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Forestry posted the highest trade surplus, at US$3.23 billion, amongst agricultural sectors in the first half of 2018, according to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNForest). Source: Vietnam Plus VNForest also reported that more than US$4.33 billion worth of forestry products were shipped abroad between January and June, up 12.7% year-on-year.  Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said the forestry sector has sustained the growth achievements set in previous years, adding that VNForest looks likely to maintain this trend to obtain this year’s targets.  The country has set targets of US$9 billion in forestry exports this year, an increase of 6-6.5% in forestry production value, and the forest coverage rate of 41.65% in 2018.  Tuan said the wood and forestry processing industry is developing strongly. Vietnamese wood products have been exported to over 100 countries and territories with major markets being the US, Europe, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China.  He noted how the forestry sector has played an active role in negotiating with other countries, especially on timber origin, to remove obstacles from the trading of wood and wood products with such markets as Laos, Cambodia, the EU, China, the Republic of Korea, and Australia.  It has also actively updated businesses about legal changes regarding legal timber exploitation and trading, as well as wood and forestry markets around the globe, the official said.  He added from now to the end of 2018, VNForest will continue to promote the official signing of the EUVietnam Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade.  It will also be more active in cooperation activities with foreign partners and fulfil all obligations as a member country of both the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network.

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