UC companies find promising market in Vietnam

Left to right back row: Rance Frye, Fidelis Forest Management; Hugh Clark, Clark Lumber; Neil Owens, Tennessee Department of Agriculture; Rob Morgan, Fidelis Forest Management; Nguyen Hoang Linh, USDA FAS Font row: Jo Clark, Clark Lumber; Pham Thi Ngoc, TAVICO Wood

NASHVILLE– Two Upper Cumberland forest product companies recently joined nearly 80 Tennessee industry and government representatives on a trade mission to one of the fastest-growing regions of the world. Clark Lumber Company in Red Boiling Springs and Fidelis Forest Management in Baxter joined the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for a trade mission to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to expand their export opportunities.

“We continue our efforts to connect Tennessee businesses with markets around the region, the country, and the world,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “With high quality agricultural and forestry products coming out of Tennessee, we have the ability to compete on a global scale. We are excited to connect Tennessee producers to new markets abroad, in turn creating economic trade opportunities that benefit the state’s economy.”

During the weeklong trade mission, company representatives met with buyers from across Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma. Representatives also visited furniture manufacturers to learn more about the wood product needs of potential buyers.

“There is a lot of potential in the Vietnam market for lumber products,” Clark Lumber Company owner Hugh Clark said. “Not only were we able to reinforce business relationships that we previously established, but we developed two new customers as well. This trade mission was a great success for us.”

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service led the trade mission to Vietnam, with involvement from 12 U.S. departments of agriculture.

“We are a new business looking for new market opportunities, and this trade mission showed what it takes to enter Vietnam’s marketplace,” Fidelis Forest Management owner Rance Frye said. “We learned a great deal about the country and made the connections needed to successfully export there. I believe we will increase business as a result.”

“Even during a time of world trade challenges, we are making it a point to strongly pursue international markets,” Hatcher said. “Tennessee is in an ideal position to capitalize on exporting our agriculture and forest products.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote responsible use of our agricultural and forest resources, develop economic opportunities, and ensure safe and dependable food and fiber for the citizens of Tennessee. For more information about TDA’s export assistance, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/department/business-development-division/export-assistance.html.

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