Hanoi, Jul 19 Like a some nations, Vietnam''s key commodities, including apparel, leather and footwear are forecast to be hurt by the US-China trade war, which began on July 6 when the US imposed new tariffs on a majority of Chinese imports worth nearly 34 billion USD.

US-China trade war's impacts on Vietnamese garment firms are now uncertain as most export orders for 2018 had already been signed before tensions escalated, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Textile, Garment, Embroidery and Knitting Association Pham Xuan Hong was quoted as saying by the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA).

If the tensions linger on, the Vietnamese economy is likely to be hurt as China and the US are the world's largest economies, as well as key trade partners for Vietnam.

As the US imposes high taxes on China made goods, Chinese manufacturers are likely to move their operations to Vietnam to fill up the gap, and if there is a wave of Chinese investment in Vietnam, the US is likely to limit the import of goods with Chinese materials, thus putting Vietnam at disadvantage, the executive explained.

For other exports, however, the war may bring both opportunities and challenges, he commented, explaining that Vietnam may be able to boost shipments to the US due to the limits on Chinese imports. Furthermore, the depreciated Chinese yuan will give Vietnam an edge when importing materials from China, Pham added.

Chairman of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear, and Handbag Association Diep Thanh Kiet said the trade war has indirectly hurt the consumption market because US and Chinese consumers have switched to buying necessities instead of more luxury items such as leather, footwear, and handbags - leading to a slump in demand in the two countries.

Nevertheless, from another perspective, if major foreign clients decide to move their production orders to Vietnam from China to prevent high taxes, Vietnam's leather, footwear, and handbag exports could grow by 9-10 percent from 2017, Kiet hoped.

Source : Plenglish

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