Exports of Vietnamese timber and furniture products are expected to continue to grow in 2022 owing to procurement needs on the international market and the fulfilment of the necessary provisions in the Free Trade Agreement. Although Vietnam was severely affected by the outbreak last year, 2021 exports of timber and forest products are expected to reach $15.6 billion, up 18 percent from 2020. Of this total, the value of exports of wood products and furniture reached us $14.5 billion, an increase of 17.2 percent over 2020. Vietnamese timber and forest products were exported to more than 140 countries and regions last year, with the main markets being the United States, Japan, China, the European Union and South Korea. The total value of exports was estimated at us $13.98 billion, accounting for 89.5 per cent of Vietnam’s total exports of forest products. However, the growth in exports is due to free trade agreements such as the eu-vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EUVFTA) , the uk-vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and the comprehensive and progressive trans-pacific partnership (CPTPP) . These free trade agreements will create favorable conditions for the development of Vietnam’s agriculture, forestry and other industries, and strengthen the competitive advantage of its own products. At the same time, it can also provide a huge impetus for the development of Vietnam’s wood processing and export industries. As a result, timber exports are expected to grow by 20% over 2021 by 2022. Take the uk-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) , which, according to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association, has seen a significant increase in UK imports of Timber Products from Vietnam since the 2021 went into effect in May, the total amount reached us $5.24 billion, an increase of more than 15% over 2020. Among them, the largest increase in imports of living room and dining room furniture products, followed by bedroom furniture and chair products. There is no doubt that the british-vietnamese free trade agreement has helped Vietnamese wood processing and export enterprises to expand their markets, diversify their products and provide consumers with more product choices.
However, imports from Vietnam account for only 1 per cent of UK imports. As a result, there is still plenty of room for British demand for Vietnamese agricultural products, including wood products. In addition to the UK market, there has been a significant increase in imports from the Americas. According to the General Administration of Customs, exports of 2021 wood and wood products to the Americas reached $9.3 billion, up 22 percent from 2020, and the U.S. market alone reached $8.7 billion, up more than 22 percent from 2021. In the past year, Vietnamese wood processing and export enterprises in Bình Định have received many orders in the face of the severe form of the new crown epidemic, but they also face various challenges, including the shortage of raw materials and accessories, labor shortages, insufficient capacity, lack of containers and other issues. Therefore, enterprises have adopted a flexible strategy to deal with the new crown epidemic, to ensure the smooth signing of contracts with international customers.
Local economists in Vietnam predict that the global economy will gradually recover and return to growth this year, with increased global consumption and foreign direct investment in Vietnam. Initiatives by local wood products manufacturers to make innovative use of existing technologies and raw materials will be a huge impetus for the development of the country’s timber industry. The Viet Nam Timber and Forest Products Association and a number of Vietnamese timber processing and export enterprises have cooperated with the Authority to scrutinize foreign direct investment that poses a high risk to the Vietnamese timber industry, minimize the risk of supply of imported timber materials to avoid trade fraud. Do Xuan Lap, president of the Vietnam Wood and Forest Products Association, said that despite the difficulties, Vietnam’s furniture industry still has great opportunities for development. Furniture companies are also aware of the huge opportunities ahead, so they have been looking for new ways to promote the development of their own businesses, such as the adoption of new policies to retain workers, the search for stable sources of raw materials, the application of machinery and modern equipment to reduce the reliance on manpower, improve product quality and packaging and so on.