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Vietnam seeks opportunities to promote wood exports to Canada

16:08 | 01/10/2020

Canada represents a potential market for Vietnamese wood and furniture firms to expand into and increase their market share, according to experts at an online trade exchange held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 30.

Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice president and general secretary of the HCM City Association of Handicraft and Wood Industry (Hawa), said due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic negatively affecting global trade, Vietnamese wood and furniture exports to Canada have maintained positive growth.

Indeed, Canada is viewed as one of the major markets that can help the local wood sector fulfill its export target of US$12 billion by 2020.

Furthermore, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Pham Cao Phong said the country is currently Canada’s largest trading partner in the ASEAN region, in addition to being the North American nation’s fifth largest trading partner throughout all of Asia.

Last year, two-way trade turnover witnessed a surge of 23% to US$6.2 billion compared to 2018’s figures, while maintaining a growth rate of 0.1% during the first half of the year despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

With both country’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnamese wooden products enjoy a greater competitive advantages in terms of price in the Canadian market as they now benefit from a preferential import tax of 0%.

Throughout the first eight months of the year wood products represent one of the export items that have been able to maintain a high growth rate of 10.3%, with Canada becoming an important gateway to allow local furniture to penetrate the North American market.

Despite these positives, the value of Vietnamese wood furniture exports to Canada accounts for approximately 2.5% of the country’s total value and only 1.6% of Canada’s total import value of wooden furniture each year, thereby opening up further opportunities in which local businesses can expand their market share in the potential market.

Jacques Nadeaus, a trade expert of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), advised local firms to regularly connect with customers who have purchased items from Vietnam, whilst being active in gaining insights into the needs of importers and consumer tastes in order to fully tap into the Canadian market moving forward.

Source: VOV