Vietnam Woodwork Makers Find Novel Ways to US Market

While many Vietnamese woodwork producers struggle to boost sales to the US, some are endeavoring to carve their own path to the lucrative market with innovative designs.

Currently, local companies mainly produce woodwork from imported materials custom designed by foreign buyers, thus making little profit.

Now, producers have turned to increasing the standard of carvings and design of wooden products to raise their value, and boost sales to the American market.

“By doing this, we have to use skilled workers instead of cheap laborers,” said a local woodwork maker.

Intricate hand-carved designs are an advantage for Vietnam’s wooden furniture, as it helps increase value, another maker said.

Meanwhile, several others are focusing on producing wooden doors. “Not many companies are making wooden doors to export to the US, and following this path is the best way for us now,” they said.

Further efforts

Currently, business costs for local woodmakers are high, while volumes are low, leaving them to struggle against Chinese rivals.

It is necessary to establish an association or form a partnership in terms of production to lower business costs, and produce more products at more competitive prices, Nguyen Van Quy, director of a woodwork company in the southern province of Dong Nai said.

“And what more important, local producers must have their own special products and designs,” he suggested.

Foreign experts also said Vietnamese producers, which are mainly small and medium scale, should focus on specialized products to diversify and avoid price wars.

Experts point out that many products from local makers are identical, leading to unwanted price checking and competition.

Currently, a large number of US importers want to buy woodwork from Vietnam instead of China as Vietnamese products have yet to see antidumping tariffs, a great opportunity for local woodwork makers.

But Vietnamese companies need to improve their products designs in order to meet the discerning demands of American customers, foreign experts said.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Compiled by Hieu Trung.
Story from Thanh Nien News
Published: 11 October, 2005, 12:13:22 (GMT+7)
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