Garment production may slow down over Covid-19
The textiles and garment sector is likely to be impacted by the Covid-19 situation getting more complicated across Vietnam.
Garment and textile workers at a factory in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Industry insiders say the pandemic situation in HCMC, in particular, will drag the sector down in the remaining months of the year.
The pandemic has already penetrated some industrial parks in HCMC, so if staff of garment and textile firms get infected, work would stop and fulfillment of orders would slow down, said Pham Xuan Hong, head of HCMC Association of Garment, Textile, Embroidery and Knitting (AGTEK).
Garment and textile firms are labor-intensive affairs with many workers concentrating in certain places, so the risk of Covid-19 breaking out in factories is very high, said Le Tien Truong, chairman of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), adding that the production chain is likely to be broken amid the outbreak.
Vinatex has 150,000 workers nationwide, with most of its affiliates having an average workforce of 2,000 each.
In the first three waves of Covid-19, no Vinatex affiliates reported any Covid-19 infection. In the ongoing fourth wave, some enterprises in the northern province of Bac Ninh and the central city of Da Nang have reported infected workers.
"This is the first time in 18 months of Covid outbreaks that workers in Vinatex affiliates have been infected with the disease, forcing them stop production and face considerable losses," the Vinatex chairman said.
If production comes to a halt due to Covid-19, goods delivery will be delayed, causing losses for producers and exporters, he said.
Affected enterprises will have to shift to transporting goods by air, instead of by sea to ensure timely shipment. This would make the shipment prohibitively expensive, Truong noted.
Vinatex and AGTEK have proposed the government prioritizes vaccination against Covid-19 for garment and textile workers. Most of garment and textile firms have said they are willing to cover all vaccination costs.
Vietnam’s textiles and garment export turnover reached $5.8 billion in the first five months, a year-on-year rise of 4.8 percent.