Global sanctions on Russia to affect Vietnam’s timber industries

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine along with the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, the EU and others will have a big impact on the global wood processing and export industries.

Assessing the risks and identifying solutions relating to mechanisms and policies to help wood enterprises reduce the negative impacts from the conflict took centre stage at an online seminar held in early March by the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES) in coordination with the General Department of Forestry, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Vo Quang Ha, general director of Tan Vinh Cuu Joint Stock Company, noted that prices have started to rice and said: ”Birch supplies from Russia must be balanced but we can still have it whether we depend on Chinese sources or buy it directly.”

According to Vu Hai Bang, chairman of the board of directors of Woodsland Company, the shortage of wood supply from Russia may create new demands for alternative types of imports from Eastern European countries. It is possible that Vietnamese wood sourced from planted forests can become one of the alternative sources of timber. Therefore, it can be viewed as necessary to devise policies aimed at supporting businesses in ensuring this supply.

“Fortunately, Vietnamese businesses that have locally grown wood and relatively stable prices over the years have not had to pay for shipping. Therefore, the MARD should have support policies to help wood processing enterprises maintain the domestic wood supply,” emphasised Bang.

Bui Chinh Nghia, Deputy Head of the General Department of Forestry, said that it is impossible to predict how long the conflict will last and how serious the ultimate impact of it will be. Due to this it can be viewed as necessary to adopt timely mechanisms and policies aimed at helping timber businesses reduce the negative impacts, thereby contributing to the wood industry’s sustainable development in the future.

According to Nghia, it remains essential to have a specific assessment and be increasingly proactive to get the best adaptations for the local wood and forest product processing industry.

The General Department of Forestry and the MARD are ready to review all opinions then produce a joint report featuring specific proposals and recommendations regarding adaptation to the emerging supply issues.

Source: ITTO