Going beyond compliance

Race to the Top is governed by two stakeholder groups. The Global Steering Group provides strategic guidance, and the PPP group is a public-private platform within Vietnam to embed the program locally.

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Public Private Partnership

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) unites member resources to improve towards environmentally friendly production, to minimize harmful effects on the environment, enhance worker productivity, towards worker engagement.

Participating members provide recommendations for the development of relevant national policies, strategies and plans related to apparel and footwear industry development, based on implementing experiences from RttT pilots and market requirements. The partnership will also allocate resources to scale up RttT’s successful models and initiatives, focus on the development and promotion of access to capital for improvement activities and sustainably operating factories in the apparel and footwear industry.

Participants in the PPP co-operation are the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO), the Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association (VCOSA), and international oganizations and brands together with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. All Partnership members will contribute together to Race to the Top’s development and implementation plan.

Global Steering Group

The Global Steering Group is responsible for the overall program strategy and progress. It includes a balanced representation of industry and public representatives. The chair is selected by the members.

The Global Steering Group consists of: 3GF, Better WorkGAP, the IFCLevi’s, Marks & Spencer, Puma, SACSaitex, as well as the Dutch and Danish governments as observers.

The Apparel & Footwear Industry in Vietnam

Vietnam is the world’s number four exporter of apparel and footwear products. Employing 2.5 million workers, of which 80% are women, the industry is a key source of industrial employment for the country. In addition, it is the second biggest export industry. Initiatives such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a potential Free Trade Agreement with among others the United States, and increases in manufacturing costs in China could cause Vietnam’s already rapid growth in apparel and footwear production to dramatically increase with a subsequent increase in milling activities. There is significant opportunity and need to provide incentives for sustainable investment in order to unlock additional capital. This coincides with the Vietnamese Government’s plans for continuous improvement of the apparel sector for 2015-2020.

Race to the Top, which was launched in 2015, will add value to the above by stimulating dialogue among stakeholders in Vietnam’s apparel sector.