Difficulties facing the wood industry and measures to promote sustainable wood import and export in Vietnam were tabled during a policy dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on March 29.

At the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan suggested that in 2013, the State issue a set of standards on sustainable forest management and build a project to speed up the granting of Vietnam’s forest certificate.

According to Tuan, the world is trending to using furniture made from timber granted the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate or having legal origin.

In the meantime, Vietnam still depends much on imported materials for furniture production due to inadequate domestic supplies, making the wood processing industry unsustainable and uncompetitive, Tuan said.

Unstable timber supply and loans with high lending rates will continue affecting the production and export of wood and forest products in the future, he noted.

Huynh Van Hanh, Vice President of the Handicrafts & Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), said the country’s wood export is likely to face market reduction in the absence of proper mechanisms.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast that in 2013, Vietnam’s wood exports will enjoy a growth of between 10-15 percent against the previous year, with the US, China and Japan remaining major markets.-VNA