The export turnover would set a record high of 18 billion USD by 2023, with wood pellets and woodchips forecast to enter the one-billion USD club, said the Vietnam News Agency.
President of the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products Association (Viforest) Do Xuan Lap said that the figure will represent a growth rate of 7-9%.
To that end, the industry will focus on raising the competitiveness of enterprises by reducing the use of imported wood, applying scientific and technological advances in improving labour productivity, and stepping up digital transformation to cut production costs.
The export of wood and forestry products was valued at 16.92 billion USD last year, surpassing the set target by 3.8%, and up 6.1% year-on-year.
To boost the export, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will propose the Prime Minister and the Government approve relevant policies, such as the national forestry planning scheme for 2021-2030 with a vision towards 2050.
Importers, especially those from major markets like the US and Europe, have intensified their technical barriers and product origin tracing, the ministry said, suggesting businesses satisfy requirements of partners to optimise advantages generated by free trade agreements in order to achieve the above-said targets.
Buon Ma Thuot strives to become world’s coffee city
The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak – Vietnam’s largest coffee-producing region - is striving to make its capital of Buon Ma Thuot a coffee city of the world with distinctive identities.
The provincial People’s Committee has built a project on the work, developing tourism in an ecological direction, and bringing into full play local cultural values associated with national relic sites.
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Buon Ma Thuot city Tran Duc Nhat said that in recent years, the locality has paid attention to urban construction management, and infrastructure upgrade.
One of the highlights of the future coffee city will be the maintenance of existing identities of 40 ethnic groups to attract visitors.
All urban functional areas and architectural works will be turned into tourist destinations, and more efforts made to attract investors and talents to work in the city, he added.
Coffee was first cultivated in Vietnam in 1857. Dubbed as the coffee capital of Vietnam, Dak Lak has the largest farming area of around 210,000 hectares with an annual output of more than 520,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, Buon Ma Thuot is home to some of the finest coffee in Vietnam.
Vietnam is more popular among US travelers
Vietnam is becoming a popular tourist destination for US holidaymakers, with more than 215,000 Americans visiting the country last year, ranking second behind the Republic of Korea in terms of arrival number, according to Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
Travel Off Path, a US website specializing in tourism, points out Vietnam is one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Its natural wonders and incredible culture has inspired American tourists to get out of their comfort zone and travel across the world to explore the country, despite the limited flight options and the complex logistics of getting there.
Vietnam fully reopened for tourism in the middle of March 2022, becoming one of the first in the region to ease COVID-19 travel restrictions and welcome foreign visitors, including US travelers, regardless of vaccination status. Demand for quality tourism has since increased dramatically. The famous online travel agency Kayak even considered Vietnam the top destination in Southeast Asia for 2023.
Travel Off Path learns Vietnam welcomed 3.36 million foreign visitors last year, a drop of 79.9% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, but 23.3 times more than it did the year before, that proves the government’s March decision to reopen its borders was hugely beneficial to tourism.
Among 3.36 million guests visiting Vietnam in 2022, 388,873 came from the Americas, including North, Central, and South. US visitors, in particular, amounted to more than 215,000, ranking second after the Republic of Korea in terms of traveler number.
Explaining the reasons, Travel Off Path says Vietnam is a culturally-rich country, and it is a newborn country still finding its footing in a fast-changing world. It has only eased visa restrictions for foreigners in recent years, allowing them the privilege of visiting previous generations simply didn't enjoy.
“Needless to say, it is a different world altogether from your usual vacay spots in the West,” the website notes.
According to the website, many adventurous Americans find Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City impossible to resist, because the two cities are ‘a complex maze of narrow, unplanned streets prospered with trade, vibrant flea markets, old colonial buildings, and ancient temples’.
“If the busy city life doesn't seem appealing and its bucolic, rolling rice terraces etched into green hills, quaint villages, and remote pagodas set against dramatic backdrops you're after, you'll soon realize Vietnam is brimming with them, from the Sa Pa heartland to the pilgrimage sites of the Ninh Binh province,” it continues to describe Vietnam.
If visitors love to explore architecture or old ruins, there are numerous jaw-dropping imperial palaces to entertain them. One of those places introduced by Travel Off Path is Hue, a historical city in central Vietnam, home to the stunning Forbidden Purple City, the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty, sumptuously-decorated temples, and a monumental moated citadel.
For many, a trip to Vietnam is not complete without visiting and staying at pristine beaches. According to the website, Vietnam is packed with paradisiacal beaches boasting postcard-perfect turquoise waters and lined with luxurious resorts.
Last but not least, middle-income Americans choose to visit Vietnam because it is incredibly cheap coupled with the lower cost of living, enabling them to access luxuries they wouldn't be able to afford in their country.
Ha Giang listed among world’s top 52 places to go in 2023
Ha Giang, a northern mountainous province in Vietnam, has been named among the top 52 places worth visiting this year, as selected by New York Times of the United States, reported Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
The loop takes several days by motorbike and passes through the Ha Giang highlands in the northern region, with this journey not being for the timid, wrote the website.
The NY Times noted that travelling to Ha Giang is not an easy task for amateur travelers due to its twisting and narrow roads coupled with dangerous mountain passes that have claimed the lives of many motorbike riders, including several foreigners.
The news publication also pointed out that road improvement projects and new high-end accommodations have made the loop more accessible and inviting to visitors.
Ma Pi Leng Pass, Dong Van Plateau, Hoang Su Phi rice terraced fields, and Lung Cu flagpole in Ha Giang are all unmissable destinations for any traveler.
Most notably, taking a boat ride on the emerald Nho Que river through the canyon represents a great experience.
This year’s NY Times list is led by London of the UK, followed by Morioka in Japan, and the Monument Valley in the US.
Other Asian representatives to make the list include Bhutan, Kerala in India, Fukuoka in Japan, Flores in Indonesia, and Taipei in Taiwan (China)./.