Want to increase exports to Japan? Focus on quality & design, say experts

by Apparel Resources

18-July-2019  |  3 mins read

Vietnam Garment Industry
Image Courtesy: en.nhandan.com.vn

The importance of Japan for Vietnam’s garment and textile industry is quite significant!

As a large trading partner of Vietnam, Japan is expanding imports for a wide range of products originating from the Southeast Asian nation. According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country’s export revenue during January-June period totalled nearly US $ 18 billion, up 8.61 per cent from the same time last year. Of the total, shipments to Japan reached US $ 1.89 billion, which is just behind USA (over US $ 11.7 billion) and the EU (US $ 2.56 billion).

Renowned as the land of the rising sun, Japan is strongly emerging as the land of immense business opportunities, especially in readymade garments and textile. As per Statista, revenue in the Japan apparel market at the start of 2018 amounted to US $ 87.32 billion, which is expected to grow annually by CAGR 1.9 per cent to touch US $ 92.40 billion by 2021. Statista, in its outlook for the Japan market, has put women’s apparel, men’s apparel, sportswear and swimwear, underwear and hosiery, leather clothes, baby clothes, gloves, etc., in the in-scope product categories while bracketing work clothes, handbags, ski suits, etc., in the out of-scope segment.

Given Vietnam’s business equation with Japan, it must be looking at exploiting the opportunities emerging out of Japan. But if industry insiders are to be believed, it can do so only by developing high-quality and excellent designs as Japan as a market holds strict standards for imported products.

As per Vu Duc Giang, the Chairman of Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS), Vietnam could sell high-quality shirts, suits, sportswear, kids’ clothing and towels to Japan but exporters better be well prepared before entering Japan due to its complicated distribution system and high cost of trade promotion.

It may be mentioned here that many from Vietnam have won contracts to ship products to Japan by the end of this year, including names like Viet Tien, Nha Be and Garment 10.

According to Than Duc Viet, General Director of Garment 10 Corporation, Japan has been a traditional market of the company for years and the firm has cooperated with the leading fashion brands and retailers from that country like Uniqlo and Aeon.

Currently, shipments to Japan account for over 12 per cent of the company’s total exports, he said while stressing that improving fashion design capacity and competitive edge are the only ways for Vietnamese exporters to increase value-added garment exports, as well as sustainably increase export revenue in Japan.

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