|Workers of Hiep Long Fine Furniture Company in the southern Binh Duong Province on a furniture production line. — VNA/VNS Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS) — Wood product firms need to focus more on improving their designs and join hands to develop a strong distribution system, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa).
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Hawa chairman, said Viet Nam has been among the world's largest wood products exporters for many years, but the domestic market is not dominated by local firms.
He said the association members, besides focusing on boosting exports, should also work to expand their domestic share.
The Vietnamese market offers a huge opportunity, he said, adding that firms need to develop specific products for it.
Nguyen Van Quy, general director of Ho Nai Co Ltd, said there is high demand for furniture, home dcor and wooden household appliances.
But Vietnamese firms usually copy designs of products from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries, he said, adding this should change.
"We need to create designs that match customers' tastes.
"If we do not abreast of new designs, we will find it hard to compete with imports."
Vu Tien Thap, CEO of D'Furni, a furniture distributor, said the recovery in the housing market in big cities has boosted sales of furniture.
With the country's deeper integration, more professional international distributors would enter the domestic market, and the small distribution systems and local traditional furniture producers and distributors would lose market share to them, he warned.
Enterprises in the sector should develop closer links and create professional distribution systems for Vietnamese furniture, businesses agreed.
At a recent Hawa meeting in HCM City, they urged the association to set up schools for design and management training to help the industry.
Domestic sales of furniture and home decor topped about US$2 billion last year. — VNS