AsemconnectVietnam - Once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into effect, tariffs on Vietnamese wood exports to signatories of the CPTPP will be cut down to zero, bringing many advantages for the wood sector, according to the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES).
Addressing a conference on wood exports on March 27 in Hanoi, Nguyen Ton Quyen, vice chairman of VIFORES, said Vietnam’s wood exports to the US amount to approximately US$3 billion annually.
Meanwhile, CPTPP members such as Japan are also major importers of Vietnamese wood products. Some of the members have strong wood industries, like Canada with its annual output of 600 million cubic metres, said Mr Quyen.
The CPTPP will help to facilitate the purchase of machinery, equipment, and technologies from developed countries such as Japan when tariffs are lower, which will enable Vietnam to become more competitive.
Mr Quyen also pointed out challenges facing Vietnamese businesses such as intellectual property, saying that there is a limited knowledge base among Vietnamese businesses and management agencies regarding intellectual property.
Despite exports of US$8 billion, the value of products designed in Vietnam makes up a small proportion of that, as domestic businesses manufacture products according to foreign partners’ designs that are protected by copyright, Mr Quyen said. He added that this is quite a complicated issue because domestic businesses find it difficult to build brand names and establish their own intellectual property.
Mr Quyen emphasized that the enforcement of the CPTPP will relate to many partners including wood businesses, forest planting households, and wood commerce, transport, traders and processors. However, Vietnamese businesses’ knowledge of these issues remains imprecise. Businesses must make greater efforts to develop the supply of wood.
Last year, the wood sector earned US$8 billion from forestry exports and strives to reach a target of US$9 billion this year.