Vietnam ranks highest in surveys of apparel sourcing locations, which published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations (UN). Also, Vietnam is seen as being as good as China in terms of production quality.
According to the surveys, China continues to lead in terms of efficiency, innovation, lead time and vertical integration. Bangladesh, meanwhile, ranks lower than Vietnam on the basis of ten out of 12 criteria. Bangladesh received a score of only 2 for sustainability compared with a score of 3.5 in the case of Vietnam and yet Bangladeshi manufacturers argue that Bangladesh has the highest number of “green factories” in the world.
The surveys report shows, Vietnam also emerges as the leader in a survey of apparel sourcing locations by the data analytics and consulting company GlobalData. But Bangladesh was ranked as low as 12th place and therefore did not even feature among the top ten. China was ranked only fourth but no other country can match China’s supply base, range of skills, quality levels, product variety and the completeness of its supply chain–and no other single country has the capacity to absorb the amounts which are produced in China.
However, Chinese exports could suffer from claims that forced labour is being used within Xinjiang province. This has led many countries to ban imports of Xinjiang-made cotton and, under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), companies which want to continue importing goods made in Xinjiang into the USA must provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the goods in question have not been manufactured with forced labour.
To ensure that they comply with the UFLPA, apparel brands may prefer to play safe and source from locations which they can be confident do not use materials made in Xinjiang province. Such a strategy could cause a noticeable drop in US apparel imports from China in 2022 and beyond.