Vietnam gained a year-on-year increase of 13.4 percent in the value of exported wood and wooden products.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, exported wooden products were valued at 3.35 billion USD during the first seven months of this year. Further, during the first six months, exports of wood and wooden products increased in most export markets, excluding China where wood exports fell 1.38 percent, reported the Hai Quan (Customs) online newspaper.

Meanwhile, exports to the US and Japan grew 15.92 percent and 24.29 percent, respectively, against the same period last year.

The US, China and Japan are the three largest export markets for Vietnamese wood and wooden products, the ministry said.

Nguyen Manh Dung, head of the Processing Division from the Department of Processing and Trading Agricultural, Forestry, Seafood Products and Salt, said Vietnam has seen strong growth in its exports of wooden products for many years, but this strong development is not sustainable because the wood processing industry has not had close cooperation between forestry companies and wood processors. Indeed, processors have often depended upon imports of wood for export processing.

Additionally, in the first seven months of 2014, the ministry said, Vietnam had a year-on-year increase of 74.3 percent in imports of wood for export processing, at a cost of 1.37 billion USD.

Many experts have said, if the country is to create sustainable development, the industry must have modern technology to use in production and increase the efficiency of using material wood products, while meeting the demands of both local and foreign markets.

Growing demand

According to the Trade Office of Vietnam in the UK, the European country is a large market and has a significant demand for importing wood and wooden products, which is currently valued at 9.9 billion USD annually.

Further, Vietnam is one of the largest exporters of wood and wooden furniture to the UK, reported the Cong Thuong (Industry& Trade) newspaper.

In first five months of this year, Vietnam saw a year-on-year export value of 14 percent to 68.36 million pounds (115.38 million USD), according to the Customs Office of the UK.

Nguyen Thi Hong Thuy, commercial counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in the UK, said Vietnam's wooden products were marketable because of competitive prices and their good quality.

Some large companies in the UK wood industry have signed cooperation contracts with Vietnamese producers to provide designs, maintain standards, assist with market information and distribution systems for Vietnamese producers, she said.

Thuy said Vietnamese wooden products should increase their market share in the UK in the years ahead.

Local firms should join international fairs and exhibitions for wooden products in the UK and build distribution systems to increase exports.-VNA