Vietnam's textile and garment exports are expected to fall 5.0%- to 6.3% to between $40.5 billion and $41 billion this year on the continued weak global demand, the head of the country's textile and garment association said.

Textiles and garments are Vietnam's third-largest export earner after smartphones and electronics, manufacturing items for major high street brands that include Nike, Calvin Klein, Zara, Adidas and Ralph Lauren.

"The global economy hasn't recovered, keeping consumers from spending on goods including on garments," Vu Duc Giang, chairman of Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association told Reuters.

"This is a challenge for the global garment and textile industry, not only for Vietnam," he said.

Several garment and textile firms have so far this year been forced to scale down their production and cut thousands of jobs amid the lack of orders.

Giang said there had been signs of recovery, however, a trend he said would continue into 2024, noting that Vietnam's textiles-related exports fell 13.5% for the first nine months of the year, a slight improvement from the 17% drop in the first half.

"I believe next year will be a better year for the industry," Giang added. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)