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Global footwear manufacturing is shifting from China to Vietnam

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Unsplash

China, the world’s leading producer of footwear, has Vietnam hot on its heels. Ranking second place, Vietnam exports over 1 billion pairs of footwear every year, and its output is steadily increasing.

New data from Research and Markets show Vietnam's footwear exports to the EU account for the largest proportion of total exports. By the end of 2021, there were approximately 2,200 enterprises producing footwear in Vietnam, mainly concentrated in the area around Ho Chi Minh City.

The report also states footwear giants Nike and Adidas have both chosen Vietnam as their main production base. The shift in manufacturing and export to Vietnam is due to lower costs. Nike has more than 100 suppliers in Vietnam, with 96 factories concentrated in the southern region.

Adidas, in its 2020 annual report, said 98 percent of own-brand footwear products were produced in Vietnam, its largest sourcing region, accounting for about 40 percent of its total footwear production in 2021.

Covid dented Vietnam's exports

According to the report the impact of Covid led to an 8.6 percent YoY decrease in 2020 to 16.75 billion dollars. In 2021, Vietnam's footwear products were exported to more than 100 countries, with about 17.8 billion USD in footwear production.

New agreements between Vietnam and Europe (the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, EVFTA) have made importing easier and less costly, which is why European exports amount to 40 percent. A similar agreement with North America - The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - has boosted Vietnam's footwear exports to Canada and Mexico.

The report says that while Vietnam has capitalised on its export business, its local footwear enterprises remain weak and the major market share in the category is owned by foreign companies.

Data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) show the fastest growing export markets for textile footwear from Vietnam between 2019 and 2020 were Netherlands (60.7 million dollars), China (22.5m dollars), and Austria (19.6m dollars).

For the full report visit www.researchandmarkets.com.