Vietnam, Malaysia sign cooperation document on timber business
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, but also create opportunities for their manufacturers to increase exports and imports.
Although both Malaysia and Vietnam are producers of timber products, the collaboration will provide opportunities for manufacturers to increase their exports and imports between Malaysian and Vietnam. The MoC is also projected to generate other spin-offs such as socio-economic benefits and employment opportunities.
Muhtar Suhaili, chief executive officer of the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) said Malaysia is committed to further sustainable development of the timber industry of both nations, and the country can benefit from higher foreign direct investment by Vietnam in furniture manufacturing and access to the European Union (EU) market through Vietnam's free trade agreements.
According to Muhtar, skilled human resources and the availability of local labour force will be advantages for Vietnam.
“Malaysia is committed in further developing its timber industry sustainably. Malaysia can benefit from Vietnam’s higher foreign direct investment (FDI) in furniture manufacturing and access to the EU markets through Vietnam’s free trade agreements,” said Muhtar.
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 easier access for furniture parts and wooden panels.
The MoC is also in line with the high-level ASEAN agreement adopted in 2000 when the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) was launched to narrow the development gap and enhance ASEAN's competitiveness as a region.
It will also protect the interests of both countries against regulations that may affect the interests of the timber industry.
Present at the signing ceremony were the President of TEAM. Chua Song Fong, President of MFC Mr. Khoo Yeow Chong, the Vice-President of ViForest, Huynh Quang Thanh, President of Binh Duong Wood Processing Association (BIFA) Mr. Nguyen Liem, President of Dong Nai Wood Processing Association (DOWA) Le Xuan Quan and the Vice-President-cum-Secretary General of DOWA Nguyen Chanh Phuong.
Upon addressing the ceremony, TEAM President Chua Song Fong said, “Vietnam’s timber industry has been growing very well over the past decade and we would like to capitalize on this and explore business opportunities,”
“We would like to increase our market share in Vietnam and the MoC can deepen investment flows for Malaysia,” said President of MFC Khoo Yeow Chong, 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), fiberboard (US$5.99 million), sawn timber (US$5.46 million) and builders joinery & carpentry (US$3.39 million).