Hanoi (VNA) – The fallout of the coronavirus outbreak has been felt in many sectors, but not the timber industry as its export revenue in the first two months of 2020 reached 1.5 billion USD, up 10.1 percent year-on-year.

Virus fears have forced many national and international exhibitions relating to the industry to be postponed, including the Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA Expo 2020), initially scheduled to open on March 11.

On the other side, the US’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on China’s wooden furniture has prompted many companies to move away.

In addition, major firms in the US, Australia, Japan and Europe have begun to turn to Southeast Asia since COVID-19 has disrupted wood production in China, causing a crisis in global supply.

Given this, with its available production resources, Vietnam, which ranks second in Asia and fifth globally in wood exports, has become the most promising alternative in this regard.

According to Dien Quang Hiep, Chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association, new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) to which Vietnam is a signatory like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) are expected to give a boost to the industry thanks to tax incentives.

“The domestic industry needs to optimise these opportunities,” he suggested.

Aware of benefits brought about by digital transformation, the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) will join hands with Ecomstone – a partner of the world’s leading e-commerce player Amazon in Vietnam, to build a shared store on the platform in order to build a brand name for Vietnam’s wooden furniture.

Nguyen Chanh Phuong, HAWA Vice Chairman, said to reach the target of 20 billion USD in export revenue in 2025, it is necessary for the industry to diversify sales channels and raise product value.

Truong Gia Binh, FPT Chairman, suggested domestic firms apply digital technology in production and business so they are not left behind by their foreign rivals./.