Many producers are now turning to new markets, such as the US and Japan, in addition to their traditional consumers in the EU.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that revenue from footwear exports hit US$1.73 billion by the end of March, up 16.1 percent over same period in 2012.
Footwear is now one of the country’s key 10 export items with total earnings in the first quarter of 2013 surpassing US$1 billion.
The increasing production of footwear businesses is mainly attributed to trade agreements that are currently in the final stages of negotiation.
The signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement expected in the coming months will bring more advantages to the sector.
The TPP alone will help Vietnam penetrate to a larger market of 2.7 billion consumers that makes up half the global GDP.
In addition, tariffs levied on imports to the US, one of Vietnam’s key markets, will be slashed to zero percent from the current 14.3 percent on average.
Footwear and leather exports to TPP member states are expected to account for more than 47 percent of the sector’s total value, with the US having the lion’s share of 31 percent.
The sector aims to reap US$9.7 billion in revenue this year, an increase of 10 percent over 2012.
The Japanese market is also forecast to contribute significantly to the sector’s 20 percent growth in orders this year, especially since the Tokyo Business Association sent 10 footwear businesses to Vietnam to conduct market research at the end of last year.
Over half of these businesses have subsequently decided to shift their orders from other markets to Vietnam.