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More opportunities await Vietnam’s wood industry than challenges: official

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is expected to generate more opportunities than challenges for Vietnam’s wood industry, according to Nguyen Ton Quyen, Vice President of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES). 

Apart from traditional markets like Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, the Vietnamese wood industry has expanded sales to Canada, Peru and Chile with noted export revenue, said the official.  

Quyen cited export turnover of more than 1 billion USD with Japan, and hundreds of millions of US dollars with Australia and New Zealand, adding that Malaysia also has demand for Vietnamese wood. 

He said after the agreement takes effect, many tariffs will be removed. Besides, wood imported by the country and sold to other CPTPP members will also enjoy zero percent tariffs. 

This will help reduce prices and improve competitiveness of Vietnamese timber, he noted. 

More importantly, tax imposed on wood processing equipment will be reduced to zero, a boon for export processing businesses, the official said. 

The CPTPP is also hoped to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the wood sector, he said, explaining that previously, investments in the Vietnamese wood sector mainly came from China but Japan has begun to invest in the country. 

Quyen stressed the need for domestic wood enterprises to improve their business administration, including technological administration, to master cutting-edge equipment.

Ha Van Kim, from Yen Son JSC which specialises in forestry product processing, said businesses should increase their production scale and invest in equipment and machine. 

He expressed his hope that interest rates will be cut by 1-2 percent to help businesses access loans to scale up production. 
The CPTPP was officially inked in Chile on March 8 (local time).

The pact will come into force 60 days after it is fully ratified by six of the 11 members. The member countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Source: Vietnam Plus

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