Vietnam's wood industry moving towards transparent trade

The Vietnamese wood manufacturing and processing industry needs to be more cautious to show other countries that Vietnam is moving towards transparent trade and is a reliable partner.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh made the statement regarding the US's investigation into some wooden products imported from Vietnam at a conference held on July 7 to review its performance in the first half of the year and set tasks for the second half of 2021.

To gradually meet the demand for transparent domestic raw materials, the VNFOREST plans to issue a certificate of sustainable forest management, said Bui Chinh Nghia, Vice General Director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The administration will work closely with the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) to accelerate the recognition of the national forest certification system and link with the PEFC forest certification.

It is reported that the area of the newly-planted forest has so far reached 108,258 ha, accounting for 41.6 percent of the plan and that of the whole year is expected to hit 260,000 ha, meeting the year’s target.

As many as 109 forest fires and 1,329 forest-related violations were recorded in the first six months of the year. The damaged forest area was 1,210 ha, a decrease of 53 percent compared with the same period last year. Of which, 283 ha were damaged by forest fires and 672 ha due to illegal deforestation.

The administration will strengthen the forest protection and management to meet the target of reducing the number of violations by 10 percent and the damaged forest area by 20 percent compared with last year’s figures.

It is forecast that the total export turnover of wood and forestry products for the whole year will reach US$15.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent, Nghia said.

The export value of wood and forestry products in the first six months of this year was estimated at $8.71 billion, up 61.6 percent compared to the same period last year, the conference heard.

Wood processing enterprises continued to push up the export of products with high added value such as kitchen cupboards and furniture, Nghia said, adding that these are also products that have achieved a great growth rate of 40 percent.

While appreciating the good results gained by the VNFOREST over the past six months, Doanh said it should not rest on its laurels as the industry has been facing challenges from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters. Trade barriers would directly affect export activities, he added.

Thus, the deputy minister demanded the administration to build scenarios for the forest industry to cope with emerging challenges.

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