KUALA LUMPUR (June 15): The timber and timber-based industries in Malaysia and Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to further develop the timber trades in both countries.
Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) chief executive officer Muhtar Suhaili said the MoC would strengthen economic cooperation between Malaysia and Vietnam and, at the same time, provide opportunities for both countries’ manufacturers to increase their exports and imports.
“Malaysia is committed to further developing its timber industry sustainably and can benefit from Vietnam’s higher foreign direct investment (FDI) in furniture manufacturing and access to the European Union markets through tha latter’s free trade agreements,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
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Muhtar witnessed the signing ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Wednesday.
He said Vietnam’s skilled manpower and availability among the local population would be an advantage, on top of its proximity to China which provides easier access for furniture parts and wooden panels.
The MoC is in line with the ASEAN Summit agreement in 2000 where the Initiative for ASEAN Integration was launched to narrow the development divide and enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness as a region, he said.
“It will also protect the interests of both countries against regulations that may affect the interest of Malaysia’s and Vietnam’s timber industries,” Muhtar added.
Meanwhile, the MoC signing was part of MTC’s Market and Business Visit to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from June 13-17, 2022.
Malaysia’s export of timber products to Vietnam in 2021 amounted to US$38.44 million while import was US$148.25 million, comprising wood-based products from Vietnam.
Among the top five products that Malaysia exported to Vietnam in 2021 were particleboard (US$9.35 million), wooden furniture (US$7.77 million), fibreboard (US$5.99 million), sawntimber (US$5.46 million) and builders joinery and carpentry (US$3.39 million).