4.0 industrial revolution yet to make impact on Vietnam's textile & garment industry
VietNamNet Bridge - Garment companies have yet to feel the pressure from the 4.0 industrial revolution, which is expected to replace many workers with robots as automation becomes more widespread. 


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Many notice boards about the recruitment of garment workers have been installed on Highway No 5, from Quan Goi crossroads to Hai Duong City. The employers offer attractive salaries of VND5-9 million a month and do not set high requirements on workers’ qualifications.

Nguyen Xuan Duong, chair of Hung Yen Garment Corporation, who is also deputy chair of the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (Vinatas), said he still cannot see any big impact of the 4.0 revolution on his enterprise and other member companies of the association. 

The impact has been seen in enterprises which focus on making one type of product such as shirts or trousers.

“Robots and machines can only replace humans in some links of the production chain, which need repeated operations. In the fashion industry, designs must be diverse because customers don’t want to wear the same products and orders from partners set different requirements,” he explained.

Duong went on to say that the demand for clothes has been increasing rapidly thanks to improvement in locals’ incomes. Vietnamese buy 7-8 products a year. 

If the garment industry grows by 10 percent, the number of workers to be replaced by robots will be small compared with the increase in demand for workers to satisfy the industry’s growth.

If the garment industry grows by 10 percent, the number of workers to be replaced by robots will be small compared with the increase in demand for workers to satisfy the industry’s growth.

Truong Van Cam, Vinatas’ secretary general, is worried that developed economies may think of resuming production in their countries instead of outsourcing to developing economies in an aim to cut transportation and outsourcing costs.

According to Vinatas, Vietnam’s garment export turnover may hit $50 billion by 2025, or two times higher than now. The textile & garment industry now uses 3 million workers and the figure will be 4.5 million, or 50 percent higher.

“I don’t think the 4.0 industrial revolution will make garment workers redundant. The demand for garment workers will be increasing in the time to come,” Duong said.

Nguyen Son, deputy chair of the Vietnam Cotton & Fiber Association, also said the influences of the revolution still have not been seen.

Son said he can see technological improvements to save power, protect the environment and improve productivity, while there have been no machines which can completely replace human workers.
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