HA NOI — Viet Nam has drawn up plans to sustainably grow its wood product processing industry by 2020, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
|Workers of Cong Danh Co Ltd at Hoa Binh Industrial Zone, Kon Tum Town, in the Central Highland Kon Tum Province, make wooden products for exports. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
The industry is to give priority to investing in and utilising domestic forests while reducing raw wood exports and better managing supply.
Minister Cao Duc Phat said the modernised and market related processing and trade of wood products would be key to economic development.
By 2015, small- and medium-sized factories would be reviewed and upgraded accordingly before attention shifts to large-scale establishments, Phat added.
Nguyen Ton Quyen, general secretary of the Viet Nam Wood Product Processing Association, said that quality and growth in the industry had been low and unsustainable.
Viet Nam needs an annual average 3-3.5 million cubic metres of raw wood materials while domestic supply is currently only capable of meeting 20 per cent and foreign imports 80 per cent.
By 2020, the nation expected to import 4-4.5 million cubic metres yearly, Quyen said.
Therefore, the government should offer soft loans to investors to increase raw material supply.
Quyen added that the State should grant certification to create a legal basis for the sustainable development of large-scale forests.
The Department of Agricultural, Forestry Product Processing and Trading and Salt Industry said the nation presently had 3,900 wood processing enterprises, 95 per cent of them private firms.
Foreign-invested enterprises make up only 16 per cent of total wood processors, but hold 50 per cent of total export volume and value.
Last year, Viet Nam gained a year-on-year increase of 15.13 per cent in the export value of wooden products to around $4 billion. It is expected to increase by 12 per cent to $4.37 billion this year.
Key export markets include the US, the European Union, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and Canada. —VNS