What does Vietnam’s Textile Factory Actually Look Like?

Vietnam attracts a lot of attention these days in the textile and apparel world. But what does Vietnam’s textile and apparel factory actually look like? 

This video features PPC (Phong Phu Corporation), one of the largest textile mills in Vietnam. It is said that PPC accounts for over 50% of Vietnam’s total textile exports.

  • Anything in the video interests you or surprises you?
  • How is PPC different from textile mills in the US?( You may think about the video we watched in class about the textile mills in NC. For example, are there any differences in working environment, the facility, what it is producing, required labor skills, efficiency and productivity?)
  • How should the US textile industry treat Vietnam? A competitor? A threat? A potential partner? or a great opportunity for investment?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

[Please leave no more comment for this post unless you have NEW ideas to share]

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Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

24 thoughts on “What does Vietnam’s Textile Factory Actually Look Like?”

  1. This factory is equivelent to a modern US mill. Vietnam is a serious competitor. Did not see dyeing and finishing plant on my last visit to Vietnam Inwas looking for yarn dyed poly/cottons, did not buy because quality was an issue

  2. Based on the video, it seems that Vietnam has been upgrading their technology in recent years and now has a very advanced industry in textiles. While PPC has increased capital, they have still kept low labor costs, making PPC an extremely efficient textile mill. They are able to produce millions of textile products very quickly at very low costs. The U.S. should treat Vietnam as a competitor because though U.S. textile mills are technologically advanced, they cannot compete with the low labor costs in Vietnamese textile mills.

  3. What surprised me from this video is the fact that the technology is more up to date than I thought it would. I believe Vietnam is a competitor of the US. They are able to produce products quickly and at low cost which is what most companies look for. From what I could tell from the video they looked like they had good working conditions which is a plus. I think US mills should move their mills to Vietnam bc of the low cost and high productivity.

    1. if us textile mills move factories to Vietnam, will the investment further strengthen the competitiveness of Vietnam’s textile industry? Any thoughts on that?

      1. Building a modern textile mill in Vietnam is not a walk in the park.
        Industry in Vietnam is controlled by the State. The actual dollar value of your investment is highly regulated and a company can be strangled by rules and regulations. International Textile Group invested in a yarn to garment mill, it was not a success and ITG walked away. The textile mills themselves are modern and highly automated and their employment levels are almost the same as in the US. It is their integrated sewing plants that employ thousands of operators.

  4. Based on the video, I can see how advanced Vietnam’s technology actually is. After watching, I now believe Vietnam is a competitor to the US. With their advancements, they are able to produce efficiently and with low costs Although the US has the advanced technology and quick production, we can not compete with the low prices, especially the labor costs. I think the US could save money by moving US mills to Vietnam.

    1. If us textile mills move factories to Vietnam, will the investment further strengthen the competitiveness of Vietnam’s textile industry? Any thoughts on that?

  5. This video shocked me from the beginning. It is crazy that the factory can provide jobs for 5000 when in America we have factories and mills that are made of up two to three people. America should keep an eye on Vietnam because it seems they are not specializing in one thing int his factory, but they are actually producing yarns, textiles and clothing. This can be a threat because companies might want one manufacturer as apposed to many different ones scattered through out the world. It would not be smart for the US to partner with Vietnam because although they are a rising competitor they still have the potential to bring down developed countries since they are not yet developed.

  6. After watching the video I was surprised at how technologically advanced this Vietnamese mill was. With Vietnam being a developing country I did not really picture there mills to look like this. I would have excepted something more similar to the small sock knitting factory using 50 year old equipment like the one we saw in a class video. I see Vietnam as either a threat or a great opportunity for investment. What Vietnam becomes really depends on how foreign textile and apparel companies choose to approach Vietnam.

