In a bid to strengthen trade ties and promote British Columbia’s forest products in Southeast Asia, Minister Jagrup Brar, BC’s Minister of State for Trade, visited Vietnam May 25 – 27, 2023
A visit to FII’s Vietnam office marked the first official visit by a BC Minister since the office’s opening in spring 2022. The visit was celebrated with a small event that brought together key stakeholders to recognize the occasion and further explore opportunities for BC wood products in Vietnam’s furniture manufacturing sector.
Minister Brar’s visit to the FII Vietnam Office served to reaffirm BC’s commitment to the Vietnam market and support for FII’s endeavors. During his tour of the office, Minister Brar had the opportunity to see furniture and interior finishings produced in Vietnam using BC wood species. Additionally, he engaged with FII’s local stakeholders, which included furniture associations, manufacturers, wood importers, and representatives from the Canadian Consulate.
Canadian Consul General, Bez Babakhani, further emphasized the significance of FII Vietnam’s activities in expanding BC’s trade relationship with Vietnam. Babakhani commended the efforts and expressed optimism about the positive impact of trade ties between the two countries.
As part of their market diversification strategy, FII aims to expand awareness and utilization of BC forest products across Asia. Diversifying international markets to enhance the demand for BC’s forest products safeguards the sector from fluctuations in the global marketplace. Southeast Asia, and Vietnam in particular, holds significant potential due to its manufacturing sector and the increasing global demand for wooden furniture exports.
Vietnam, as a major furniture producing region with limited domestic wood supply, offers a robust potential market for BC’s softwood species. The country’s growing emphasis on securing wood products from certified and sustainable sources aligns with Canada’s leadership in third-party certified, sustainably-managed forests, positioning Canadian wood products favorably.
In Vietnam, FII operates through a small, dedicated team. Their strategic focus lies in pursuing opportunities for BC wood species in the furniture manufacturing sector. They achieve this by identifying key players in the supply chain, including importers, distributors, and wooden furniture export manufacturers introducing them to BC species and BC suppliers.
Vietnam presents a significant opportunity for BC’s wood products, and the efforts of FII Vietnam and its dedicated team are a positive step toward supporting BC’s trade diversification strategy and expanding the province’s trade relationship with Vietnam. By fostering these connections, BC aims to build a strong and resilient forestry sector, reducing its reliance on specific markets and fostering sustainable growth for the future.