|Lee & Man Việt Nam paper mill in Hậu Giang Province. — Photo dantri.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Demand for packaging paper was expected to grow 14-18 per cent over the next five to ten years, according to the Việt Nam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA).
The Vietnamese paper market posted impressive growth last year, with exports reaching 1 million tonnes, up 23.6 per cent over the previous year.
Paper consumption was estimated at 5.4 million tonnes, up 9.8 per cent.
The booming trend of e-commerce and digital media would also lead to strong growth in packaging demand, said the VPPA.
Eco-friendly products made from paper had the potential for growth in the food packaging industry to replace disposable plastic products.
This was also in line with policies on environmental protection launched by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
At the same time, free trade agreements had provided an opportunity to export Vietnamese packaging and packaging paper to tax-incentive markets.
However, the Vietnamese paper industry also faced many challenges as domestic paper enterprises were mostly small-scale.
On the other hand, not many domestic enterprises were capable of producing high-class packaging, said the VPPA.
In order to meet the increasing demand, the paper industry had been forced to take measures to expand its scale.
A typical example was Lee & Man Việt Nam, which produces 420,000 tonnes per year, along with Vina Kraft with 500,000 tonnes per year and Chánh Dương with 550,000 tonnes per year, contributing nearly 50 per cent to domestic packaging paper production.
Lee & Man in Hậu Giang has invested more than US$650 million in high-tech packaging paper production lines from recycled materials.
Lee & Man Việt Nam also received financial support from the parent group Lee & Man Hong Kong.
If capacity increased, the company could contribute to addressing the shortage of domestic packaging paper, and at the same time, contribute to the increased export turnover of the entire paper industry, Patrick Chung, Lee & Man General Director, told Người Lao Động (Labourer) online newspaper.
However, to ensure a balance between production and environmental safety, paper businesses must invest properly in waste treatment, he added.
The company had put into operation a 24-hour monitoring system and invested VNĐ20 billion ($862,070) in noise, odour and wastewater treatment systems, he added.
In the context of increasing demand, leading enterprises could expand production to solve the supply-demand problem, and develop the Vietnamese paper industry toward modernisation, he said. — VNS