October 27–31 were green days for Vietnam and Chile, as businesspeople in the timber industry from both countries met in Ho Chi Minh City to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral trade relation.
ProChile, an institution of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of promoting exports of the country’s products and services, organized the workshop entitled “Chilean Timber: Quality, Innovation and Sustainability for Construction and Furniture Industries of Vietnam” at Caravelle Saigon Hotel, on October 29. On the occasion, Vietnam was represented by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA), while representatives from Chile included the High Value Timber Industry Strategic Program and SCX Santiago Climate Exchange.
“This meeting is very important for both countries because Chile is known for the good quality of its wood, while Vietnam is a major furniture producer which it exports worldwide,” explained the Chilean Trade Commissioner to Vietnam, Thanh Quang Nguyen. “Vietnam relies in Chile as provider of raw material of exceptional quality and at competitive prices,” he added.
Prior to the workshop, Vietnamese timber importers—as well as importers invited from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore—met 13 Chilean companies that showcased wood products such as sawn and plank timber, boards (particle, MDF, OSB, Plywood), veneer, and molding, as well as parts and pieces for furniture and carpentry.
Chile’s Timber Industry
Chile has a total surface of 75.6 million hectares out of which 22.9 percent are forests, and 81.4 percent of them native forest. Tree plantations in Chile occupy an area of 2.9 million hectares (equivalent to 4 percent of the country) consisting, mainly, of radiata pine and eucalyptus.
The Latin American country produces close to 40 million cubic tons of timber, out of which 98 percent is harvested in afforestation and reforestation, giving sustainability to its industry. 1.6 million hectares out of the 2.3 million hectares of planted forests in Chile are certified under FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or Certfor/PEFC (70 percent of the total); 104 companies have certified product traceability under chain-of-custody forestry certification; and 84 percent of the planted forests have been established in bare soils with different degrees of erosion, so native forests have not been threatened.
Chile’s non-cellulose forestry exports reach 120 markets worldwide with products such as wood parts for joinery and carpentry, paper, corrugated cardboard, wood and wood products, tissue, woodwork, and cardboard, among others. Chilean exports to Vietnam have grown consistently in the last five years, as shown on the chart below:
|Builders’ joinery and wood carpentry||15.7||21.4||28.0||34.9||46.7|
|Wood and wooden articles||0.209||0.133||0.158||0.007|
|Other products made out of paper and paperboard||0.0|
|Wooden articles (except containers)||0.0|