Wood product exporters must ensure sustainable wood sources: trade show
Exporters of wood products must have sustainable sources of wood and use advanced technologies to reduce labor, a trade show held in Ho Chi Minh City.
Speaking at the opening of the “HCM City Products Week 2022: Handicraft & Home Decor” exhibition on Tuesday, Tran Phu Lu, deputy director of the HCM City Trade and Investment Promotion Center, said he was vital to build a transparent and legal timber industry to support exports.
This requires government and industry business groups to come up with mechanisms to encourage the use of locally available timber.
“Timber companies should ensure the legality of imported timber and pay attention to issues related to worker safety and health.”
It is vital for them to comply with timber laws at every stage, including harvesting, importing, buying, selling, transporting, processing and exporting, he warned.
They should expand cooperation with the households to whom the forests are allocated to strive to ensure a sustainable source of raw materials, he added.
Experts said timber companies should diversify their timber supply, reducing the proportion of imports from tropical countries and increasing the proportion from low-risk sources.
More than 1,100 wooden handicrafts and furniture products from 32 leading companies are on display at the exhibition, which runs until July 25.
Vietnam has become the world’s sixth largest exporter of wood and wood products with a global market share of more than 4%, the second in Asia and the largest in Southeast Asia, which puts it under the watchful eyes of the main trading partners.
In addition to sourcing locally, Vietnam also imports raw wood, including from tropical countries. The volume of tropical timber imported annually is approximately 1.5 million cubic meters, or 30% of total imports, mainly from Africa.
According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, exports of wood and wood products rose 17.6 percent last year to $14.12 billion.
Vietnamese wood and wood products are present in more than 163 countries.
In the first half of this year, HCM City’s exports grew 13.8% year-on-year.