by Deepak Mohindra
06-December-2018 | 3 mins read
I was recently reading a news piece about the Japanese textile company Sakai Amiori which has over 30 factories across the globe. The company has been investing heavily on training its workforce apart from focusing on its key manufacturing area. What really caught my attention was the fact that the company had recently opened an apparel production unit in Vietnam.
The factory is in the Phu Ha Industrial Zone, in the province of Phu Tho. This is probably the second Japanese firm to have invested in the province. It would seem that Phu Ha is the latest attraction for many Japanese garment firms in Vietnam.
Matsuoka Corporation, which has the distinction of being one of the largest apparel manufacturers in Japan, too has increased its production capacity, to as much as seven folds in its manufacturing plant in Vietnam. In last 5 years, there has been an influx of Japanese apparel firms into Vietnam.
We all know that Chinese shipment to Japan in last few years has slumped – and slumped big – and Vietnam is surely going to gain the biggest from this shift. Vietnam is definitely big in the business plans of many Japanese apparel firms, quite like it is with several South Korean apparel companies.
I remember few months back when Team Apparel Online visited the lush premises of the Japanese company, Toray International in Ho Chi Minh City, each and every section was an epitome of quality – in the best possible way it could be. Shigeru Wakabayashi, President, Toray, had then said that in addition to setting up a fabric plant and a sewing factory in Vietnam, the company is also hopeful of finding trade partners in Vietnam. He said Vietnam was big in their business plans.
In the Cover Story of our current issue, while focusing on the fast-growing textile trade relations between Vietnam and South Korea, we have also touched about the pace at which Japan is inching closer to South Korea to become the biggest money spinner for Vietnam, in garment exports.
The way things are going, I would presume that it is just a matter of time before this happens. I was discussing with my team, the other day, on how the swift surge of Japanese investment into Vietnam deserves an in-depth and comprehensive feature and we all seemed to agree in unison. This issue, I am sure, would give a good insight into why Japan has all the potential and capacity to outrun South Korea in becoming the biggest investor into Vietnam.