Vietnam expected to earn about US$7.5 billion from exports of fibre, textile and garment in the first half of this year, up 6 per cent against the same period last year.
In reality, the quantity of garment products exported increased 12 per cent from the corresponding time because of lower prices on the global market.
"This reflected great efforts by the textile and apparel sector in the face of the global economic crisis," said Le Tien Truong, deputy director-general of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) in an online conference held by the group in Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City.
Lower prices of textile and garment products stemmed from the current downward price trend of most commodities in the world. Prices of raw materials for garments had also decreased. For instance, 1kg of cotton cost about $3.90 at the end of 2011 but it had plunged to only $1.70 now.
While exports to the US maintained a growth rate at 15 per cent in the first half, the rates on increase to Japanese and South Korean markets were 23 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Truong greatly appreciated the potential of the South Korean market and hoped that Viet Nam's clothing exports to this market could hit $1 billion by the end of this year.
Nevertheless, the sector's positive results had been negatively impacted by the downturn in the European market, Viet Nam's major importer, accounting for about 17 per cent of the country's total apparel exports.
Vinatex reached a total export turnover of $1.26 billion in the first half, a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent. In addition, the group earned a combined revenue of VND9 trillion ($428.6 million) in its local market, up 8.4 per cent from the same period last year.
The group planned to earn an export value of around $1.35 billion in the second half, bringing the total export revenue to $2.6 billion by the end of this year, up 16 per cent compared to last year.
"The target of 16 per cent growth rate should be realised because many members of the group had signed export contracts for the third quarter and were preparing to ink deals for the fourth quarter," Truong said. "Vinatex's focus on medium and high quality products may partly assist in realising the target."
Meanwhile, Vinatex has expanded its retail sales network in the domestic market.
In the first half, the group opened 11 Vinatex Marts and is expected to open nine more in the second half, bringing the total number of Vinatex Marts nation-wide to 90 by the end of this year.
Vinatex also reported it planned to make an initial public offering by the end of this year or early next year.
"Our IPO plan has been approved in principle by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the official decision will be ratified by the Government," Truong said.
Truong said that at present, the State-owned capital of the group was about VND3.4 trillion ($162 million), making up about 30 per cent of its total capital. The remainder had been capitalised from other economic sectors.
The ratio from other economic sectors was rather high, he said. "It reflected the confidence of shareholders in its business effectiveness and the financial transparency of the group and its members."