Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Canada offers substantial potential to Vietnamese wood and wooden furniture exporters, experts told a Vietnam-Canada trade exchange held online on September 30.
According to Nguyen Chanh Phuong, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), Canada has long been a strategic market for Vietnam in North America.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 , exports to Canada have still grown this year, contributing to the targeted 12 billion USD worth of wood and wooden product exports for the year being reached.
Pham Cao Phong, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada, said the two countries have shared a sound comprehensive partnership since 2017. Vietnam is now Canada’s largest trade partner in ASEAN and fifth-largest in Asia.
Two-way trade stood at 6.2 billion USD last year, up 23 percent against 2018. The figure rose 0.1 percent in the first half of this year despite the pandemic, he said.
Vietnamese exporters of wood and wooden furniture enjoy significant advantages in tax rates in Canada, which imports about 15 billion USD worth of wooden products each year.
Canada is also a gateway for Vietnamese wood and wooden products to enter elsewhere in North America, Phong added.
However, the ambassador also pointed out that export volumes of Vietnamese wooden furniture to Canada account for only 2.5 percent of Vietnam’s total and only 1.6 percent of Canada’s total import value of such products.
He recommended exporters be more active in exploring market information and seeking partners, thus penetrating deeper into the wood supply chain in Canada.
Jacques Nadeaus, a trade expert from the World Food and Agriculture Organisation, said demand for wooden furniture in Canada is forecast to continue to rise, especially in 2021.
Instead of self-supplying 80 percent of its wooden furniture, as in the past, Canada now imports 55 percent.
He also said that COVID-19 boosted online sales of these products, with growth up from 6.6 percent in 2019 to 16.4 percent in the first half of 2020. Annual growth is tipped to reach 30 percent.
Vietnamese firms, he recommended, should keep in regular contact with customers while exploring demand among importers and developing products based on seasonal trends in Canada.
Businesses should also exploit the efficiency of online exhibitions developed by HAWA to approach and link directly with potential customers, he said./.
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