Itochu to help Vinatex move up the value chain

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The pair will work on the joint development and supply of textile items for the global market

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) has signed a co-operation agreement with Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp to help move its production from Cut-Make-Trim (CMT) to Free on Board (FOB).

Under the strategic deal, Itochu will act as a consultant to Vinatex and its member companies, helping them make the change in production method and jointly develop items for the global market. It will also support the industry in developing its supply chain from fibre to yarn, fabric and sewing, and retail distribution, as well as introducing domestic and foreign partners.

Itochu has been boosting its business in Vietnam with investments in new spinning, knitting, dyeing and finishing projects, particularly sporting goods production. The company acquired a 3% stake in Vinatex in early 2015 through a subsidiary company, Itochu Textile Prominent (Asia) Ltd. Itochu  said at the time it was “looking forward to cooperate more strongly with Vinatex to invest some new projects.”

Shuichi Koseki, senior director of Itochu’s textile division, said Vietnam’s textiles were important to Itochu, and that it would like to cooperate with the sector further, making Vinatex its “number one partner.” In the near future, he said, the pair will strengthen cooperation by jointly developing textile items for global supply.

Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday (16 January), Le Tien Truong, general director of Vinatex, added: “We wish that the two sides will actively cooperate, discuss and take concrete action early in the collaboration to really make a difference in the method of Vinatex’s textile business, moving from CMT to FOB, developing a supply chain package, and developing a sustainable retail distribution system for the long term.”

Vinatex is Vietnam’s largest textiles and apparel corporation and a state-owned enterprise, while Itochu is a leading economic group in Japan. Its business areas include textiles, metals and chemicals, food and machinery.

The company has been working to strengthen its production base for textile products in Asia and sees Vietnam as one of its “most important operation bases because the country has attracted a lot of attention as the next major manufacturing locale after China.”

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