Wood products expo to help Vietnamese firms network hinh anh 1Around 280 companies from 21 countries and territories are showcasing products and services at the event. (Source: baohaiquan)

The Vietnam Woodworking Industry Fair that opened in HCM City on October 14 is expected to help businesses in the sector find trade and investment partners and thus bolster their competitiveness amid the country's global integration.

Around 280 companies from 21 countries and territories including France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, India and Taiwan are showcasing 1,200 machines besides components, industrial wood products and services at over 500 stalls at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in District 7.

The event, organised every two years by the Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad) and Chan Chao Int'l of Taiwan, helps companies meet clients, consolidate business ties and familiarise themselves with new technologies, according to Pham Quynh Giang, Vice Chairman of Vinexad.

Phan Thi Thanh Minh, Head of the Southern Operation Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade, said: "Vietnam's economy is integrating deeply into the regional and world economies. In 2015 there are many important events related to international economic integration: the Vietnam –​ Republic of Korea free trade agreement signed in early May, the trade agreement between Vietnam and the Asia – Europe Economic Union in late May, the Trans-Pacific Partnership across the Pacific concluded early this month, and the ASEAN Economic Community which comes into being in late 2015."

She said the agreements would bring growth opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises, including those in the wood processing and exporting sector, but also fiercer competition.

Wood products have become a major export item for Vietnam in recent years, with exports sustaining a high growth rate. Last year shipments of timber products were valued at 4.3 billion USD, up 14.1 percent from 2013. In the first nine months of this year exports grew 8.5 percent to 3.4 billion USD.-VNA