News from VietnamWood: Appetite for American Hardwoods Continues to Grow in Key Market of Vietnam
The American Hardwood Export Council shows commitment to Vietnamese partnership as over 30 members join the pavilion at this iconic tradeshow.
At the recent VietnamWood show, held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, 31 American companies joined the American Hardwood Export Council at their pavilion, a space of 252 square metres. A further 10 booked their own booths. This strong showing underlines the commitment of American timber producers to growing trade partnerships in the country and the event was a positive experience for all involved. A busy four days attracted timber traders and industry specifiers from across the region and facilitated some fruitful conversations regarding the quality, versatility and availability of American hardwood species.
Mr. Tripp Pryor, The American Hardwood Export Council’s International Program Manager said, “It’s really helped our members to have direct contact with customers and manufacturers and hear first-hand how this market is growing and developing. It’s a very important market for us now, a larger volume is going to Vietnam than even to Canada, our next-door neighbor. It’s growing 20% so far this year.”
As Mr. Bert Gary, CEO of CLC Hardwoods, an AHEC member agreed, “It’s a great trade show to be at. Lots of folks here who are excited about Vietnam, it will be a big part of our future. The energy here is exciting. They are well-educated, they understand our industry, they understand American hardwood lumber and they have incredible manufacturing, wonderful quality. Every furniture manufacturer here is gearing up for expansion.”
These sentiments were echoed by another member, Ms Maggie Peng, General Manager of Blue Mountain Hardwoods: “We are very positive about Vietnam, especially in the current climate. It is still developing and has some way to grow. We need to communicate with customers. AHEC has done a lot of publicity for us and we hope this will help speed up the process of education on American hardwood.”
To this end, Mr. John Chan, American hardwood expert and long-standing Regional Director of The American Hardwood Export Council for Southeast Asia and Greater China said, “Over the next year, we aim to create programs to help to develop domestic consumption in Vietnam. We will create programs to influence designers – architectural, interior and furniture designers – who are the specifiers of materials used, to learn more about the applications of American hardwood. We already see that people are interested in American hardwood but most of these at this point, are from trade and processing. When the economy grows here, the domestic market will grow, the end users will also be interested in American hardwood. I see great potential to develop this market.”
At the event, Mr. Pryor reminded customers and partners in Vietnam, “The US is the world’s largest sustainable and legally harvested supplier of wood products. American hardwoods are globally recognized and you have a wide variety of species so you can achieve multiple looks and utility all from the same supply. As consumer tastes develop and as the middle class continues to grow, we look forward to growing the market together and developing our partnership.”
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