Vietnam’s wood processing industry is being held back by outdated technology, a lack of raw material and poor quality products.

The country’s 1,200 plants use either manual labour or machinery originally imported from China or eastern European countries decades ago, resulting in high production costs and low quality products.

Plywood plants are estimated to be operating at only 50-60% of capacity because of wood shortages, while up to 22 laminated timber factories are operating at one-fifth capacity. About 1.1 million m3 of timber is having to be imported from Laos and Cambodia each year.