The signatories were the Timber Exporters’ Association of Malaysia (TEAM), the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC), the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (ViForest), the Binh Duong Furniture Association (BIFA), the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Dong Nai (DOWA) and the Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA).
The MoC will not only strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries but also create opportunities for Vietnamese and Malaysian manufacturers to promote their exports and imports.
CEO of the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) Muhtar Suhaili said Malaysia is committed to further developing its timber industry sustainably.
Malaysia can benefit from Vietnam’s higher foreign direct investment (FDI) in furniture manufacturing and access to the EU market through Vietnam’s free trade agreements, he added.
According to Muhtar, skilled manpower and availability of local labour will be an advantage for Vietnam, and the advantage of bordering with China will provide easier access for furniture parts and wooden panels.
The MoC is in line with the ASEAN Summit agreement in 2000 where the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) was launched to narrow the development gap and enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness as a region.
It is also expected to protect the interests of both countries against regulations that may affect the interests of their timber industries.
Malaysia’s export of timber products to Vietnam in 2021 reached 38.44 million USSD while Malaysia spent 148.25 million USD on importing wooden products from Vietnam.
Addressing the event, President of TEAM Chua Song Fong said Vietnam’s timber industry has been growing strongly over the past decade and TEAM would like to capitalise on this and explore business opportunities in the country.
Meanwhile, President of MFC Khoo Yeow Chong said Malaysia wants to increase its market share in Vietnam and the MoC can deepen investment flows for Malaysia, citing supplying furniture parts to Vietnam as a good possibility