  7. Like everyone else, I was very surprised to see how advanced Vietnam has become. We are used to seeing terrible working conditions, but this factory appears to be clean and safe for its workers. I think the US textile industry should be very nervous watching this video. Vietnam can produce a lot of textiles for a very low price. They are becoming more competitive and because of their closer proximity to apparel producing countries such as China, there is even more concern for the US textile industry.

  8. I agree with everyone else in the sense that the textile mills in Vietnam are in much better condition than expected. When you think about factories in developing or poorer countries usually they are associated with terrible working conditions. I was surprised that the factories were so clean and the working conditions were manageable. PCC is the same as textile mills in the US in the sense that the technology is up to date and the conditions are similar. But they are different because PCC has significantly lower wages than the US mills, which gives them a competitive advantage. PCC is more productive and efficient than the US textile mills in general. The US can’t afford to have wages that low. The US textile industry should treat Vietnam as a competitor because the majority of the US’s exports are textiles and Vietnam poses a threat to the US industry.

  9. I think it’s really interesting when they talk about the growth of the factory. Since they began, they’ve employed more than 4,000 people. This is a completely different aspect to the Textile and Apparel industry than we are use to in the US. The US factories are so technology based that people are losing their jobs, while in Vietnam, the production of their products relies on the workers, not just the machines.

  10. After watching this video, I was surprised to see what a textile factory in Vietnam is actually like. Vietnam is way more advanced than I would have originally thought. Initially, I pictured bad working conditions and nothing to be up to date like what you would see in the poorer countries, but the video proved to be the opposite. Vietnam textile mills are equivalent to many US textile mills the only major difference is that Vietnam can produce textiles for lower prices giving them a great competitive advantage. The US textile and apparel industry should definitely take the Vietnam textile and apparel industry seriously and they should be seen as a competitor and a threat.

  11. One thing from the video that surprised me was the extent of the growth of the company from 600 workers in the 1960’s to 5,000 workers currently. PPC in general looked clean and safe and not different from any of the textile mills in the US. The age of the workers and executives did appear to be slightly younger than the workers and executives in the US mill though. I think the US should definitely see Vietnam as a competitor but we should support them and treat them also as a partner and opportunity for investment because at this point, the cost of labor in the US is prohibitive of growth and it is necessary for us to outsource to other countries such as Vietnam.

  12. I did not expect to see the amount of advanced technology that Vietnam had in their factories. I expected it to be a lot less high-tech than the US when in fact it was the complete opposite. Some may see this as competition and others may see it as an opportunity. For a developing country their production of fiber, yarn, and fabric was pretty promising and the lower price is admirable. If we could produce like this it would be very beneficial to our country but we cannot therefore I would see Vietnam as an opportunity. We should take advantage of what they have to offer us because there is great potential for Vietnam and this could be helpful for us if planned accordingly. I expect to see Vietnam be very successful in the future.

  13. I was little shocked while watching this video. I didn’t realize just how advance factories in Vietnam are and I’m truly impressed. I thought that their working conditions were going to be similar to the poor conditions of Bangladesh but I was wrong. That being said, I believe that the US should treat Vietnam as both a competitor and a treat due to their high production rates as well as low cost which gives Vietnam and great competitive edge.

  14. This video was very interesting. I honestly didn’t know that Vietnam factories were this advanced. There equipment’s and technology seem to be up to date and are not that different from the ones I saw in the U.S. They look like they are going to be good competitors in the near future if they are not already. Not to mention there labor force helps them produce good clothing and textile at a short period of time for a relatively low cost. The U.S should definitely look into investing there as it has stable factories and great equipment.

  15. I found it surprising how far Vietnam’s advancements in technology have gone. Vietnam is still a developing country and making jumps in the T&A industry. I think the US should look at Vietnam as a potential partner. This industry is all about partnerships, in order to grow countries T&A have to work together. Vietnam (PPC) is able to produce products quickly and at a low cost, the US should look into incorporating their facilities in their T&A. The US T&A could benefit in two aspects: by selling its fibers and fabrics to Vietnam investing in their T&A, and by using its facilities to produce products for the US.

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