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Viet Nam wood exports surpass regional rivals

Update: September, 18/2013 - 08:41

In the first eight months, exports jumped 11.6 per cent to over $3.3 billion after strong growth in shipments to most markets including South Korea, Japan, China, and the US.—Photo baocongthuong

HCM CITY (VNS) — With estimated exports of US$5.5 billion this year Viet Nam 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, exports jumped 11.6 per cent to over $3.3 billion after strong growth in shipments to most markets including South Korea, Japan, China, and the US.

Nguyen Ton Quyen, general secretary of the Viet Nam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vifores), told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) that orders have increased by 20-30 per cent this year.

At some companies they have surged by up to 50 per cent, he added.

He attributed the increase mainly to the global economic recovery.

The newspaper says most economies like Japan, the US and EU have recovered, pushing demand for wood products up.

Many importers have also moved their orders from China to Viet Nam 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.

They were facing shortages of funds, human resources, and raw materials, they added.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of the HCM City 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 execute their orders, while big companies should help smaller ones, Vifores said.

Last year exports were up over 15 per cent to $4.7 billion.

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

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