VIFA-EXPO 2015: Promoting Business-linking Roles for Wood Manufacturers

Source: Pano feed


In 2015, the growing global demand for wood and the shrinking market share of China plus many free trade agreements (FTAs) to be concluded and effected are providing a golden opportunity for Vietnam to raise its woodwork export value. To grasp this opportunity, the 8th Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair 2015 (VIFA-EXPO 2015) 2015 will continue to be a bridge for domestic and foreign companies to exchange experience, acquire technologies, and introduce their products to other partners.From VIFA-EXPO 2015

To continue the success of the 2014 edition and meet the needs of Vietnamese companies for promoting trade, expanding market and increasing furniture and handicraft exports, VIFA-EXPO 2015 will be organised by the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, the Handicraft & Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) and (HAWA Corporation). The fair took place in mid-March at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC).

VIFA – EXPO 2015 was attended by 177 exhibitors, an increase of 25 percent from the previous edition, showing their products on more than 900 booths, an increase of 42 percent. Structurally, woodwork exhibition took 73.7 percent of space, followed by furniture with 15.4 percent, supporting industries with 8.3 percent and handicrafts with 2.6 percent. The increase in exhibitors showed the higher demand for trade promotion, business development and market expansion and marked the ending of the tough period and the new cycle of prosperity of the Vietnamese wood industry. In addition to Vietnamese and foreign companies in Vietnam which accounted for 82 percent of presences, VIFA EXPO 2015 attracted many companies from 17 countries and territories, including Belgium, Denmark, France, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Being the second destination of the ASEAN Furniture Show Circuit (AFIC), after the Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) in Malaysia, VIFA-EXPO 2015 welcomed international visitors before other fairs in the region. This was an opportunity for businesses to introduce their product specifications, promote trade and expand markets. As of March 3, 2015, the Organisation Board received online registration applications from 686 customers from 66 countries and territories.

Going to VIFA-EXPO 2015, buyers were given a chance to meet, exchange and establish business partnerships with leading manufacturers of export furniture and furnishings in Vietnam. Especially, with exhibits at VIFA-EXPO 2015, importers and buyers had more inspirations for creative designs to satisfy the taste of their customers.

Apart from product exhibition and introduction, trade and investment promotion, VIFA EXPO 2015 was also incorporated many practical events like the workshop on “Improving human resource training quality for wood processing industry” on March 11 and the workshop on “Exports to the US – Opportunities and challenges” on March 12. Remarkably, the Hoa Mai awarding ceremony and exhibition of Hoa Mai awards from 2014 to 2015 were held after the opening ceremony. Hoa Mai Award is seen as a traditional activity of HAWA in recognition of beautiful and practical designs and a forum to connect young Vietnamese designers with world-renowned designers. HAWA Chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Head of the Organising Committee, said Hoa Mai Award 2014-2015 received 288 applications from 244 candidates. Particularly, within the framework of International Furniture Fair of Singapore (IFFS 2015), which took place from March 13 to 16, 2015 and drew participants from more than 100 countries participants, this year, HAWA used Hoa Mai Award-winning works to display in this international fair.

To high prospects of wood industry

Currently, Vietnam was the 6th largest wood exporter in the world, the second biggest in Asia after China and the top in Southeast Asia. In seven latest years, Vietnam’s wood export value has grown 15 percent a year on average. Woodworks are now being exported to 120 countries and territories in the world, with Europe, North America and Japan accounting for nearly 80 percent of export value. In domestic market, woodwork sales have kept growing up. Annual revenue has topped US$2.25 billion.

In 2014, Vietnam earned US$6.23 billion from timber and woodwork exports, up 11.5 percent year on year. Most countries increased imports from Vietnam. Specifically, the US spent US$2.23 billion to import wood products from Vietnam in the year, up 11.1 percent against 2013, followed by Japan with US$952 million, up 15.6 percent, and the EU with US$740 million, up 17.9 percent. New markets like the Middle East, Australia and ASEAN also increased wood imports from Vietnam.

Vietnam fetched US$1.049 billion from wood exports in the first two months of 2015, up 14.5 percent from a year earlier. This impressive figure boosted the expert forecast of Vietnam’s wood export value at US$7.2 billion, up 15 percent over 2014.

HAWA Vice Chairman Huynh Van Hanh said, in 2015, the growing global demand for wood and the shrinking market share of China are providing a golden opportunity for Vietnam to raise its woodwork export value. Besides, the conclusion and signing of FTAs like Vietnam – EU FTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, and Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT) are expected to boost Vietnam’s wood exports.

However, Vietnamese exporters also face a series of challenges like origin of products. Meanwhile, 80 percent of timbers used in Vietnam are import while not all suppliers have legal certificates of origin. If Vietnam import timbers with clear origin, the price will go up considerably while selling prices tend to decline.

Besides, when FTAs take effect, woodwork from countries and territories with more developed production level like Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, China and Vietnam will flow into Vietnam. After many years leaving the domestic behind, domestic firms seem to be at a disadvantage over foreign rivals.

Plus abovementioned barriers are challenges like higher wood production costs and higher waterway transport costs. Mr Hanh said these are major obstacles of the wood industry in 2015 and beyond.

Anh Dao

Đăng ký: VietNam News