As Vietnam’s apparel and textile exports earn an impressive US $ 12.1 billion in the first five months of 2019, my belief of the industry growing at a fast pace yet again gets strengthened. The industry today provides jobs to nearly 2.4 million people in Vietnam, of which over 80 per cent constitute women.
Women have been the strong foundation on which the industry in Vietnam has been built upon over the years, and I do not just mean the women workers in garment and textile factories. A lot of women in Vietnam have taken on the mantle of leadership, especially in garment and textile sector, and they all have been doing a wonderful job. One such lady has been Tuyet Mai, Secretary General, VITAS, whom my team has had the fortune of meeting and talking to several times. Her strong vision and concise understanding of the industry has been hugely responsible for the growth of the garment and textile industry in the country in the last few years.
And, that’s why my team is doubly excited to meet her again during our visit to the country later this month. Talking about strong women like her, it gives me more pleasure to see my team come out with a cover story on women in this issue – women who have inspired other women to be the best in whatever they do, be it in garment industry or for that matter any other industry. As I have always said, they are the ‘spine’ of the industry.
In this story, we have spoken to some such inspiring women leaders of the industry and understood their vision that has helped them and the country move towards the path of growth and success. Yes, the country keeps growing and women are playing a big role in it.
US $ 12.1 billion export earnings from apparels and textiles in just 5 months, is good enough indication that the country will surpass the projected target of US $ 40 billion much before the year ends, considering several companies are booked for the whole year.
This issue also gives an insight into the role played by the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) in promoting sustainable fashion or sustainable business in Vietnam and thereby bring some improvement in the lives of garment workers. The efforts put in by FWF, especially to arrest the gender-based violence in Vietnam’s garment factories, are truly commendable. What impresses me the most about them is that they execute what they plan – very few have been able to do that successfully.
What makes my team’s visit to the country this time different is that they will be accompanied by a senior management team, wherein we plan to meet some of industry leaders and I am sure the experience is going to be as enthralling as it always has been.