2018 a successful year for wood industry hinh anh 1Processing wood for exports (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
2018 was a successful year for the wood industry, with the export of wood products earning the country over 8.9 billion USD (not including non-wood forestry products), up 14.5 percent from the previous year.

The achievements are highlighted in the industry’s annual report which was released at a workshop held in Hanoi on February 21 by the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES), the Forest Products Association of Binh Dinh (FPA Binhdinh), the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), the Binh Duong Furniture Association (BIFA) and Forest Trends.

VIFORES Vice Chairman Nguyen Ton Quyen noted that domestic enterprises accounted for 53 percent of the total export revenue, and the sector has been able to source 75 percent of material wood domestically.

According to Quyen, there are 867 foreign-invested (FDI) firms with total investment capital of 5.5 billion USD operating in the wood industry, with 63 percent of them invested by China, the Republic of Korea and Japan. Foreign-invested firms are mostly of small scale, with capital averaging 4 - 5 million USD each.

Among the FDI enterprises, 529 are involved in for-export production. They contributed nearly 4 billion USD, or 47 percent, to the wood industry’s total export revenue last year.

Vice Chairman Quyen forecast a two-digit growth in wood product exports in 2019, and the value is likely to reach 10.5 billion USD.

To Xuan Phuc from Forest Trends emphasised that the industry must keep close supervision of the legality of imported materials, especially that from high-risk sources.

He added that in the long term the industry should shift to products with higher added value and quality-based growth, which will require the industry to reform all the links in the production chains, train skilled human resources and develop brand names.-VNA