Vietnamagriculture – The United States, China, E.U and Korea continue to be key export markets of Vietnam’s timber and forest products.

On 1st December morning, in Vinh city (Nghe An province), Deputy Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong chaired the Conference on “Solutions to promote production, processing and export of forest products in 2021 and 2021 – 2025 period”.

This is the 3rd consecutive conference in the past 3 years in the field of production, processing and export of forest products. The conference aims to evaluate the results of forest product processing and export in the year 2020 given difficult circumstances and challenges, especially the impact of Covid – 19 pandemic, at the same time to propose solutions for the development of the forestry sector in general and the production, processing and export of forest products in 2021 and 2021 – 2025 period in particular in a sustainable and effective manner.

At the beginning of the Conference, Permanent Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan affirmed 2020 is a difficult year given negative impact on the economic development caused by Covid – 19 together with unpredictable developments of commercial competition among economies. However, great efforts of the Association and all enterprises have helped timber and forest-product processing industry as well as forestry sector overcome difficulties and challenges, taking advantage of opportunities to expand markets and affirming its position in the international market.

In 2020, export turnover of forest products is estimated to be over US$ 12.6 billion, up 11.5% compared to 2019, accounting for over 30% of total export value of agriculture and continues to stand in the group of 10 main export products. The national export value of forest products continues to rank top in ASEAN, second in Asia and fifth in the world.

Forest-product export surplus valued over US$ 10 billion, the highest level ever. Vietnam’s timber and forest products not only maintain their presence and prestige but also expand to 140 countries and territories, especially in 5 major traditional markets: The U.S., Japan, Korea, E.U and China.

The above results demonstrate great efforts, creativity and solidarity of the whole industry. In fact, policies have been effectively implemented and difficulties have been solved in a timely manner to support enterprises in promoting production and processing of timber and forest products. The process of integrating development policies and investment preferential mechanism in agriculture and rural areas maintains positive signals.

Particularly, the National Assembly, the Government, Ministries and Agencies have issued multiple practical policies with an aim to supporting enterprises overcome Covid – 19, such as exempting and reducing interest and fees, keeping existing debt group (Circular No.1 of the State Bank); extending deadlines for tax and land rental payment (Decree No.41 of the Government); assisting employees who are laid off (Resolution No. 42 of the Government and Decision No. 15 of the Prime Minister).

Enterprises processing and exporting timber and forest products continue to invest in production scale expansion, improve corporate governance capacity and focus on application of science and technology towards modernization.

The quality of planted forests has been increasingly improved, which has remarkably enhanced the economic value per area. There has been so far over 600,000 hectares of big timber forests nationwide (of which 126,175 hectares planted forests converted from small timber to big timber; and newly planted 489,017 hectares of big timber forests), over 200,000 hectares planted production forests have been certified for sustainable forest management under international standards.

In the first 10 months of 2020, 1,730 new enterprises have been established. At the same time, most of enterprises have changed their technological lines, from using imported plantation materials and natural forest wood for product processing to using domestic materials, especially in the production of artificial boards (joinery board, fiberboard, plywood, particle board)…

More specifically, in the difficult and challenging situation, enterprises, entrepreneurs, forest owners and managers across the industry have created and renewed marketing methods to maintain and expand markets, in which the U.S, Japan, China, E.U and Korea continue to be important markets of Vietnam’s timber and forest products.

It is estimated that export value of these five markets will reach over US$ 11 billion, accounting for about 90% of total export turnover, the U.S alone reaching over US$ 6 billion, an increase of more than 30% against same period in 2019. The effect of VPA/FLEGT, EVFTA, TPP, RCEP agreements… has created great opportunities for enterprises processing and exporting timber and forest products.

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