Vietnam’s wood exports likely to reach US$11B in 2019

Vietnam’s export turnover of wood and forestry products is forecast to hit US$11 billion (S$15 billion) in 2019, according to an official from the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF).

Deputy General Director of the VAF Cao Chi Cong said foreign investment and cooperation have significantly contributed to the forestry sector’s growth in recent years.

Vietnamese wood and forestry products are exported to over 120 countries and territories worldwide.

Vietnam ranks first in ASEAN, second in Asia and fifth in the world for wood exports. It is one of the key exports for the country’s agriculture and rural development sector.

Cong said the forestry industry is Vietnam’s sixth most important export sector with annual average growth of over 13% from 2010-2018.

According to Dien Quang Hiep, Chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association (BIFA), Vietnam’s forestry industry has enjoyed tax reduction from the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), creating conditions for wood exporters to reach out to the world market.

Hiep suggested Vietnamese enterprises to build specific plans and development strategies, focusing on maintaining export growth in big markets such as the US, Japan, China, the EU and the Republic of Korea; and expand market share in new markets such as South America, Russia, Australia, Canada and India.

Vietnam’s forestry sector aims to lift its export turnover of wooden products to US$12-13 billion (S$16.3-17.7 billion) in 2020, and between US$18-20 billion (S$24.5-27.2 billion) by 2025.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the export value of wood and forestry products in the first eight months of 2019 reached US$7.08 billion (S$9.6 billion), up 18.6% year on year.

The US is the largest market for Vietnam’s timber industry, accounting for 45% of the industry’s total export value. Export growth to the market hits 15-17% each year.