Vietnam overtakes Bangladesh to become world’s second biggest garment exporter
People work at a clothing company. Vietnam exported US$29 billion worth of garments in 2020, making it the second biggest garment exporter in the world - PHOTO: VNA
HCMC - Vietnam has surpassed Bangladesh to become the world’s second largest exporter of ready-made garments, according to a report of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Data of the World Trade Statistical Review 2021 showed that Vietnam’s clothing exports reached US$29 billion in 2020, accounting for 6.4% of the global market, while Bangladesh’s market share dropped from 6.8% in 2019 to 6.3% in 2020 at US$28 billion.
China remains the largest garment exporter with a global market share of 31.6%. The country exported US$142 billion worth of garments last year, falling 7% from 2019.
Due to the closure of factories amid the Covid-19 pandemic, both Vietnam and Bangladesh suffered a decline in garment exports. However, Bangladesh saw a steeper decline.
The WTO’s report showed that Vietnam’s garment exports fell 7% in 2020, while Bangladesh saw a 15% drop.
Vietnam’s fairly good control of the pandemic in 2020 was a contributing factor in boosting garment production and exports, while its garment industry outdid that of Bangladesh in terms of labor and capital productivity and product diversification.
"Trade began to recover as of mid-2020, but the effects of Covid-19 have varied significantly across countries and regions. In volume terms, which strip out the effects of fluctuating prices, Asia’s merchandise trade was down by only 0.5% in 2020, compared to the global decline of 5.3%," said WTO director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Data of the General Statistics Office showed that Vietnam’s garment and textile exports reached nearly US$19 billion from January to July 2021, increasing over 14% year-on-year.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said some of the country’s major importers such as the U.S. and Europe have reported a higher demand for garments due to the economic recovery.
However, the fourth wave of Covid-19, which began in late April, is severely affecting Vietnam’s manufacturing industry, making it hard for the country to meet the target of US$39 billion in garment and textile exports this year.
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