Vietnam maintains growth in timber and wood furniture exports despite COVID-19

Binhphuoc – Vietnam earned more than 6 billion USD from timber and wood furniture export in the first seven months of this year, up 6% against last year despite the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s export of timber and wood products totaled more than 1 billion USD in July. The US, China, Japan, and South Korea are Vietnam’s biggest importers, accounting for 80% of the total.

Thai Nguyen province has encouraged farmers to plant and manage forests sustainably  to improve the quality of local forests.

Vu Van Phan, Director of Thai Nguyen province’s Forest Ranger Sub-Department, said, “Our sustainable afforestation and forest development program has resulted in increased productivity and product quality. Our forests are growing well. The department has trained local farmers with effective techniques in afforestation.”

Vietnam’s forest coverage currently exceeds 41%. Of the 145 million ha of forest nationwide,  more than 4 million ha of forest were planted.
Vu Tien Giang of the Cuc Duong Forest Ranger Station in Thai Nguyen province said projects on wood processing and export have increased local people’s income, adding, “Being aware of the profitability of forest development, local farmers have applied new methods in afforestation.”
In recent years, Bac Giang province has averaged 7,000 ha of new forest per year.

Provincial Forest Ranger Sub-Department conducts an annual survey to evaluate the growth and yield of forest plant species and recommend the best species to plant in each district.

Doan Van Hau, Deputy Head of the Forest Ranger Sub-Department of Bac Giang province, said, “Local people have been aware of how profitable afforestation can be. The varieties planted last year have improved the productivity and quality of the forest. Bac Giang hopes to increase its forest coverage to 38% this year.”

Vietnam’s production of plywood has increased over the past five years with an average annual growth of 31%. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is expected to increase Vietnam’s total timber and wood furniture exports to the EU by 17% when import duties fall to zero percent. Those items make up 10% of Vietnam’s total export value to the EU.

Pham Van Dien, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, underscored the importance of coordination between businesses and local farmers in developing forest products.

“Vietnam’s wood industry and forest products are on the right growth track with global trends. Domestic production is growing and high tech is enabling it to become part of the global value chain,” said Dien.

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