Vietnam furniture stock

Vietnam furniture stock / BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/4

Raw material shortage in furniture export sector

Wood furniture is fast becoming a key export product from Vietnam, showing signs of strong growth with monthly export revenues hitting an average of $500 million in the first three months of the year.



This year there is possibility that export revenues can reach US$5.5 billion, an increase of nearly $41 billion compared to 2012.

However, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country has not taken the initiative to produce its own raw material but has to import from other countries; hence growth in this sector cannot remain stable.

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The country is striving to reduce import of raw wood. In 2012, around 66 percent of raw wood was imported, but in the first few months of 2013 this decreased by 30 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Ha Cong Tuan, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said around 400,000 cubic meters of wood per year had been used up in the last 10 years ago, but in 2012 this went down to 15 million cubic meters.

Calculations show that the wood furniture export sector needs around 22 million cubic meters of wood for manufacturing by 2020. With more than 2.5 million hectares in the country, there is supply of around 16 million cubic meters till 2020, not including outside sources. The government now plans to seal off natural forests for a time by 2014.

On the flip side, most of the forests

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are in the North and the central regions, where most of the wood manufacturing factories to export wood furniture have been mushrooming without future planning.

These factories are facing severe shortage of material now, and as a result are resorting to using immature trees for making furniture. This has led to low quality products and customers are taking advantage of this situation to offer lower prices.

A ton of wood chips cost VND500,000, while a ton of wood planks are four times higher. As a result, Vietnamese furniture products are unable to compete in the market.

Another paradox is that the Vietnam Paper Corporation exported more than 606,000 tons of wood chips at $125 per ton instead of using 65,000 tons of paper pulp, and then imported paper pulp at $1,000 a ton.

PetroVietnam increases investment in Russia   [Wooden dining chair - kodasaigon - 233]   The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) increased its investment in a project at the Rusvietpetro joint venture company in Russia to US$1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2013.

According to the Overseas Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, by March 20, Vietnamese businesses had 742 overseas investment projects with a total registered capital of US$15.5 billion.

Laos topped the list of Vietnamese investors’ destinations with 227 projects totaling over US$4.2 billion, accounting for 30.6 percent in the number of projects and 27.1 percent in capital. It was followed by Cambodia, Russia and Venezuela.

Thua Thien - Hue lures investment to IZs

The central province of Thua Thien - Hue has taken a number of measures to attract more investment to its industrial zones (IZs).

Apart from speeding up site clearance, the province is accelerating administrative reforms, improving legal framework, and offering preferential policies. It is also helping investors build factories, and mobilize capital resources for infrastructure construction in industrial zones.

Thua Thien-Hue focuses on human resource development, particularly vocational training for spearhead industries, as the demand for trained labourers is increasing. Its industrial zones need 15,000 trained labourers each year, and the figure is expected to increase in the coming time.

The province has attracted 66 foreign investment projects with a total registered capitalization of nearly US$2,000, covering a wide variety of fields such as garment and textiles, tourism, food and beverage processing.

In the first quarter of the year, FDI businesses earned US$110 million in revenue, up 48 percent over same period last year and contributed over US$11 million to the State budget.

Hanoi welcomes 5.12 million visitors in Q1

The capital city of Hanoi received 5.12 million tourists, including 615,000 foreigners, in the first quarter of 2013, representing a year-on-year increase of 17 percent.

According to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in the second quarter, Hanoi’s tourism sector will increase the promotion of its image and improve the quality of tourism products, especially tours of traditional craft villages.

It will also create new products linking tourist sites and heritages.

In response to the National Tourism Year of Red River Delta-HaiPhong 2013, the sector will coordinate with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Vietnam Tourism Association in organising the Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM Hanoi 2013) this month and a festival of trade villages in the Red River Delta in October this year.

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Last year, Hanoi greeted 14.4 million visitors, including 2.1 million foreigners and 12.3 domestic tourists.

Phu Yen to invest in strong sectors

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday urged leaders of central Phu Yen Province to improve its investment environment as a way to make a breakthrough in its development process.

The province should create favourable conditions for investment in the sectors which are deemed to be the driving forces for socio-economic development, he said.

The province's strengths lay in agriculture, aquaculture and seafood processing and tourism, according to the Prime Minister.

Dung requested the provincial leaders to find solutions to help businesses and producers overcome difficulties in the current economic downturn, while paying much more attention to health care, education, job creation and poverty reduction.

The authorities should also diversify models of investment to speed up the implementation of key infrastructure projects in the province and ensure the capital is used effectively.

Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Pham Dinh Cu affirmed that this year,