Malaysia-Vietnam sign MoC on timber trades

THE timber and timber-based industries in Malaysia and Vietnam have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) to further develop the timber trades in both countries.

The MoC will not only strengthen economic cooperation between Malaysia and Vietnam, it also will provide opportunities for manufacturers from both countries to increase their exports and imports.

“Malaysia is committed to further developing its timber industry sustainably. Malaysia can benefit from Vietnam’s higher foreign direct investment in furniture manufacturing and gain access to the European Union markets through Vietnam’s free trade agreements,” said Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) CEO Muhtar Suhaili.

He added that Vietnam’s skilled manpower and its availability from the local population will be an advantage, on top of its proximity to China which provides an easier access for furniture parts and wooden panels.

The MoC is also in line with the Asean Summit agreement in 2000 where the Initiative for Asean Integration was launched to narrow the development divide and enhance Asean’s competitiveness as a region. The MoC will also protect the interests of both countries against regulations that may affect the interest of Malaysia’s and Vietnam’s timber industries.

Malaysia’s export of timber products to Vietnam in 2021 was US$38.44 million (RM169.9 million) while Malaysia imported US$148.25 million worth of wood-based products from Vietnam.

The MoC was signed between the Timber Exporters’ Association of Malaysia (TEAM), the Malaysian Furniture Council (MFC), the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products (ViForest), Binh Duong Wood Processing Association (BIFA), Dong Nai Wood Processing Association (DOWA) and Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City.

Apart from Muhtar, also present during the signing ceremony were TEAM president Chua Song Fong, MFC president Khoo Yeow Chong, ViForest VP Huynh Quang Thanh, BIFA president Nguyen Liem, DOWA president Le Xuan Quan and DOWA VP cum secretary general Nguyen Chanh Phuong.

“Vietnam’s timber industry has been growing very well over the past decade and we would like to capitalise on this and explore business opportunities,” said Chua.

“We would like to increase our market share in Vietnam and the MoC can deepen investment flows for Malaysia,” Khoo said, citing supplying furniture parts to Vietnam as a good possibility.

Among the top five products that Malaysia exported to Vietnam in 2021 were particleboard (US$9.35 million), wooden furniture (US$7.77 million), fibreboard (US$5.99 million), sawn timber (US$5.46 million) and builders joinery and carpentry (US$3.39 million).

The MoC signing was part of MTC’s Market & Business Visit to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from June 13 until June 17. — TMR / pic source: MTC FB