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Continuing to strengthen our ties with the Vietnamese textile sector.

Last month I travelled to Ho Chi Minh City with Jo Hall to attend Saigon Tex, the largest textile trade show in Vietnam. Recent work undertaken by WoolProducers as part of a government funded Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation grant (ATMAC) “Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia’s wool supply chain, identified Vietnam, as a rapidly emerging hub for textile production. Vietnam is considered a potential key partner for trade diversification for direct trade of both greasy and scoured Australian wool with wool spinning capacity rapidly approaching 20,000 metric tonnes.


During the trade show we took the opportunity to introduce the revised Trust In Australian Wool Campaign, which is now also available in Vietnamese. At the Saigon Tex we shared a booth with Dalat Worstead Spinning (Südwolle Group) and The Woolmark Company. Mr Kelvin Le, our in-country AusHub wool industry representative, supported by Ms Anh-Thu Nguyen did a tremendous job in preparing information and merchandise for distribution at Saigon Tex. We were also fortunate to have some greasy wool, donated by Gordon Litchfield Wool that we were able to show trade show attendees, the sample was around 19 micron, which matched a range of the garments on display at the trade stand.


It was great having an Australian grower presence at the show, as it allowed prospective users of wool to follow the supply chain right back to the grass roots. While the Vietnamese market has an appreciation for wool applications in luxury apparel, upholstery and warm jumpers, there is still work to be done to build awareness that wool is a high performance fibre that, with modern processing technology, can outperform many other fibres in warm environments. Speaking from experience, I was as comfortable as anyone else getting around in my Merino Polo’s in the 38°C days that we experienced in Ho Chi Minh City.


Greenwashing was abundant at the Saigon Tex expo, with the need to hold your tongue on many occasions. Slogans like “Regen spandex”, the interchangeability between regen and recycle and the use of lush green fields as a backdrop to polyester yarn merchants were all horribly misleading. It’s abundant that we need to keep pushing the eco-credentials of fibres like wool in emerging markets like Vietnam, to the point that I suggested to The Woolmark Company that they invest in a big LCD screen and play the “Wear wool, not fossil fuel” advertisement on repeat at Saigon Tex 2025.


In addition to our presence at the trade show we also officially launched the roadmap for early-stage wool processing in Vietnam. A Friday evening function was held at the aptly named “Boomerang Bistro”. Joshua Appleton-Miles, Director, Economic advisory of Deloitte Vietnam travelled from Hanoi to present on the extensive work undertaken by Deloitte throughout the recently completed ATMAC project. Presentations were also delivered by WoolProducers, AusHub and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with over 50 industry leaders and government officials in attendance.


The Vietnam roadmap sets out clear steps to establish direct trade of greasy and scoured Australian wool to Vietnam. Consultations undertaken by Deloitte throughout the project found that Vietnamese spinners, knitters, weavers, and garment manufacturers have a mutual desire to expand their supply chains to mitigate their procurement risks.


While in Vietnam Jo and I also met with representatives from Cat Tuong Group to discuss ongoing collaboration between the Australian wool industry and the Vietnamese textile sector. Cat Tuong is charged with the development of the Aurora Industrial Park in Nam Dinh Province in Northern Vietnam. Given its proximity to seaports and aligned textile processors the Aurora Industrial Park offers great opportunities for wool processing, to the extent that a Vietnamese delegation are planning a visit to Australia at the end of this month to further strengthen our relationship.


Having had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam twice in the last 6 months, I can honestly say that the people are some of the nicest you will find, the food is great, and in April it’s bloody hot! On a serious note, I genuinely believe that there is real opportunity for Australia to expand our wool exports (greasy and scoured) to Vietnam in the near future. The work undertaken by Deloitte identified clear steps that need to be undertaken to achieve our much-desired trade diversification. The challenge that we now have at hand is that (wool) trade policy is in everyone’s interest, but it’s no-one’s responsibility. As anyone will tell you, times aren’t great in the wool industry at the moment, prices are down, input costs continue to rise and domestically we’re being smashed with regulations left, right and centre. It would be great if there was some government investment in helping to bolster the future of one of our oldest agricultural export sectors to ensure we can integrate with evolving supply chains.

Adam Dawes

General Manager

WoolProducers Australia


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