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Vietnam to become Southeast Asia’s top wood exporter
19/09/2013

With an export value projected at 5.5 billion USD this year, Vietnam is set to become Southeast Asia’s biggest wood and wood products exporter, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the first eight months of 2013, revenue jumped 11.6 per cent to over 3.3 billion USD after strong growth in shipments to markets like the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, and the United States.

Nguyen Ton Quyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vifores), told “Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam” (Vietnam Economic Times) that orders have increased by 20-30 percent this year, and even 50 percent for some companies, attributing the increase mainly to the global economic recovery.

The newspaper said most economies like Japan, the United States and the European Union have recovered, pushing up demand for wood products.

Many importers have also moved their orders from China to Vietnam because of lower wages and the need to find an alternative to avoid risk.

Though the quality of Vietnamese timber products is acknowledged in many markets, some exporters said they remain worried because the orders have increased so quickly while they are facing shortages of funds, human resources and raw materials.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City vietnam Handicraft and Wood Industry Association, said exporters should find ways to boost capacity and improve workers’ skill, and this year is a good time to do that.

Small companies must co-operate with and support each other to ensure all of them can fulfill their orders, while big companies should help smaller ones, Vifores said.

Last year’s exports were up over 15 percent to 4.7 billion USD.

The ministry said if there were conducive policies to develop raw material sources and human resources, exports could go up to 15-20 billion USD by 2025-30.-VNA

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