Malaysia and Vietnam to strengthen economic cooperation in timber trade

The Vietnam and Malaysian timber industries have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to develop the timber trade in both countries. It aims to strengthen economic cooperation and create opportunities for Vietnamese and Malaysian manufacturers to promote their exports and imports.

The signatories of the MoC include the Timber Exporters’ Association of Malaysia (TEAM), the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC), the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES), 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).

Muhtar Suhaili, CEO of Malaysian Timber Council (MTC), also commented that Malaysia will commit to further developing the timber industry sustainably.

Both parties have benefits to gain from the MoC. Malaysia can benefit from Vietnam’s higher FDI in furniture manufacturing and access to the EU market through Vietnam’s free trade agreements.

Conversely, 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.

Chua Song Fong, president of TEAM, remarked that Vietnam’s timber industry has been growing strongly over the past decade and TEAM would like to capitalise on this to explore business opportunities in the country.

Khoo Yeow Chong, president of MFC, likewise 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.

According to Vietnam Plus, Malaysia’s export of timber products to Vietnam in 2021 reached US$38.44 million, while Malaysia spent $148.25m on importing wooden products from Vietnam.

Source: Vietnam Plus