Export of wooden furniture and handicrafts to the EU: Positive outlook


Potential market

Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy head of the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that in 2016, wood and wood products export turnover reached nearly US $ 7 billion. In particular, the export turnover of the European Union (EU) reached nearly $ 741.8 million. It is forecasted that in 2017, the export of wooden furniture and handicrafts to the EU will be more favorable as the EVFTA agreement is expected to come into effect in 2018. In addition, due to the positive impact of the VPA / FLEGT Agreement, was initialed by Vietnam and the European Union in May 2017.

According to the Association of Wood and Wood Processing. In Ho Chi Minh City (Hawa), in the first five months of the year, the whole wood industry gained export turnover of 2.9 billion USD. EU accounts for about 10% but has strong growth potential.

Miriam Garcia Ferrer, First Vice-Chancellor of the Economic and Trade Commission, EU Representative in Viet Nam, said that the EVFTA Agreement and the VPA / FLEGT Agreement would create favorable conditions for furniture and handicrafts. Fine arts penetrate deeper into the EU market. Up to now, in ASEAN countries, only Vietnam and Singapore signed trade agreements with the EU, so competitors are not so much. In addition, according to the tariff reduction schedule, when EVFTA comes into effect, the tax on wood products will be reduced from 0 to 10%, and furniture from 2.7 to 5.7% is also advantageous.

Take advantage of opportunities

Although the market is quite potential, but according to many economic experts, quality standards for export products to the EU market is very high and Vietnamese enterprises must be carefully prepared.

Bui Thi Viet Anh, representative of the Institute for Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that in addition to favorable tariffs, the EU would require exporters to meet the commodity code, proving the source. The origin of the timber, legal timber. Thus, Vietnamese enterprises will have to import raw materials from EU countries at higher costs instead of importing raw materials from Laos, Cambodia or China as today.

According to Nguyen Chanh Phuong - Secretary General Hawa, EU is a big market for furniture, handicrafts. At present, furniture export to the EU is not much, just the same with Korea, but if the company to enter the EU, that means access to other markets.

Gellert Horvath - Vice President of the European Business Association (Eurocham) - said: In the total export turnover of nearly $ 741.8 million in 2016, FDI companies account for 60%. Hopefully, in the coming time, Vietnamese wood products, especially domestic ones, will penetrate this market better. In addition, to boost exports, Vietnamese enterprises need to improve the quality of products, create products with high economic value, towards sustainable development; Improving quality and controlling legal timber resources.

The same opinion, many experts also said that Vietnamese enterprises should pay more attention to the design, production of products that are unique, interesting and have their own identity. In addition, strict standards of environment, labor and the legality of the material source must be strictly observed. When Vietnam's wooden products meet all these criteria, the "door" to the EU market will be expanded to Vietnamese enterprises.