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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  7 February 2014  

Wood exports upward bound

The Vietnam Wood and Forestry Association expects the nation to earn US$6.2 billion from the export of wood and wooden products this year, higher than $5.5 billion last year.

The association's general secretary Nguyen Ton Quyen said the association has notified the Ministry of Industry and Trade about the export value target as the major export markets for Vietnamese wood and wooden products have potential to grow this year, including the US, Japan and China, reports Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economics Time) newspaper.

Meanwhile, with the EU market overcoming its economic crisis, there would be more opportunities there for the local wood and wooden product exports, Quyen said.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which is expected to be signed this year, will bring more tariff advantages for wood and wooden product exports and the local forestry industry, because Viet Nam and its major export markets for these products, including the US, Japan and Australia, are TPP members, he said.

Therefore, Vietnamese wood and wooden product exports would be more competitive than similar Chinese products as China is not part of the TPP agreement.

In the coming years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will promote the restructuring of the wood processing industry for sustainable development.

Under the plan, the ministry will restructure the location of wood processing enterprises nationwide, promote cooperation between wood processors and forest owners, restructure wood products having high competitive ability and value to boost the exports of furniture and limit the export of wood chips.

The ministry will increase promotion of wooden product exports, build exhibition centres for wooden products in the three regions of Viet Nam, develop an information centre for processing and trading activities of wooden products and encourage the local wood product processing enterprises to participate in foreign trade fairs and exhibitions to build Vietnamese wooden product brands.

According to the ministry, the wood processing industry last year gained a year-on-year increase of 15.24 per cent in export value to make a record $5.38 billion.

Vietnamese wooden products posted high growth in almost all their export markets, including the US (up 8.6 per cent), China (30.7 per cent), Japan (16.1 per cent) and South Korea (45.4 per cent).

Additionally, the country also started exporting to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey and Kuwait.

At present, Vietnamese wooden products are exported to 120 countries and territories, including the four key markets of the US, the Europe, Japan and China.

Viet Nam is the sixth largest wood and wooden product exporter in the world and the second largest in Asia.

However, the industry has 4,000 wood processors without a synchronized plan and almost of them don't have distribution systems in foreign markets so their competitive ability is low. The enterprises have not paid attention to product design and research for production of wooden products, according to the ministry.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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