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Chile plans timber exports to Viet Nam

Update: October, 30/2015 - 08:01

Chile has 17.3 million hectares of forests, or 22.9 per cent of its land area. Its annual timber production stands at 40 million cubic metres. — Photo .thisischile.cl

HCM CITY (VNS) — Chile is a big timber producer and wants to boost exports to Viet Nam, which has increasing demand for wood to make products for export, a seminar heard yesterday in HCM City.

Chile has 17.3 million hectares of forests, or 22.9 per cent of its land area. Its annual timber production stands at 40 million cubic metres.

Chile has sustainable forest management certification, which reduces the pressure on natural forests, Aldo Cerda, chairman of the Chilean Timber Council, told the seminar.

"FSC and PEFC are by far the most important certification systems worldwide, and 70 per cent of the forest plantations in Chile are not only certified, but double-certified. The remaining 30 per cent has been almost entirely assessed according to both standards as ‘non-controversial' sources, ensuring long-term availability of wood that fulfills all requirements of responsible procurement."

With Viet Nam's wood production and exports forecast to develop strongly, there is an enormous potential for collaboration between Chile and Viet Nam, he said.

Dao Tien Dung, office manager at the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA), said Viet Nam's wood products exports grew at an annual rate of 15-18 per cent in the last decade.

To sustain production, Viet Nam imports large quantities of timber from other countries, but not Chile, he said, adding that out of $2.1 billion worth of imports last year, that country accounted for only $49.2 million.

The seminar was followed by business-to-business meetings.

Organised by HAWA and the Chilean Trade Promotion Agency, the seminar was attended by a delegation of 14 Chilean companies, businesses from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore together and more than 40 Vietnamese companies.

Viet Nam's wood product exports were worth US$6.3 billion last year and are expected to top $7 billion this year.

The country ranks first in Southeast Asia and sixth in the world in terms of wooden products production, he said. — VNS

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