Market Overview

Vietnam has a long history of producing furniture products for its domestic market, and in the last 20 years for export. Exciting opportunities exist for BC companies to expand their business in this fast growing market.

Value-added wood product processing is far outpacing the growth of the domestic wood supply. A decreasing supply of Southeast Asian hardwoods has opened up more room in this rapidly emerging market.

Vietnam has increased its emphasis on more certified sustainable sources, a requirement by more and more countries and major companies. Canada has more third-party certified forests than any other country in the world which presents an excellent opportunity for BC and Canadian wood products.

Photo: 2019 Canadian Delegation to Vietnam – Manufacturer Tours | Credit: FII

Key Stats

0

million cubic metres of wood was imported into Vietnam in 2019

0

%
increase in B.C. softwood lumber exports to Vietnam in 2019

0

+
major furniture manufacturers operate across Vietnam

Why Vietnam?

  • The second-largest exporter of wood furniture in Asia
  • Existing trade agreements reduce barriers to trade
  • Limited domestic supply and declining import supply from traditional sources
  • Many manufacturers yet to capitalize on the benefits and suitability of softwood, creating opportunity for the BC forest sector
Photo: Hemlock furniture trials | Credit: FII

Market Priorities

  • Establish Canada as a preferred supplier of sustainable, certified softwood lumber products
  • Promote BC softwoods as an alternative to hardwood for furniture manufacturing
  • Introduce BC species and suppliers to Vietnamese importers, traders and furniture manufacturers
  • Undertake research to better understand the opportunities in the marketplace and any barriers to entry
Photo: Vietnam Wood 2019 Trade Show, Canadian wood species samples | Credit: FII

Strategic Approach

In partnership with Natural Resources Canada and the Canada Wood Group, FII began exploring opportunities for BC species in the Vietnam furniture manufacturing segment in 2017. Activities focused on identifying key players in the supply chain and providing small quantities of Canadian softwood species for manufacturers to try the products. Early-stage efforts indicated positive signs that BC species have the potential to capture good returns in furniture applications.
In 2020/21, operations were expanded, and a formal FII Vietnam office was established to advance promotional and outreach activities and build the demand for, and awareness of, Canadian wood products.

Photo: 2019 Canadian delegation to Vietnam prior to manufacturer tour | Credit: FII

Featured Projects

Hemlock furniture trials | Photo: FII

Product Trials

Hemlock furniture trials | Photo: FII

International buyers from around the world are flocking to Vietnam to source furniture and related wood products. An effective way to position BC species is to work with local manufacturers to introduce them to the many benefits of BC’s unique softwood products. By offering small samples of BC wood to select manufacturers, FII has been able to lead these firms to develop new product lines or prototypes which are then showcased to international buyers.
BC species that have become popular as a result of the trials include western hemlock, spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) and western red cedar.
While these efforts to cultivate manufacturers take time, 2019/20 saw FII successfully complete 18 product trials with positive early results, including commercial orders of hemlock furniture for export to the U.S., and a domestic order of 800 doors made with S-P-F (core) and hemlock (exterior).

Photo: Hemlock furniture trials | Credit: FII

2019 Canadian Delegation to Vietnam - Manufacturer Tours | Photo: FII

Trade mission strengthens ties

2019 Canadian Delegation to Vietnam - Manufacturer Tours | Photo: FII

In the fall of 2019, a 14-person delegation travelled from BC to Vietnam, visiting furniture manufacturers, meeting with importers and traders and sponsoring a Canadian Wood (FII) booth at Vietnam Wood 2019 — the industry’s major trade show with over 12,000 attendees.

Photo: Vietnam Wood 2019 Trade Show | Credit: FII

american door wood panel

Opening the door to hemlock sales

american door wood panel

One Vietnamese manufacturer recently finished their first order of more than 1,000 hemlock doors. The doors have an S-P-F core, with the outer vertical rails (stiles) and door jambs made with engineered products. The face and back of the doors were overlaid with 12mm thick clear hemlock. The response to the doors has been so favourable that the company is working on additional orders.