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Vietnam Striving to Double Wood Export Revenue in 2010
14 | 06 | 2007
Vietnam, the fourth biggest wood products exporter in world, has aimed to double export revenue from the products in 2010, to US$5.56 billion, local media reported.
At a conference seeking for sustainable development for local wood sector Jun 8 in Ho Chi Minh City, the Trade Ministry (MoT) said that to fulfill set target the country will focus on dealing with eight major challenges hindering the sector’s development.
MoT said Vietnam will firstly boost up afforestration in accordance with intensive cultivation method and processing artificial planks from grown forests in order to reduce the plank import by 50 per cent in 2010.
Presently, local timber supply is able to meet only 20 per cent of total demand of local wood products processing factories, leaving 80 per cent is imports.
The government will then facilitate timber import, helping local processing factories ensure sufficient materials and deliver goods opportunely while signing more timber import contacts with rich timber source countries, the ministry said.
To do that, the Government will simplify administrative procedures in both timber importing and wood products exporting.
Thirdly, more investment will be poured into vocational training centers to help the wood sector reduce shortage of skilled workers.
Recent figures from the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association show local wood processors will need more 122,400 workers in the coming years, including almost 120,000 technical workers and 2,400 engineers. But only 20,000 technical workers are now available.
The conference also said that local wood sector needs to pump more investment into upgrading processing facilities to increase capacity and product’s quality.
Meanwhile, boosting up trade promotion and building up trademark for Vietnamese wood products are also very important factors contributing to the sector’s development, the conference said.
The conference also called for the closer cooperation between local processing factories and the more effective operation of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association.
More importantly, financial assistances through incentive investment and loans from the Government are appreciated.
Vietnam expects it will earn around US$2.5 billion from wood products export this year, up from over US$1.93 billion in 2006, to which the US contributed US$744 million (39 per cent), EU US$500 million and Japan US$286 million.
The woodwork is the fifth largest forex earner for Vietnam after crude oil, garment, footwear and seafood.
In the past three years, the wood processing industry has seen a drastic shift in foreign investment. The industry has attracted 410 foreign-invested wood processing projects, with more than 300 of them disbursing over US$1 billion. More than half the 2006 export revenue came from the foreign-invested sector.
The southern province of Binh Duong, which accounts for around 40 per cent of the country’s annual woodwork exports, now has 369 wood processing enterprises, including 194 foreign-invested companies with combined investment capital of more than US$700 million.
According to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association, Vietnam has 2,000 wood processing enterprises, including 300 exporters, and they employ 170,000 workers

(Vietnam Economic Times, Vietnam Investment)
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