Ample room for wood exports in 2022

VOV.VN - With continued recovery in the supply chains of raw materials and labourers returning to work, the wood processing industry is likely to achieve an export target of over US$16.5 billion this year, up 5.7% compared to last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The wood processing industry endured numerous difficulties in exports in 2021 as a consequence of the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, as production facilities were forced to close and thousands of workers were laid-off.

Despite this setback, the industry gradually bounced back in the final months of 2021 with timber export turnover in November alone surging by 34% compared to October and over 80% of workers heading back to their jobs.

Through the tireless efforts of businesses to maintain production along with the United States’ decision to end its probe into timber trade, the industry raked in over US$15 billion from exports last year, far exceeding the US$14 - 14.5 billion set target.

Bui Chinh Nghia, deputy director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), said the country has been implementing several bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) that see import duties slashed significantly.

This move has created competitive advantages in which Vietnamese export commodities can utilise, thereby offering a wealth of opportunities to local businesses to reach out to the global market.

Experts pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to represent a challenge for the wood processing industry in the near future. Major importers have increasingly tightened control over the origin of imported products, while there is a high risk of trade fraud and counterfeiting goods in addition to fierce trade competition globally.

Do Xuan Lap, chairman of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association, emphasised that the local wood industry is projected to achieve an export growth rate of between 15% and 20% in 2022, bringing in over US$17 billion.

To fulfil this target, domestic firms are required to improve their infrastructure at production facilities to safely and flexibly adapt to and effectively control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lap also underlined the need to change methods of production, delivery, and packaging of goods in order to reduce logistics costs, and at the same time to utilise domestic raw materials instead of imported sources.

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