At a recent meeting with the Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT), Tran Quoc Manh, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association, said that Vietnamese wood processing factories are concerned about legally procured material from other countries, to meet the strict regulation demand of major markets.
Vietnamese wood processing factories consider this an urgent matter to be able to meet the strict regulations of two important markets, such as the US Lacey Act, that fights the illegal trafficking of wild plant species and the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.
Vietnam is one of the most important countries for timber and furniture exports. Within just 10 years, total timber product export turn over has increased from US$2.19 million to $3.9 billion.
Thus, Vietnam has become the second timber products exporter in Southeast Asia. For this, Vietnam has to import $1 billion material to make export items.
To make sure that Vietnamese furniture complies with regulations set by export markets, especially EU countries, the industry must buy legally procured items. This measure could and should be an opportunity for African timber exports to develop in Vietnam. Currently, the country is importing wood from the US, New Zealand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Chile.
The fact that ATIBT arrived in the country to study and market material proves that the country is highly valued by international organizations.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnam has exported all kinds of furniture in the first ten months of the year, achieving a turnover of $3.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.
The ministry also predicts that this year the country would earn up to $4.6 billion in exports, ranking the wood processing industry in Vietnam as one of the top ten most important export sectors.