Exporters of wood products need to have sustainable timber sources and use advanced technologies to reduce labour, a trade show heard in HCM City.
Speaking on Tuesday at the opening of the ‘HCM City Products Week 2022: Handicraft & Home Décor’ expo, Tran Phu Lu, deputy director of HCM City Trade and Investment Promotion Centre, said it is vital to build a transparent and legal wood industry to support exports.
This requires the Government and industry business groups to come up with mechanisms to encourage the use of domestically available timber.
“Wood businesses need to ensure the legality of imported timber and pay attention to issues related to the safety and health of workers.”
It is vital for them to comply with timber laws at each stage, including harvesting, importing, purchasing, selling, transporting, processing, and exporting, he warned.
They need to expand co-operation with households allotted forests to tend to ensure a sustainable source of raw materials, he added.
Experts said wood businesses should diversify their supply of timber, reducing the proportion of imports from tropical countries and increasing the proportion from low-risk sources.
More than 1,100 handicrafts and wood furniture products from 32 leading enterprises are on display at the exhibition being held until July 25.
Vietnam has become the world’s sixth largest exporter of wood and wooden products with a more than 4 per cent global market share, second largest in Asia, and biggest in the Southeast Asia, putting it under scrutiny from major trading partners.
Besides sourcing locally, Vietnam also imports raw timber, including from tropical countries. The volume of tropical wood imported annually is around 1.5 million cubic metres, or 30 per cent of total imports, mostly from Africa.
According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, exports of wood and wooden products grew by 17.6 per cent last year to US$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 were up 13.8 per cent year-on-year./.