Vietnam earns more than 9.3 billion USD from forestry exports this year (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam earns more than 9.3 billion USD from the export of forestry products in 2018, up 15.9 percent from last year, according to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST).

The revenue accounts for over 23 percent of the total agricultural exports this year, the VNFOREST said at a meeting on December 24, adding that the five biggest markets of the US, Japan, the EU, China and the Republic of Korea are the destinations of 87.33 percent of the country’s forestry shipments.

Noting the fulfilment of all the set targets, the VNFOREST said the forestry sector recorded a 6.12-percent increase in its production value.

More than 231,520ha of concentrated forests were planted, 18.7 percent higher than this year’s target. That has helped expand the forest coverage nationwide by 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 41.65 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of forest law violation cases was brought down by nearly 3,580 or 22 percent from last year. The area of damaged forests was also reduced by 515ha or 35 percent.

VNFOREST Deputy Director General Pham Van Dien said for 2019, the sector targets a growth rate of 5.5-6 percent in the forestry production value, and over 10.5 billion USD in wood and forestry product exports.

It vows to protect and sustainably develop all the existing forests to raise the nationwide coverage to 41.85 percent. Meanwhile, it will prevent and handle violations of forest regulations in a timely manner so as to reduce the number of violation cases and the deforested area by at least 10 percent and 20 percent from 2018, respectively.

At the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the forestry sector needs to concertedly and drastically implement the Law on Forestry and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA), which Vietnam recently signed with the EU.

He said the FLEGT-VPA will be a turning point of the sector, stressing that the enforcement of this agreement and the Forestry Law will create a foundation for developing a sustainable forestry economy.–VNA