Timber exports to hit $8 billion

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 09:53

Staff of the Krong Pha protection forest management board in the central Ninh Thuan Province deliver cashew seedlings to be planted in the province’s forests. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Thu

The export turnover of Vietnamese timber and timber products is estimated to hit US$8 billion this year, 10 per cent higher than the target, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at a meeting held yesterday on sustainable forestry development.

The forestry sector recorded many other encouraging achievements this year, said Nguyen Quoc Tri, deputy director of the ministry’s Viet Nam Forestry Administration.

He cited the growth of nearly 200,000ha of forest, equivalent to100 per cent of the yearly target, rapid reduction in the number of violations of forestry-related regulations and increasing investment of businesses and people in forestry sector.

Authorised agencies detected more than 14,500 violations since early this year, a year-on-year decrease of 70 per cent.. This left 1,400ha of forest damaged, a year-on-year decrease of 20 per cent.

The payment for forest environmental services has become an important source of finance to help improve the efficiency of forest protection, management and development. The country has collected VND1.6 trillion ($71 million) for forest environmental services this year.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said that the forestry sector had gained basic achievements over the past years.

The rate of forest coverage increased from 28 per cent in 1992 to more than 41 per cent in 2016. The production rate of the forestry sector reached 7.1 per cent from 5.9 per cent in 2013. The amount of timber from planted forests is meeting 80 per cent of demand.

However, Tuan noted that the forestry sector still faced many challenges, particularly the damage of natural forest and low growth of forestry value and ineffective management of some forestry businesses.

More effective measures were needed to help further develop the sector, he said.

Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Huy Ngo said the production and processing of forest-based products still received little attention. He said it was necessary to develop a value chain from timber to management organisation, product processing and the market to increase competitiveness.

It was also necessary to pay attention to investing in both technique and human resources as well as encouraging and praising good examples of households and businesses in the sector, he said.

Participants at the event also spoke of the need for more effective measures to prevent deforestation and tackle shortcomings in the legal system and management tasks.. — VNS

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