Promoting furniture and handicraft exports to European market

09:20 | 15/06/2017 Cooperation

On June 13th, the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), in collaboration with Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City, organized a workshop “Promoting furniture and handicraft exports to European Market” under the sponsorship of the EU - MUTRAP Project. The workshop was aimed at introducing newest updates of the EVFTA, its potential impacts on Vietnam - EU trade in wood and wooden products of Vietnam, interior and exterior furniture trend and demand in the EU market.

According to Ms. Bui Thi Thanh An - the Deputy Director of Trade Promotion Agency, MOIT, development prospects for wood and handicraft sector in European market in 2017 is forecasted to be positive thanks to promoted market-building activities, the EVFTA which is expected to come into effect in 2018 and the VPA/FLEGT which was initialled by Vietnam and the EU in May, 2015.

However, the deep integration into this market faces a number of challenges for Vietnam’s exporters. As shared by Ms. Jana Herceg - Economics & Trade Section - EU Delegation to Vietnam, European citizens nowadays tend to prefer products which are outstanding with high quality. In addition, they highly concern about production conditions, such as conditions related to labouring, production environment.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Nicolas Audier, the Vice President of European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham) said that Vietnam’s wood processing industry must improve labour quality in terms of designing skill and the capacity to catch up with newest demand and trends of the market.

Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong, the General Director of Handicraft and Wood Products Association of Ho Chi Minh City (Hawa) said that EU is a market which has long tradition in wood production, therefore Vietnam's producers have to compete with EU's producers on EU market. According to Mr. Phuong, Vietnam’s wood and handicraft sector has attracted more attention recently. There have been many foreign customers attending wood and handicraft fairs in Vietnam to seek for new and suitable products. This is a good chance for Vietnam’s enterprises in approaching international customers.

Through the workshop, enterprises in Vietnam’s wood sector recognised the importance of enhancement in cooperation, diversification in production, investment in technology and effective use of materials namely reducing price of final products, maintaining competitive advantages, closer access to large wood consuming markets in the world.