|Workers produce wood products for export at Hoang Duc Linh Co in the central province of Quang Tri. Exports of wood products are expected to continue growing this year, especially those destined for the US. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— Exports of wood products are expected to continue growing this year, especially those destined for the US, said vice president of the Viet Nam Timber and Forest Product Association Nguyen Ton Quyen.
The US market's orders of wood and forest products in the first two months of this year were estimated to total nearly US$1.7 billion, Quyen said – already almost equal to last year's total turnover.
Many enterprises were also optimistic about wood product exports this year. Dien Quang Hiep, director of Minh Pht 2 Company, said to newspaper Dau Tu (Investment) that the company had orders until the middle of the year, most of which came from the US market.
A representative of another company said that the country's wood product export might see further growth as importers from the US and EU turned to Viet Nam for wood products rather than China.
Although many have expressed concern that new EU regulations about the legality of wood products might slow exports into the market, Tien said that exports to the EU market would not be affected until Viet Nam and the EU finished negotiating the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VAP), which might come into force by 2014.
Director of the Forest Management Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Huu Dung said that import markets would become stricter about the legality of raw materials, urging enterprises to move to meet the requirements of relevant international trade policies such as the US Lacey Act and the EU's FLEGT.
According to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City, wood product exports to the EU market were forecast to grow by 8-10 per cent, while those to the US would surge by 18 per cent, those to China would go up 15 per cent and goods shipped to Japan would increase by 11-12 per cent. — VNS