Timber exports to hit US$8 billion

The export turnover of Vietnamese timber and timber products is estimated to hit US$8 billion this year, 10% higher than the target, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported at a meeting on sustainable forestry development held in Hanoi on November 28.

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The forestry sector recorded many other encouraging achievements this year, said Nguyen Quoc Tri, deputy director of the ministry’s Vietnam Forestry Administration.

He cited the growth of nearly 200,000ha of forest, equivalent to 100% of the yearly target, rapid reduction in the number of violations of forestry-related regulations and increasing investment of businesses and people in forestry sector.

Authorised agencies detected more than 14,500 violations since early this year, a year-on-year decrease of 70%. This left 1,400ha of forest damaged, a year-on-year decrease of 20%.

The payment for forest environmental services has become an important source of finance to help improve the efficiency of forest protection, management and development. The country has collected VND1.6 trillion (US$71 million) for forest environmental services this year.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said that the forestry sector had gained basic achievements over the past years.

The rate of forest coverage increased from 28% in 1992 to more than 41% in 2016.  The production rate of the forestry sector reached 7.1% from 5.9% in 2013. The amount of timber from planted forests is meeting 80% of demand.

However, Tuan noted that the forestry sector still faced many challenges, particularly the damage of natural forest and low growth of forestry value and ineffective management of some forestry businesses.

More effective measures were needed to help further develop the sector, he said.

Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Huy Ngo said the production and processing of forest-based products still received little attention. He said it was necessary to develop a value chain from timber to management organisation, product processing and the market to increase competitiveness.

It was also necessary to pay attention to investing in both technique and human resources as well as encouraging and praising good examples of households and businesses in the sector, he said.

Participants at the event also spoke of the need for more effective measures to prevent deforestation and tackle shortcomings in the legal system and management tasks.

VNA

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