Wood fair focuses on competitiveness hinh anh 1A wood production line at Hoang Duc Linh Company (Photo: VNA)

Discussions during the four-day bi-annual Vietnam International Woodworking Industry Fair in mid-October are expected to help producers improve competitiveness when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other free trade agreements come into effect.

Tran Le Huy, Secretary General of the Forest Products Association of Binh Dinh, said at a recent press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City that producers would find advanced machinery and technologies at the expo that would help address the country's low productivity.

"Cooperation with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and ILO (International Labour Organisation) for human resource training has been of help," Huy said.

The seminar during the fair, which will be held on October 14-17, will include discussions on production management and productivity by experts and leading companies.

The TPP poses challenges in higher standards for labour (including wage, overtime work) and environment, among others. This will push up production costs, Huy said.

Nguyen Chanh Phuong, Secretary General of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City, said last year Vietnam's exports of furniture and other wood products totalled 6.3 billion USD. It is expected to rise to 7.5 billion USD this year.

Around 280 companies from 21 countries and territories including China, Vietnam, India, Spain, Germany and Thailand will introduce 1,200 machines and industrial products and services at the exhibition's 500 stalls.-VNA