Measures to promote sustainable exports of wood and forestry products

Tuesday, 2018-11-13 16:37:51
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The export value of wood and forestry products reached over US$7.6 billion in the first 10 months of the year.
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NDO - The export value of wood and forestry products reached over US$7.6 billion in the first 10 months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 16.12% and accounting for 23.37% of the total export turnover of agriculture, according to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vifores).

The export value of timber products was over US$8.032 billion in 2017, up 10% over the previous year and reaching the target three years ahead of that set in the target programme on sustainable forest development during 2016-2020. The figure pushed Vietnam to become the worlds’ fifth largest, and Asia’s leading, exporter of wood and forestry products.

Vietnam’s wood products have been exported to 120 countries and territories worldwide, mainly to China, the US, Japan and the EU.

However, the enterprises focus too much on wood and timber products, while high quality raw materials for exports remain limited. In fact, afforestation, timber processing and business management are generally limited. Many products are made manually with high costs, therefore their qualities are irregular. In addition, there have not been many competitive Vietnamese brands of wood and timber products in the regional and world markets.

It is forecast that the exports of wood and forestry products will continue to increase, notably once the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA) between Vietnam and the EU takes effect. Accordingly, the export turnover is expected to reach US$11 billion in 2019 and around US$18 billion – US$20 billion in 2025, making Vietnam the largest exporter of wood and timber products.

To achieve these figures, the Law on Forestry, which was approved by the National Assembly on November 15, 2017, and will take effect on January 1, 2019, needs to be promptly implemented, while perfecting legal documents and boosting administrative reform to create a favourable and clear environment for investment. It is crucial to focus on the plantation of material and large timber forests, as well as the application of science and technology in the phases of breeding, planting and tending, in order to raise the productivity, quality and value of planted forests.

The agencies concerned should also promote communication and encourage people and enterprises to change the manner in which they approach markets, as well as shifting the production and exports of wood and timber products to non-timber forest products (NTFPs). This method will contribute to exploiting the potential of existing NTFPs and reduce the exhaustion of plantation forests, deforestation and the illegal use of wood, as well as creating conditions for the rapid and sustainable socio-economic and environmental development of mountainous areas.