Vietnam plans to grant licences under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Program (VPA/FLEGT) to wood and wood products exports in 2025.
This FLEGT schedule was announced at a June workshop held jointly by the the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (VIFOREST) and the Association of Handicraft and Wood Industry of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA).
At the event, the co-chairs pointed out that despite an annual double-digit growth rate, the country’s wood industry is still facing numerous challenges. Apart from the pandemic, escalating political tensions have created more challenges to supply chains, soaring logistics costs and material prices have resulted in higher input costs.
Furthermore, inflation in key export markets has led to a drop in demand. Accusations of material origin fraud also threaten industry development.
To cope with these challenges, the Vietnamese government urged domestic businesses to adhere to international market regulations, enhance their capacity, and improve competitiveness to maintain their foothold in wooden furniture exports.
Echoing this view, a HAWA spokesperson said that compliance with regulations on sustainable forestry development is vital to the wood industry, not only for Vietnam but also global markets.
At the workshop the HAWA platform for proving and tracing wood origin was launched. With support from the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme since May 2018, HAWA has worked to remove obstacles in wood origin validation.
This is a necessary step to prepare Vietnamese timber and wood products to access international markets, especially the EU. By applying HAWA system, users can search for information to help verify the material origin.