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Quesada and Smith Visit Vietnam to Understand Current Markets for American Hardwoods


Nov. 14, 2013 – Recently, assistant professor Henry Quesada and department Head Robert Smith, both at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, traveled to Vietnam to interview importers of American hardwoods during the 2013 VietnamWood tradeshow. The trip is part of an international marketing project that has as a goal to identify factors that impact the import of American hardwoods in Western Europe, China, and Vietnam markets. 

   

Drs. Smith and Quesada along with students of the Vietnam University of Finance during the VietnamWood Tradeshow Drs. Smith and Quesada along with students of the Vietnam University of Finance during the VietnamWood Tradeshow

According to statistics from the Vietnamese government, more than 300,000 people work in the furniture sector in almost 3,000 furniture industries. The furniture industry in Vietnam continues to grow (16% from 2007 to 2012) due to different factors such as: lower cost labor, excellent craft skills, and government incentives to attract foreign investments from countries such as Taiwan, China, and United States. Interesting to mention is that most of the production of furniture is for the export market. 

Besides interviewing importers of hardwoods during the tradeshow, Quesada and Smith also had the opportunity to visit a furniture manufacturer and a molding facility a few miles outside Ho Chi Ming City. The furniture manufacturer imports radiate pine from Chile and New Zealand and yellow poplar from United States and they require about 50 containers per month. In this facility, more than 3,000 employees produce bedroom furniture for the European and the American market. 

Appalachian companies such as American Hardwood Industries, Turman Group, and Baillie among others already have developed a market for hardwood products in Vietnam. Species such as red oak, white oak, ash, and yellow poplar are the most sought in this market and they are imported mostly in the form of lumber rather than logs. If you any questions abour specific opportunities for your products in this market please contact Dr. Henry Quesada at quesada@vt.edu.


 

   

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