B.C. species proved to be the right fit for wood paneling applications in Vietnam

By: Zoish Bengali

Director, FII

As part of a range of market development strategies in Vietnam, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) Vietnam works with local manufacturers, introducing them to wood B.C. species through product trials—an effective way of increasing interest and educating key audiences on the use and application of wood products from B.C. Recently, FII Vietnam brought on board a local wood paneling manufacturer–AP Wood–to trial western hemlock and western red cedar (WRC) for their export program to Japan.

The FII Vietnam business development team held initial meetings to understand the specific requirements of AP Wood’s buyers in Japan and suggested grades and sizes of western hemlock and WRC that would be suitable for wood paneling applications for export to Japan, as well as the domestic market. The FII Vietnam team provided technical assistance and support to AP Wood and their Japanese buyers to better understand how to process the hemlock and WRC.

After trialling the species, AP Wood indicated they were very satisfied with the products–specifically the appealing grain, unique aroma and working properties of the WRC–as well as the knot-free workability of the western hemlock. AP Wood’s Japanese customers were pleased with the quality and price range of products.

Due to the success of the trials, AP Wood has purchased multiple containers of western hemlock and WRC to fulfill large orders for wood panels placed by their Japanese customers.

As a manufacturing hub and the fifth-largest furniture producer worldwide, Vietnam has a thriving and growing wood manufacturing sector. FII Vietnam continues to look for new opportunities to expand knowledge and understanding of B.C. species within the Vietnam market through building relationships, conducting product trials and providing training and guidance on how to work with B.C. raw materials.

For more information on FII’s strategic approach, priorities and activities within the Vietnam market, please visit www.bcfii.ca/our-key-markets/vietnam/.