Despite a sharp fall in exports in August and September due to impacts of COVID-19, the wood sector still has chances to complete its export target for the whole year provided that it can quickly resume production, according to experts.
Speaking at a conference on the strategy for recovering the supply chain for Vietnam’s furniture sector, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan noted that in the first eight months of 2021, export revenue of timber and wood products surged 41.4 percent year on year to 10.4 billion USD. Exports of furniture alone hit 7.98 billion USD, he added.
The official said that despite the modest figure in exports of the sector in September due to COVID-19, the efforts and results that the sector has shown are encouraging.
Bui Thi Thanh An, Vice Director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, cited statistics from the ministry which showed that in the first half of this year, the sector earned 10 billion USD from the export of both interior and exterior furniture and handicraft products, representing a 70 percent rise year on year.
In the recent two years, since COVID-19 broke out, Vietnamese furniture enterprises have shown strong resilience, while trade associations have provided them effective support and orientations.
Mary Tarnowka, Executive Director of the America Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) said that about 60 percent of wood processing facilities in Vietnam are partners of US firms.
Many US retailers have been affected when many Vietnamese exporters have to stop production during the social distancing period in Vietnam, but the US’s demands for Vietnamese furniture is rising, she noted, adding that US retailers are still confident in Vietnamese wood sector’s supply capacity.
Alain Cany, EuroCham Chairman said that European firms are not likely to switch their orders from Vietnam to China or other countries.
Many experts held that furniture retailers, especially those in the US will maintain partnership with Vietnam, especially in the context that major furniture supply sources are still struggling.
Do Xuan Lap, President of the Association of Vietnam Timber and Forest Product (VIFOREST) said that businesses in the sector are working hard for fast recovery.
Many firms pointed out that two major problems that Vietnamese furniture enterprises are facing are materials and labour shortages. They stressed the need for the reopening of the market to deal with the issues.
Lap affirmed that despite difficulties due to COVID-19 pandemic, great opportunities are opening up for Vietnamese furniture enterprises./.