisation, said the most obvious example at present are the claims highlighted in an October report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), that forced labour may well be present in China's Xinjiang province.

While cautious optimism on the future of global trade may be evident in US financial markets – notably because the United States and China are apparently nearing agreement on a new interim trade deal – representatives of the textile and apparel sectors are still expressing significant caution about future prospects.

No one enjoys implementing cost cuts, especially since they are an admission that the business has got out of control. But many have had to do it at some time or another. This article explains some of the methods and tools used to decide – and then take – unpleasant actions.

In other news, US retail imports are to see their final tariff-driven surge of the year; Bangladesh RMG exports slip in Q1; India approves mega leather, footwear cluster; Fast Retailing engages robot startups to boost warehouse efficiencies; and Nike is to stop selling products on Amazon.

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