09:35 | 31/10/2018 Trade
(VEN) - Timber production and processing is a high added-value industry. A national brand for the timber industry is therefore a strategic investment that would enable great strides.
For example, few know that the wooden interior of the first class lounge of one of the world’s most high-end airlines, Emirates, was made in Vietnam. In addition, the interior and furniture of Park Hyatt St. Kitts and Nevis, a leading five-star hotel in the Caribbean with exceptional amenities, was built in Vietnam by a team of 70 Vietnamese workers of the design and construction company AA Corp. This US$16-million project included components of interior design, millwork and loose furniture.
The US, Japan, Dubai, Singapore, Myanmar and Laos all have premium constructions with signature materials from Vietnam. In the Vietnamese market, many big hotels such as Gem Center, Park Hyatt Saigon, and other five-star hotels have also used furniture manufactured in Vietnam.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chair of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), said Vietnam has many cultural advantages in building a national brand. The capacity of Vietnamese wood processing businesses has also grown significantly in recent years, both in terms of management and technology investment.
In addition, the timber industry has the right source of raw materials from plantations to produce furniture for exports. This advantage helps domestic businesses achieve a trade surplus at a high level of over 70 percent. The timber industry also has a closed production chain, employing more than 420,000 permanent workers with an average productivity of around US$23,000 per person per year, plus more than 1.2 million indirect workers, contributing to adding value for society.
However, the industry needs more support from the government in the form of policies to promote branding, the training for human resources, the establishment of the Vietnam Academy of Furniture Design, the organization of design contests, and more.
The Vietnamese timber industry is only operating at 30-40 percent of efficiency. To achieve greater efficiency, the
industry needs to strengthen afforestation, use technology in processing timber products, improve designs, and focus
more on building brands.