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VIFA-EXPO show promotes exports

Update: March, 09/2016 - 00:54
booth at the VIFA-EXPO 2016, which is being held at HCM City’s Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre until March 11. — VNS Photo Xuan Huong
HCM CITY (VNS) —  A wide range of furniture, handicrafts, interior décor and support industry products are on display at the VIFA-EXPO 2016 that opened in HCM City yesterday.

The annual Việt Nam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair has seen an increase of 42 per cent in the number of exhibitors and its scale has gone up by 36 per cent over last year, said Nguyễn Quốc Khanh, chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa).

Elaborating on the scale, he said 253 exhibitors have put up 1,243 booths this year, including 58 foreign exhibitors from 12 countries and territories, which is up 87 per cent over last year.

To serve international visitors, estimated at more than 4,500, the association has signed a co-operation agreement with the HCM City Tourism Association to assist them with hotels, transport, visas, travel, and other arrangements, Khanh said.

Inaugurating the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh said that despite facing drastic competition and trade barriers in export, Việt  Nam’s wood and wood products achieved US$6.9 billion in exports last year, a year-on-year increase of 10.74 per cent.

He said this was made possible by enterprises who improved their production capacity, designs and product quality together; and with the effective support of associations and trade promotion agencies in expanding domestic and export markets.

VIFA -EXPO 2016 offers an opportunity for trade promotion by bringing local and international companies together, creating more co-operation and business expansion opportunities, he said.

Organised by the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, Hawa, and Hawa Corporation, the fair will remain open until March 11 at the Sài Gòn Exhibition and Convention Centre.

High hopes

Việt Nam’s wood and wood products exports this year are expected to reach US$7.6 billion, a year-on-year increase of 10.2 per cent, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa).

Huỳnh Văn Hạnh, Hawa deputy chairman, said global demand for furniture will continue to increase.

According to preliminary statistics from CSIL (Centre for Industrial Study), global furniture consumption last year reached $467.7 billion, up 2.8 per cent over 2014, Hạnh said, adding that global demand for furniture this year is expected to go up by 2.8 per cent, opening up more opportunities for Vietnamese firms to boost export.

“Worldwide demand for furniture is huge, and Việt Nam’s export turnover accounts for a tiny proportion of the world’s total consumption. This is a great opportunity for Vietnamese wood and wood products exporters to boost their business in the coming years,” he said.

Strong growth of the real estate market in the US, EU and Japan, which are key export markets for Việt Nam’s wood and wood products, is another motivation for Việt Nam’s wood working industry to expand its international market share, he added.

In addition, a series of free trade agreements that the country has signed will offer greater export opportunities for domestic firms, he said.
“The free trade agreement between Việt Nam and Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, for instance, will open up opportunities for domestic firms to make deeper inroads into Eastern Europe.”
Hanh also said that the US will continue to be the biggest market for the country’s wood industry this year.
Huỳnh Quang Thanh, chairman of Bình Dương Furniture Association and chairman and CEO of Hiệp Long Fine Furniture Company, said many companies under the association have export orders until June or July.
The company has exported 100 per cent of its furniture products, he said, adding that it enjoyed a 20 per cent in export growth last year.
“It expects sales to grow 15-20 per cent this year, with its main export markets being Japan, the US and EU.”

With stable production, good quality products and processing technologies catching up with that of developed countries, Vietnamese firms are not afraid of competing in terms of prices and quality in the world market. But their marketing capacity needs to improve, Thanh said.

The woodwork industry is among the country’s 10 biggest export earners. – VNS

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