HA NOI (VNS)— The wood processing industry is being urged to restructure to eliminate risks which might interfere with its future development and its goal of annual export turnover of US$7 billion by 2020.
|Wood products for export are manufactured at My Thanh Company in Gia Lai Province. The wood processing industry is being urged to restructure for sustainable development. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Huynh
The industry saw rapid development during the past decade, with the number of enterprises increasing from 600 in 2001 to nearly 4,000 to date. Exports have grown at an average of 22 per cent per year.
As of November 15, wood products exports were just shy of $4 billion, 19 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Export turnover was estimated to total $4.3 billion this year and grow to $4.5 billion next year. Vietnamese wood products were now present in more than 120 countries and territories around the world, according to the General Department of Customs.
However, unregulated development, neglect of the domestic market, and exports primarily through intermediaries were problems retarding the industry's sustainable development, experts said.
Reflecting the lack of overall planning for the industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development statistics show that around 80 per cent of wood processing plants are located in the country's southern region, even though the northwest offered with the most abundant source of raw materials.
HCM City Handicrafts and Wood Processing Industry Association chairman Nguyen Chien Thang said the industry needed a stable source of raw materials to develop sustainably. Thang pointed out that, without a region stably producing raw materials, enterprises would be forced to import wood for production.
Exploitation of immature trees for chip exports must also be reduced from the current 70 per cent of the market to 30 per cent by 2020, helping protect the environment and ensure a sustainable industry.
A forestry restructuring project is in progress, under which the industry will focus on developing the domestic market while maintaining key import markets in the US, Europe and Japan and expanding into such new markets as Canada, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. The project will also renew technology and prioritise investments in products with high added value. — VNS