Vietnam can become a big wool production center in the world, according to Australian Wool Innovation (AWI). One reason cited by AWI director in charge of urban fashion, Kelly McAvoy, is that labor costs in China are high, making wool manufacturers shift their companies to other countries.
AWI product development and commercialization general manager, Jimmy Jackson, said Vietnam has a large textile industry processing cotton, polyester and acrylic products with a semi-skilled workforce and is quite capable of producing wool products on a large scale.
Labor costs in Vietnam are about US$185-$200 a month, far cheaper than that in China, now up to US$800-$900.
Jackson said another strength is that Vietnam has pre-existing trade routes to Europe and Russia, helping Australian wool easily access other cold climate countries.
AWI director in charge of developing markets, Rajesh Bahl, said there is a plan afoot to invest more in wool production and marketing to meet increasing demand from middle class in Europe and the United States for high-quality warm clothes.
Reprinted in part from Voice of Vietnam Online