Viet Nam targets 1.5 billion USD from wood product exports in 2005
Ha Noi (VNA) - Viet Nam aims to earn a turnover of 1.5 billion USD in 2005 from exports of wood products.
Viet Nam's wood processing industry has been recovering since 1997, said Tran Quoc Manh, Director of Sadaco Company and Vice President of Ho Chi Minh City's Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing. The industry has been growing at a rate of 70 percent since 2000, and its export turnover rose to more than 1 billion USD in 2004 from 202.8 million USD in 1999.
At present, more than 1,200 wood processing plants are operating in the country, capable of processing 2 million cubic metres of wood a year. Over half of these plants are located in Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding provinces such as Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Of them, 300 are operating on a large scale. The region's wood processing capacity accounts for 70 percent of the country's figure and will increase in the coming period.
However, the wood processing industry is facing a number of difficulties in procuring raw material resources. Annually, the industry has to import more than 75 percent of its required timber. Prices of wood materials are currently increasing by between 10 and 30 percent, while those of wood product export have remained unchanged. In addition, the capacity of the industry's labour supply has not yet fulfilled expectations.
For the wood processing industry's sustainable development, Manh pointed to the need to soon establish an international centre for wood product quality check-ups.
The industry should also consider the construction of concentrated wood processing zones to promote collaboration among businesses, as well as the establishment of wood material market to ensure supply of raw materials.
He also called for greater involvement of scientists to help the industry raise its capacity by modernising machinery, equipment and production chains to gradually replace imported ones./.
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