The Sino-US trade war that broke out at the end of 2018 drew the attention of China's huge numbers of export-oriented furniture enterprises to Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries as investment targets again in order to avoid the trade barriers.
As far back as 1991, China started its investment in Vietnam, by far, it has gone through four phases: the exploring phase, the investment plunging phase due to the Asian financial crisis, the gradual recovery phase and the recent one- the steady progressing phase.
As shown by the data released by the Vietnam Foreign Investment Ministry, in 2017, the country attracted USD35.88 billion of foreign investment in 2017 with a year-on-year growth of 44.4%, the record-high for 10 years (as of December 20, 2017).
Among the 115 foreign country and region investors, Japan took place of South Korea to become the country's largest investor with an agreement value of USD9.11 billion, taking 25.4% of the overall foreign investment; while China made itself go up to the 4th with an agreement valued USD2.17 billion, covering 284 new projects, 83 capital-increasing projects, 817 capital-injecting/ share-purchasing projects.
Vietnam's wood processing and exports developed at a rapid pace. In the past ten years, the volume of its wood processing industry has increased by approximately 2.7 times, making it the world's fifth timber exporter.
Statistically, the value of timber processing industry in Vietnam for the first seven months of 2018 was USD5.3 billion, this means, if the production value continues this trend for the rest of the year, it would realize its goal of USD9 billion for the annual export value.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Prime Minister of Vietnam said that: "the wood processing and forestry industry needs further support to achieve our development goals in rural and mountainous areas and to create jobs".
The Vietnam Forestry Bureau reported that, wooden furniture export of the country was USD5.12 billion in 2016, and that in the first nine months of 2017 reached an amount of USD5.5 billion. The furniture industry mainly clusters on Ho Chi Minh, the largest industrial base in Vietnam.
Over 50% of furniture manufacturers in Vietnam are located in Binh Duong, of which province the government is determined to make the province "a center of furniture industry in Southeast Asia" that attracts people from all over the world for its latest technology in furniture manufacturing.
Tran Thanh Liem (TTL), the vice chairman of the People's Committee of Binh Duong, said:" An industrial zone of furniture manufacturing is currently in the plan process: the first phase will include 2 million square meters of land, the second phase will include another 2 million square meters, and we will give priority to investors who wish to invest in the woodworking supply industry."
Furniture companies from mainland China and Taiwan are planning, if not have planned, their factories. Furniture companies from Chinese mainland, including Man Wah Holdings Limited, Markor Furnishings, UE Furniture Co., Ltd, Zhejiang Henglin Chair Industry Co.,Ltd., have either acquired manufacturing companies or established their own production bases in Vietnam. There are also reports revealing that, A Home Furnishing also participated in this competition and built its industrial park of 300,000 square meters in Vietnam in 2013.