Good Morning! Its Monday, April 6th and we are In the 2nd week of the Recommended “Stay at Home” guidance from Hanoi. It seems to be having great results. But business Is slow – so what can we do to Help the Country and the World at large. Grab your coffee and listen, as Granger Whitelaw discusses one Big potential market. Let’s go!
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Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability.
Listen to the full episode at the link here:
Granger Whitelaw: Good morning. Granger Whitelaw here with The Lotus talks Monday morning, April 6th, 2020. I hope you all had a great weekend. Boy it was so beautiful yesterday. The sky was clear. I was even looking down at the water, and the water seems to be clearing up in the Saigon river. I couldn’t believe the sunrise yesterday morning. and, and this morning it’s just been great to breathe this clean, fresh air.
Granger Whitelaw: So today on Monday Morning Coffee I want to talk to you about, moving forward. We are in this, COVID – Coronavirus life right now. We have been on a stay at home, isolation directive, a recommendation from the Government, which has been effective. It seems is the case. On Sunday we had zero cases reported, I haven’t seen this morning, but hopefully that will maintain a zero, or very low level due, to the tracing and the great work that the Vietnamese government has been doing. And making it -clearly- maybe the safest place on earth to be right now in Vietnam for work and for living.
Granger Whitelaw: We all need to keep really paying attention to this right now, to keep our social distance and stop this from, getting out of control here and boy, it seems like it’s working. So, let’s keep it up.
Granger Whitelaw: Businesses contracting, we all know it. We are all scared that not only here are things getting worse, but certainly in the United States and Europe and other places around the globe as the virus spreads, it is contracting business and affecting us all. It will affect us here and we’ll feel the ripple effect of that certainly.
Granger Whitelaw: But Vietnam I think has a great opportunity to help “Heal he World” and increase its financial growth now – and for years to come. So, let’s talk about that.
Granger Whitelaw: The Vietnamese textile industry, is expected to grow at almost 11% in terms of revenue. And that has been the projection, through 2023. The major factors driving that growth are growing textile exports, to the EU, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, et cetera. And we have a low labor cost.
Granger Whitelaw: Vietnam, as you may or may not know, is among the top textile producing nations in the world. The country is the third largest textile and garment exporter. Again, major export destinations are the United States, EU, Japan, Korea, China, and Globally.
Granger Whitelaw: Now, if you look at the stats, there’s about 7,000 enterprises in Vietnam. This is according to the Vietnamese or Vietnam textile and apparel association, VITAS, providing jobs for around 3 million workers across the country. And the industry has maintained an unceasing growth rate from 12% in 2010 until now, we’re at 16%. That’s amazing.
Granger Whitelaw: The government of Vietnam and the garment and textile industry export, exceeded almost $38 billion. That’s a big number. So what are the issues? Well, if the other countries of the world are contracting and, the Gap and Macy’s are closing, and they’re not buying the t-shirts, that we need, we’re going to have an issue. If China is having issues, we need the, manufacturers of fiber and dying, and raw fabric. We need that raw material to grow here in Vietnam. So we can compete.
Granger Whitelaw: We’re going to need investment. Origin increased the investment effectiveness of Vietnam, foreign firms or a need to cooperate with local partners and sharing and transferring production and technology instead of just a pure cooperation between the buyer and seller. We’re going to need to PARTNER. This is a keyword I’ve been talking about for a while now in many of my talks.
Granger Whitelaw: As an example, the department of industry and trade of Ho Chi Minh is strengthening their connection with firms in neighboring provinces and raw material producers to help the garment and textile companies in the city compete, and complete the supply chain to promote export turnover this year. They started doing this already. In addition, a specialized industrial zone is in consideration to be built, to give support to the demand to invest in, develop these firms.
Granger Whitelaw: These are the kinds of things that we really need to think about now with what’s happening globally. And one of the great places that we could look at is PPE.
Granger Whitelaw: PPE is considered to be any item designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or many safety hazards.
