39 AMERICAN HARDWOOD Southeast Asia Supplement 2018 Deputy Minister Mr Ha Cong Tuan addresses VIPs at AA Corporation The Handicraft & Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) is the one private industry national association for the wood working industry recognised by the Vietnamese Government in Ha Noi. Its headquarters are in a government-owned villa in District 3 of HCMC and although located in the south, HAWA has members throughout the country reaching out to all provinces. mong the many activities HAWA undertakes are training, providing market information,liaisonwithsupplyindustries,designcompetitionsandcommunications through its printed journal ‘Go Noi That’, which is also distributed online. HAWA Corporation, its commercial arm, is responsible for organising shows such as the annual international VIFA furniture show in March and another domestic show in the fall. With close government support and contacts, meetingswithministers and officials are regular events and one such had some interesting add-ons. Earlier this year HAWA hosted a formal seminar at the Sheraton hotel in Ho Chi Minh City on the morning of 26 th January attended by Guest of Honour Mr Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, representatives of the Party, National Assembly and Government, as well as company leaders. The seminar gave details of the achievements of the wood sector in Vietnam whose forest products industries exporting revenue has reached the $8 billion milestone for the first time, increasing 10.2% compared to 2016 and three years ahead of the schedule of the targets set out in the Forestry Development Strategy 2006-2020. Wood and wood products have become the sixth largest export industry in Vietnam, accounting for 6% of theworldmarket share, ranking first in Southeast Asia, second in Asia and fifth in the world. Mr Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of HAWA emphasised the wood processing industry is focusing on modernising technology, machinery and equipment in the direction of specialisation and automation; investing on building human resources to meet the requirements of the new industrial age; building an effective business governance system, applying information technology to business processes and management. On the other hand, the associations and the business community arecommitted to“sayno to illegal timber” by raising awareness of the need to establish a system of due diligence for wood origin in the enterprise and throughout the supply chain, to make the wood processing industry a sustainable production of legal wood. Following the event entitled “The Vietnam forestry exportingtargetaccomplishmentcelebrationandtheprospects of the industry in 2018-2020”, in the afternoonof the same day, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Ha, attended the opening ceremony of a wood processing workshop. Following lunch, VIPs transferred to officially open a new plant investment by AA Corporation in nearby Long An Province where Chairman Nguyen Quoc Khanh welcomed the Deputy Minister and Mr Ngô Minh Hải, Deputy Director of the Customs Control, around amagnificent Americanwalnut table. Measuringeightmetres longand 1.2metreswide the table seats 24people incomfort, designedandmadeat theAAcorporation factory. AA Corporation, a member of HAWA, is known as one of the top interior decoration companies, a leader in the field of designing and supplying high-end furniture to hotels and resorts in Vietnam and around the world.