02:26 (GMT +7) - Wednesday 11/12/2019

Vietnam Today

New Zealand furthers partnership in timber supply

Released at: 14:13, 31/10/2019

New Zealand furthers partnership in timber supply

Photo: New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi

Two sides see long-term development potential in timber cooperation.

by Le Diem

New Zealand Minister of Finance and Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mr. Grant Robertson, witnessed the signing of a distribution agreement between Sequal Holdings Limited from New Zealand and VinaFor Saigon in Hanoi on October 30, under which Sequal Holdings will provide timely custom-cut Radiata pine wood to VinaFor’s manufacturers, reducing waste and inventory build-up.

Radiata pine wood from New Zealand is a sustainable plantation timber. It is versatile and used across a range of applications, from paper, construction, panelling and flooring to timber frames for furniture. Its dimensional stability is a crucial wood property for interior fittings and joinery uses and it has low shrinkage, which contributes to stability. With good resistance to splitting, it can be nailed or jointed efficiently, which is another important attribute.

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Wendy Matthews, said the deal highlights the potential for Sequal Holdings and other New Zealand wood companies to increase their exports of Radiata pine wood to Vietnam. “Forestry is an important sector for New Zealand and it is a significant contributor to our trade relationship with Vietnam,” she said. “New Zealand’s timber exports to Vietnam were valued at N$80 million ($51.4 million) in the year ending 2018, making this our second-largest goods export sector.”

Ambassador Matthews added that this agreement will successfully bring together New Zealand’s sustainable Radiata pine wood with Vietnam’s expertise to enable Vietnamese furniture manufacturers to produce sustainable, strong and high-quality products.

Mr. Rhys Arrowsmith, Sequal Holdings’s Head of Sales and Marketing Asia, believes that the foundation of this agreement is to give more by challenging and transforming the traditional supplier - customer model and to work together to help meet Vietnam’s furniture industry’s bold 2025 export aspirations. “We’re committed to providing our partners in Vietnam with high-quality Radiata pine that meets their needs for quality, sustainability and value,” he said. “This agreement represents an important milestone by providing 100 per cent Forest Sustainability Council-certified wood to help our partners grow their business sustainably.”

“Vinafor Saigon has imported New Zealand Radiata pine since 2001,” said Mr. To Ngoc Ngoi, General Director of VinaFor Saigon. “For over 19 years, I have recognized that this wood species provides a sustainable and reliable source of timber material for Vietnamese furniture manufacturers. Beyond this agreement, we would like to improve market awareness of sourcing legal wood to take advantage of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).”

Vietnam is projected to become the second-largest exporter of interior furniture globally in the next seven to eight years, following continued growth in the sector. The country is one of New Zealand’s largest customers for quality, sustainable lumber to meet their growing need to manufacture and export furniture around the world.

Mr. Robertson is in Vietnam for a three-day visit to take financial, trade, and economic cooperation between New Zealand and Vietnam forward. Two MoUs on weather intelligence and education cooperation between the two countries were also signed in his presence.

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