Vietnam’s timber industry achieved record export earnings of US$1.05bn last year, an 86% year-on-year growth.

The earnings have been hailed by industry experts as meeting industry targets set for 2010.

The industry’s long-term development strategy forecasts a US$500m export turnover for 2005 and US$1bn not until 2010.

Analysts attribute the success to growing global demand and the industry being listed in the national trade promotion programme in 2004.

The Vietnam Wood and Forestry Products Association also cites the extensive development by foreign and local producers, with output increasing by 40-50% during the past few years.

About 50 foreign firms from Asia and the EU have recently entered Vietnam’s timber industry, with a combined investment of US$105m.