Local wood-working firms are making efforts to maintain their major export markets and expand to potential ones in the midst of economic difficulties this year.
Foreign visitors in this fi le photo inspect products at the Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair 2011 held in HCMC’s District 7 last year. At the fair, 65 fi rms signed several contracts and memoranda of understandings to sell products worth a total of over US$10 million - Photo: Thai Hang
Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of the HCMC Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (Hawa), said in a press conference introducing the Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair 2012 (Vifa) that orders from importers were not a big headache for local wood firms as most of them have got orders until the second quarter.
However, the biggest problem of the association’s member firms lies in the rising production cost. Most of main materials and production cost have increased by around 11% from the same period last year while the selling price has only risen by 5-7%.
“Firms will have to cut the production costs, create the added value for products through designing, changing product models and marketing strategies to keep their major markets and expand to potential ones,” said Thang.
Huynh Van Hanh, vice chairman of Hawa, said that the export turnover to Japan increased by 27% in the second half of last year and would continue to rise this year as Japan had to reconstruct the country after the serious disaster of tsunami last March. Meanwhile, the consumption did not increase much in the U.S. and even declined by 12% in Europe.
However, China, South Africa and India will be potential markets for local wood firms due to large populations and strong economic growths, according to Hawa.
The wood export turnover reached US$3.9 billion last year, up 14.4% against 2010 and equivalent to 98% of the year’s target. The wood sector only targets to obtain US$4 billion in export turnover this year.
The Vifa 2012 will still take place next month though several economies, especially in Europe, are being affected by the debt crisis and wood products are not basic commodities. Therefore, the organizers hope for the same number of participating companies and visitors as the Vifa 2011.
“International visitors said the quality of fairs in previous years was as good as ones in regional countries, but the scale was quite small. Therefore, we will open an outdoor exhibition covering 1,200 square meters,” Hanh said.
Besides, the organizers will open Factory Visit Tour to help customers visit factories and showrooms of wood producers in Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An provinces.
The 5th Vifa 2012 will take place from March 11-14 in HCMC’s District 7 featuring 600 booths of 125 firms. The fair is part of the many furniture fairs of the ASEAN Furniture Industry Council (AFIC) organized in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.
Source: Saigon times
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