Positioning British Columbia as a Sustainable Alternative at VietnamWood 2023

By: Jim Messer

Vice President, International Marketing | Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

Showcasing the benefits of using Canadian wood, Canadian Wood Vietnam (FII Vietnam) participated in VietnamWood 2023, September 20-23

VietnamWood is one of South-East Asia’s leading trade fairs for the furniture manufacturing industry, attracting international exhibitors and visitors eager to explore cutting-edge products and services, and connect with potential business partners. Ranking as the world’s second-largest furniture exporter, Vietnam ships manufactured products to over 140 countries and territories, with primary markets including the U.S., the E.U., Japan, China, and South Korea .

Ensuring Canada was prominently represented at the show, Canadian Wood Vietnam’s pavilion incorporated 153 Hemlock panels placed upright along the booth. This created a captivating forest-like scene, emanating wood’s natural warmth and beauty. Within the booth, a range of furniture collections made of hemlock, Douglas-fir, western red cedar and yellow cedar as well as sample racks of lumber showcasing Canadian softwood species were shown.

The booth promoted softwood from B.C.’s sustainably managed forests and highlighted the advantages of using BC wood products in a range of manufacturing applications. This was displayed to prospective designers and buyers through different furniture sets with distinct colour tones and a feature wood wall made with hemlock. Attendees were impressed by the species’ natural beauty, physical characteristics and impressive range of applications for both interior and exterior products.

Across the show, the Canadian Wood Vietnam booth was visited by a wide range of industry professionals, including furniture manufacturers, lumber importers/distributors, local architects, designers, builders, real estate developers, contractors, universities, and government/trade associations. Information was provided to attendees on available species and their potential applications, as well as certified, sustainable forest management practices in Canada. During the show, Canadian Wood Vietnam hosted Vietnamese press, resulting in a feature on a national news outlet, further promoting the benefits of Canadian wood.

In addition to the trade show, Canadian Wood Vietnam organized site visits to seven Vietnamese factories for B.C. suppliers, allowing them to meet with some of Vietnam’s major furniture manufacturers and importers. Joining these visits were representatives from the Canadian Consulate General and the B.C. trade office, helping build ties between B.C. and Vietnam. The team also hosted a networking event to act as a platform for meaningful interactions and relationship-building between industry and key stakeholders in Vietnam. Both the visits and networking event reinforced the relationship between Canadian suppliers and Vietnamese manufacturer/importers, while providing insight into their experiences with our species and their future market needs.