Coats celebrates 25 years in Vietnam and launches new services business

  • 13 Nov 2014

Coats plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, is celebrating 25 years of operating in Vietnam.  The anniversary is being marked by a gala event in Ho Chi Minh City today, attended by over 350 guests, including representatives from both the Vietnam and UK governments, customers and suppliers.  The dinner will recognise the highly successful joint venture in Vietnam with Phong Phu Corporation.

The anniversary also marks the launch of Coats Global Services in Vietnam.  This dedicated business provides the sewn product industries with expert insights, technical guidance and practical solutions to build efficiencies across the supply chain.  In Vietnam, Coats Global Services will focus on enabling manufacturers and brands to make a step change difference to their operations through a range of productivity improvement tools and processes including lean manufacturing, shop floor training and colour management.

The Vietnam business is vitally important to Coats.  It is a major hub in South East Asia for global apparel sourcing and, with the longer term ‘mega trend’ of the growth of the Asian middle class, the wider Asia region is fast moving from being primarily a manufacturing base to also being the world’s largest consumer market. 

Vietnam’s business environment further enhances its geographic benefits.  The relative low cost, government stability and large, young population make Vietnam a low risk option from which global brands are able to source textile end products.  It is also uniquely positioned in relation to a series of free trade negotiations that are set to dramatically shift the landscape of global trading.  No other country in the world has the potential to access the exponential levels of free trade agreements and competitive liberalisation that could come about from the combination of The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the EU and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.  These agreements offer benefits from increased exports, the potential for increased inward investment, stronger links to international supply chains, productivity gains as well as momentum for further infrastructure and social development.

Paul Forman, Group Chief Executive, Coats plc, said: ‘Vietnam is a country of great potential and we are tremendously proud of the outstanding levels of success and productivity that our business here has already shown.  Our 25th anniversary is an important corporate milestone and one which could not have been achieved without the close support of, and strong relationship with, our joint venture partner Phong Phu Corporation.’

Bill Watson, Managing Director, Coats Vietnam, said: ‘Success is built on strong foundations that are then developed by talented and dedicated people with positive teamwork.  This is what Coats and Phong Phu Corporation has created here in Vietnam and we look forward to celebrating the next 25 years. ’

Coats Phong Phu produces core apparel and footwear products including flagship thread ranges such as Epic, Astra, Gramax and Gral.  In addition it manufactures many of Coats’ newest and most innovative products including Eloflex (thread with high extension properties for use in stretch fabrics), Drybond (water resistant, strong and durable anti-wick threads for use in sports equipment) and Nylbond (a bonded nylon thread for footwear and accessory products).

The MC for the gala evening on Thursday 13 November is Vietnamese celebrity Quynh Huong and there is a performance by the famous Vietnamese singer Thu Minh.

Earlier this year, in October, Coats celebrated another corporate milestone in the region when it marked the 25th anniversary of its highly successful joint venture with AK Khan Group in Bangladesh.


For more information contact:

Kristina Blissett, Communications Manager
T +44 (0)208 210 5084, M +44 (0)7714 539887

In Vietnam:
Bill Watson, Managing Director, Vietnam,
T +84 838 960309, M +84 (0)9793 81533

To download accompanying images go to:

Notes to Editors

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world's leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing over 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2013 were US$1.7bn.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

  • One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread
  • 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 70 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go to the moon and back
  • 400 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer

About Coats Phong Phu

This joint venture between Coats and Phong Phu Corporation is one of the oldest joint ventures in Vietnam, having started in 1989 when the company was then known as Tootal Phong Phu Ltd.  The Hanoi office was established in 1991 and the footwear operations began in 1998.  In 1999, the company name changed to Coats Phong Phu and in 2001 the Danang office was established.  In 2005 a representative office was established in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Coats Phong Phu has won a series of external awards, including the 3rd class Labor Medal from the Vietnam Government in 2001, the Saigon Top 40 Award in 2004 and the Excellent Textile Enterprise Award four times (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010).  Coats Phong Phu also has an outstanding track record internally at Coats, having been awarded the Chairman’s Award for Teamwork for the last two years running and 2012 Business of the Year.

Phong Phu Corporation is part of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), which is one of Vietnam’s largest companies.  Vinatex consists of more than 50 joint stock companies and 40 joint venture companies principally involved in the manufacturing of textile-related products.  Other company sectors include fashion magazines, fashion design institutes, textile industry vocational schools, real estate, import-export companies, and retail establishments.