The signing of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement (FTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will open up development opportunities for the leather and footwear sector, especially drawing investments and boosting exports to EU markets and CPTPP member countries. However, currently the sector is facing difficulties like increasing labour costs, and lower labour productivity. The fourth industrial revolution will also affect footwear businesses as they will have to invest in advanced equipment and reduce labour force. Nguyen Duc Thuan, president of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO), said domestic footwear and bag businesses are likely to confront fierce competition with rivals in the world this year and in the coming years. Meanwhile Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, vice president and general secretary of LEFASO, forecast that if the sector applies modern management methods and advanced technologies to improve the productivity, its growth will increase by 1.5-2 times.