Illustration Photo. Source: VNA


Vietnam expects a year-on-year growth of 10 percent in export of timber and timber products this year, said a Vietnam Wood and Forestry Product Association official.

Nguyen Ton Quyen, deputy chairman and general secretary of the association, said that the last quarter was working season of the wood industry and by now, wood processing enterprises had numerous export contracts so the country could reach its wooden export target of 7 billion USD.

This was a good news for the wood industry after a few years of experiencing difficulties in production and business, he said. The industry had gained 15-20 percent each year before 2010 but that came down to 10 percent a year since 2010 until now.

However, Quyen said that for a long time, the industry continued facing difficulties from changes in the exchange rate between the Vietnamese dong and the US dollar and barriers from free trade agreements, the haiquanonline reported.

It was estimated that based on the exchange rate of 20,000 USD per 1 US dollar, the industry would require 1 billion USD for imports by this year-end.

But the State Bank expanded the trading band for the inter-bank exchange rate from plus or minus 2 percent to 3 percent last month.

With the new band, the dollar was higher than 20,000 VND and even reached 22,500 VND per US dollar in some moments so that the local wood enterprises would now need to pay more, he said.

The local wooden firms also face certain problems with free trade agreements, including the certificate of origin of wooden material. For local firms, especially small and medium enterprises, that is a big problem as they have not paid much attention to the origin of the wooden material, Quyen said.

According to the General Department of Customs, Vietnam gained a year-on-year increase of 9.4 percent in total export value of wood and wooden products to 4.35 billion USD for the first eight months of this year. The four largest export markets of Vietnamese wooden products were the US, Japan, the EU and China.

During the first eight months of this year, the US was the largest export market of Vietnamese wood and wooden products, accounting for 39 percent of the total value and reaching a year-on-year surge in export value of 19.3 percent to 1.69 billion USD.

Following the US was Japan, accounting for 1 percent of the total export value and gaining a year-on-year increase of 3.2 percent in export value to 654 million USD.
In the first eight months, the industry achieved a trade surplus of 165 billion USD, said the General Department of Customs.-VNA