"Constitution" to restructure small and medium-sized enterprises in the textile and garment industry led by women

Within the framework of APEC cooperation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade cooperated with the APEC Secretariat to organize the "Apec Capacity Building Workshop on restructuring small and medium-sized enterprises in the textile and garment industry led by women in the new era". in 02 days 11 and 12/01/2022, in a mixed form: online and in person.

The workshop aimed to: (i) identify challenges faced by women-led textile and garment small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the digital era and industrial revolution 4.0; (ii) sharing experiences and best practices in restructuring women-led garment and textile SMEs in the face of excess; and (iii) sharing experiences and best practices in enhancing the capacity and competitiveness of women-led SMEs in the digital era and the industrial revolution 4.0.

Women leaders in the textile industry make up the majority

According to Ms. Mai Thi Thuy, Chairwoman of the Hanoi Association of Women Small and Medium Enterprises (HAWASME), the textile industry plays an important role in global economic growth. Some reports say that in 2019 alone, the global textile and garment industry retail market reached $1.9 billion, accounting for approximately 2% of global GDP and is expected to reach about $3.3 million by 2030. According to statistics, it is estimated that the textile and garment sector creates jobs and incomes for about 20 to 60 million workers.

In fact, since the early 70s of the last century, despite many ups and downs in the economy, the textile and garment industry has created jobs and incomes for millions of workers around the world, contributing to part of socio-economic stability and development, poverty alleviation because this is a labor-intensive industry and economies, especially developing economies, can take advantage of the labor force. cheap and abundant activities to pursue export strategy and long-term economic growth and development.

It is worth noting that in the textile industry, the participation rate of women is usually the majority. According to research, more than 70% of garment workers in China are female; this rate in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia is more than 70%, 85% and 90% respectively. This is also the reality of many other economies around the world that focus on developing the textile industry.

Many challenges require restructuring

Given the wide-ranging participation of women in the textile and garment industry so far, promoting their participation both at the labor and business levels will be important in enhancing the empowerment of women. women's economic empowerment as well as promoting gender equality, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation, reducing inequality, and promoting creative growth.

Although women and women-led businesses have made many significant positive contributions in the textile industry, in reality, they also face many challenges, especially under the impact of the 4.0 revolution. requires a profound transformation and restructuring of the workforce, which can cause difficulties for the workforce in general, and for female businesses in particular.

In particular, women-led SMEs in the textile and garment industry may face many difficulties such as low labor productivity, accounting for only a low value in the global value chain (GVC) due to limited capacity in these areas. areas such as innovation, competition, technology transformation, finance, management experience...

With the emergence and protracted duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges could become even worse for women-led SMEs in the face of disruptions in GVCs or other difficulties. financial, innovation, management... in the "new normal" period.


New trends and some recommendations

At the Workshop, experts, representatives of businesses, organizations and associations inside and outside the Asia-Pacific region participated in discussions and made many proposals and recommendations that can be applied to the contract. APEC cooperation in this field in the near future.

According to Dr. Dinh Thi Bao Linh, Deputy Director of the Center for Industry and Trade Information (Ministry of Industry and Trade), there are 4 main trends affecting the development of the world textile industry today that businesses need to pay attention to in order to make decisions. appropriate direction and plan of production and business activities.

The leading trend is digital application (digitization). This is one of the effective tools and solutions, if used well by the Vietnamese textile and garment industry, it will bring great benefits to enterprises' production and business activities, especially helping to promote online business in the future. current epidemic prevention conditions.

The second trend is sustainable development associated with social responsibility. Because the textile and garment industry uses a lot of labor, especially female workers, ensuring the working environment, health for female workers and livelihood opportunities for them after quitting is an issue that needs attention. In addition, businesses also need to pay attention to issues of attachment to the local community, recycling materials for reuse, minimizing impacts on the environment where the factory is located... Addressing these issues will help textile and garment enterprises to develop sustainably and not be eliminated.

The third trend is increasing demand for textile products for health promotion activities such as workout clothes, sports accessories.... In the context of disease prevention and working from home a lot. Moreover, this product market segment has "bloomed" in 2021 and it is forecasted that this trend will continue to assert its dominance in the following years with a growth rate of 7%/year.

Another trend worth noting is that clothing that honors the user's individuality will shape a unique textile and apparel segment in the coming time such as: over-size clothing, personalized clothing, and clothing that is different from conventional standards. often...

According to Ms. Kim Thu Huong, CEO of Van Laack Vietnam Trading Co., Ltd., the textile and garment industry plays an important role in creating jobs for workers, contributing to the socio-economic development of the countries. regions across the country, especially in remote and isolated areas.

However, looking to the future, in the development trend of the world, Vietnam's textile and garment industry must innovate to catch up with the trend. In which, it is necessary to focus on innovation in technology, productivity, and skills of workers...

In that renovation process, it is necessary to support policies from the Government and ministries and branches. It can be the foundation policy for the manufacturing industry in general, the textile industry and women-led SMEs in particular, focusing on supporting technology and equipment improvement, vocational training, raise the production level in the direction of modern industry.

On the part of textile enterprises, it is necessary to study the needs of the market and partners to focus on production and business investment in the segment of "small but fine" products and focus on small-scale supply chains. , in line with the participating capacity of enterprises, thereby finding their own direction, effectively competing with other textile and garment suppliers...

Online connection from the Philippines, Ms. Anya Lim - Managing Director of Anthill Fabric Gallery - A network of manufacturers and suppliers of traditional textiles and handicrafts in Cebu shared her experience of maintaining and developing products. doing business in the new context.

Accordingly, during the time affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and natural disasters, besides using backup resources to support workers to stabilize their lives, businesses have shifted to promote promotion, introduction and Sales promotion through online commerce channels. Organize and arrange work for employees to work from home while still participating in the production and business stages of the enterprise.

The highlight of creating a breakthrough in 2021 compared to the old way of doing business is that Anthill Farbric has opened an online store to bring traditional Filipino textile products to consumers and customers everywhere in the Philippines and around the world. . This online store not only introduces products but also shares stories and topics about the product production process, experiences of local people in developing traditional crafts... End of 2021 , Anthill Farbric also organized a webinar to exchange, share information, introduce products, thereby strengthening connections with customers and partners around the world.

The results of the workshop will be reported to the Policy Partnership on APEC Women and the Economy (PPWE) and related APEC forums, in order to soon turn orientations and policies into reality.

Thanh Ha