Granger Whitelaw: So, you hear about PPE right now and masks, right? Because we need protective clothing for the hospitals, for the doctors, for the caregivers and for the people, not just in Vietnam, but globally is a major issue right now, and I do not think it’s going to go away. Covid may decrease over the next six months or 12 months, but I believe a ” SEA CHANGE” is going to happen in people’s minds globally. They’re going to want to know that they have access to this equipment and these materials in case there’s another crisis like this. We’re going to need to be better prepared, and then we can’t be beholden just to China. This is a great opportunity for Vietnam to shift and focus a bit more in this area and become a global leader.
Granger Whitelaw: Clothing and footwear for protective clothing, protective footwear, gloves, eye-wear things that that we make here, right There are again, 7,000 enterprises in Vietnam, 3 million workers that are going to need to be making something. This is a great place to focus now because it can help tremendously.
Granger Whitelaw: The Southeast Asia PPE equipment market is expected to reach $2 billion by 2025. Well, that I think can happen a lot faster now because now there’s a need for it. There’s a demand for it that we can fill here.
Granger Whitelaw: PPE production is very highly capital intensive. It has a complex manufacturing methods, high cost of raw materials. These are issues. So initial capital investment is going to be a barrier for new participants. But again, while everyone else is trying to figure out what they’re going to do, we can do it now.
Granger Whitelaw: Going back to the beginning of the conversation, we only had one new, Covid case yesterday. The country is stopping this from spreading. We can keep our workers working. Now we need to give them something new to work on. Chemical defending apparel is one of the largest productive clothing application segments right now. Aramid fiber and blends based mechanical protective clothing is expected to be a huge growing material segment and the industry in Vietnam is estimated to witness it’s fastest CAGR ever over this period already!
Granger Whitelaw: So, WHAT CAN WE DO?
Granger Whitelaw: The Government support for this industry is key now to make this happen. Licensing is critical. Certification is critical. Certainly, we need to protect the people of Vietnam first. No different, if you’re in an airplane and the oxygen mask drops down, they say cover your face first, get the oxygen before you cover your child, right? It seems counterintuitive, but you have to give yourself the oxygen first. So, Vietnam does need to make sure that we have enough products to protect the country. But we have more capacity than we could possibly need here if we just shift part of the industry. That’s the key. And in doing so, protecting our current growth and starting a whole new supply chain and Growth area industry for Vietnam that we can supply the world.
Granger Whitelaw: And if there is an outbreak, then we have this new capacity that’s been built here to protect the country of Vietnam first – and then get back to helping others.
Granger Whitelaw: This is a huge economic opportunity for Vietnam. They can take a lead in the world to manufacture PPE and other items that are needed.
Granger Whitelaw: It’s a great opportunity for wealth creation. It’s a great opportunity to help save lives around the world.
Granger Whitelaw: So, I ask each of you think about how can your company help this to become a reality What can you do to shift your manufacturing lines?
Granger Whitelaw: What can you do to shift capital and investment to these factories? It’d be a great investment.
Granger Whitelaw: What can you do to help advance technology transfer, training or logistics?
Granger Whitelaw: We all need to think about this now. We need to think about this now!
Granger Whitelaw: Not in a month down in two months when it’s too late. This is the time we need to make these things happen.
Granger Whitelaw: You will see support come from the USA, and you will see support come from other places in the world. If Vietnam steps up and takes a lead, don’t wait. Don’t hold your breath like Nike says, just do it. We have the resources, we have the technology, we have the people, what we don’t have, we can bring in or we can get.
Granger Whitelaw: So, for Monday morning coffee, let’s think about what we can do each of us to make this become a reality.
Granger Whitelaw: I hope you have a great day. I hope you are with your families again and learning more things about yourselves. And some of my friends had been gardening and doing other neat activities this weekend. Creating animal farms out of ants and different animals that they find around the yard – and redecorating the house. You know, that’s a great thing. It brings a smile to my face to see people coming together and, and my friends telling me how the conversations they’ve been having with friends they haven’t talked to for years and reconnecting. This is a great time to do that.
Granger Whitelaw: This is a great time to unify as well, and there’s a great opportunity for business.
Granger Whitelaw: Let’s get going now! Have a great day. This is Granger White law with The Lotus talks. I will speak to you on Friday, if not sooner. Take care of yourself.
The Lotus Talks is produced by The Vietnam Group and Hosted by Granger Whitelaw.
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