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Wooden furniture manufacturers thrive thanks to CPTPP

According to deputy chair of the Vietnam Wood and Forest products Association (Vifores), Vietnamese wooden furniture manufacturers have signed contracts to export products to Canada in 2019 totaling $300 million. The figure was less than $100 million a year in previous years.

In addition, four to five Japanese enterprises have discussed increasing the number of woodwork imports from Vietnam by 1.3 times in 2019.

Believing that CPTPP will bring more opportunities than challenges, Quyen said the agreement will bring three benefits to Vietnam’s woodwork industry.

First, the tariff will be cut to zero percent, thus paving the way for Vietnamese products to enter CPTPP markets.

Second, the lower import tariff on technologies and equipment will allow Vietnamese enterprises to buy more modern technologies and equipment from developed countries such as Japan and Canada which will help enterprises improve their productivity.

Third, Vietnamese enterprises will have opportunities to access strong partners in the world which help them improve corporate governance.

Quyen predicted that with advantages from CPTPP and the readiness of Vietnamese enterprises, woodwork export turnover would reach $9 billion this year.

In the last year, at least four groups of Vietnamese businesspeople went abroad to learn about the CPTPP 10 markets, especially in South America such as Chile and Peru.

However, Huynh Quang Thanh, chair of the Binh Duong Woodwork Processing Association, said Vietnamese enterprises still need support from the state in marketing, which remains a weak point.

Director of Woodsland Do Thi Bach Tuyet noted that Vietnamese woodwork manufacturers do not carry out R&D activities to find out which products the markets need.

At international trade fairs, if a Chinese or a Taiwanese enterprise is asked by customers about certain products, its staff will immediately make suggestions. Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises can only make products if they receive clear questions and detailed requests from clients. As a result, they lose a lot of potential clients.

Quyen from Vifores said CPTPP has many new provisions, thus, wooden furniture manufacturers need support from the state to take full advantage of the agreement.

Poor foreign language skills are a big obstacle for Vietnamese enterprises. So, it would be better if state management agencies brief the content of the agreement for enterprises’ better understanding.

Enterprises also need legal documents which guide the implementation of CPTPP and information about new policies in international trade which change regularly.

Source: Vietnam Net

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