Mathieu
Vietnam Country Manager
MBA in Grenoble Business School (TOP 6 French Business School)
5 year experience in Quality Control industry
Multiple languages speaking (French, English, Spanish, Mandarin)

Mar 21, 2019

How to source furniture from Vietnam? Sharing 5 very practical tips for you buyers.

 

Here comes the million dollar question for you - furniture importer and buyers! 


You heard about Vietnam, you know their furniture industry is booming and were told their price is competitive. Maybe you are even from the US and it is becoming urgent for you to supplement China?

This is what we will try to answer in this article, with a step by step approach and some very practical tips for importers. Let’s skip the theory and go right into practice. After reading this 10 minutes article, you should be able to source furniture by your own from Vietnam and know in which direction to look at.

 

We will directly start the more practical part of our article with 5 tips we are happy to share thanks to V-Trust full time local presence in Vietnam.

 

For a more theoretical part, you can also find a general introduction about Vietnamese furniture manufacturing scene at the end of this article.

 

1. Sourcing websites.

 
Just as in China with Alibaba, some websites exist specifically for Vietnam and its furniture industry.


However the list and quality of sourcing website is still very poor for Vietnam. Information is often hard to read and limited. Alibaba.com is still the number one directory for Vietnamese suppliers (even though Alibaba is based in China). This may change in the future and we hope to update this article accordingly very soon!


Please find below a list of sourcing websites. Please note that we do not have any affiliation with these websites and that this list is not exhaustive.

 

Name

Websites

Comment

Alibaba

https://vietnamese.alibaba.com/

Vietnamese portal of Alibaba.
Only for Vietnamese suppliers.

VietAz

http://www.vietaz.com

Useful and easy to read platform with pictures, price information and a large range of furniture manufacturers.

Vtown

http://vtown.vn

Supposed to be the database of Japanese companies that do manufacturing in Vietnam. However, it still maintains a very good database of Vietnamese and other foreign manufacturers (including furniture manufacturers)

Vietnamese Made

http://www.vietnamesemade.com

Not of very high quality.
Many Chinese or European suppliers also post.

 

 

2. Tradeshows.


Again, Vietnam market is still not fully mature in terms of promotion and its “tradeshows” scene makes no exception.


But it’s also a great opportunity. It makes it harder for your competitors to source from Vietnam and easier for you to differentiate.

 

Please find below a list with some interesting tradeshows for the furniture industry. Please note that we do not have any affiliation with these tradeshows and that this list is not exhaustive.

 

Tradeshow name

Where

When

Comments

Vietnam Wood & Furnitec

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh

September

  • Mostly woodworking and Furniture Manufacturing Equipment
  • +400 exhibitors in 2018

Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Expo (VIFA)

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh

March

  • Still many Chinese and Western suppliers attending
  • +400 exhibitors in 2019

Vietnam International Home Décor and Gift Fair

Saigon / Ho Chi Minh

April

  • Some furniture exhibitors but mostly for home decoration and handicraft.
  • +500 Vietnamese and international exhibitors

 

 

3. HAWA Association



HAWA (Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City) association is also one of the great tip we can share.

HAWA was established as a Non-Governmental Organization and volunteer Association in 1991. This association today has over +400 members, factories and manufacturers with productions lines in Vietnam. Its members are usually the biggest and most serious furniture makers.

You can find their list of members and contact them for quote.

Most importantly, you can contact HAWA directly (www.hawa.vn/en) and ask them if they would have any contact of factories that can produce your desired type of goods. They have an internal forum where they post “sourcing requests” from foreign buyers, to put its members in contact with you.

Although we met HAWA several times on tradeshows, please note that we do not have any direct affiliation with HAWA.

 

 

4. Chamber of commerce

 

Many countries have a chamber of commerce based in Vietnam (and often in Ho-Chi-Minh). Some of them are very active and may put you in contact with some associations, suppliers or even factories.


The first tip is surely to contact the chamber of commerce of your country. However, to be honest, response delay is usually long (if any response) and some chamber of commerce simply refuse to put in contact importers/buyers with factories.

 

The second tip (and maybe more surprisingly) is to also contact the chamber of commerce, but this time for countries that have a large manufacturing presence in Vietnam. Indeed, in the furniture industry, many factories are managed by foreigners, with foreign investment from Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Singapore or China. Chambers of commerce of these countries usually maintain an updated list of factories in Vietnam with management or fund from their respective countries.

 

These chamber of commerce are usually glad and highly motivated to put you in contact with their members. On top of that, dealing with a foreign owned factories maybe less intimidating if it is your first cooperation with Vietnam.

 

Chamber of commerce

Name

Website

Your dedicated chamber of commerce as an importer

United States

AmCham Vietnam

https://www.amchamvietnam.com

European Union

European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam

https://www.eurochamvn.org/

Italy

Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam

https://icham.org/

France

CCI France Vietnam

https://www.ccifv.org/

Germany

German Business Association in Vietnam

http://www.gba-vietnam.org/

United Kingdom

British Business Group Vietnam

https://bbgv.org/

Chamber of commerce of countries with large manufacturing presence in Vietnam

Vietnam

Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry

https://e.vcci.com.vn

Korea

Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam

http://korchamvietnam.com/

Taiwan

The Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam

https://www.roc-taiwan.org/vnsgn_en/

Japan

Japan Business Association in Vietnam

http://jbav.vn/en/

Singapore

Singapore Business Group HCMC Chapter

http://www.sbghcm.org/en/



5. Ring the bell

 

In the furniture industry especially, factories are usually massive and located in huge Industrial parks.

Bearing this in mind, our last advice is to just go in one of these industrial park and ring at the bell of these factories to visit their showroom. Factories dealing with furniture often have the words “woods” or “furniture” on their front gate. By ringing at one factory, someone may possibly redirect you to another factory located in the same industrial park for the kind of furniture you are looking for.

 

It may be a complete miss and you may lose an entire afternoon. Please already accept our apologies! It may also be one of your most fruitful afternoon, you may encounter your next partner in Vietnam and deal directly with him, without any agents or middle man!

 

The biggest industrial parks for furniture in Vietnam are usually around Ho-Chi-Minh city. This list is surely not exhaustive but we can already mention:

  1. Nam Tan Uyen Industrial Park (Tân Uyên, Bình Dương province).
    Surely one of the biggest industrial park for furniture factories, with dozens of them.
    Located around 2 hours away from Ho-Chi-Minh.
  2. Bien Hoa Industrial Zone 1 and 2 (Đồng Nai province).
  3. Thuan Dao Industrial Park (Bến Lức, Long An Province).
  4. VSIP Binh Duong (Bình Dương province)

 

 

About the furniture industry in Vietnam


It is today (2019) one of the biggest product category for export in Vietnam. V-Trust does inspection of such products on a daily basis in multiple locations. Vietnam’s wood processing and furniture manufacturing have strong roots and traditions in the history of the country. With a forecasted annual growth rate of 9.5% until 2020, the home décor and furniture industry in Vietnam is growing at a rapid and steady rate, reaching almost 10 billion USD in export in 2018.

 

Furniture industry is far from what it was 20 years ago. You can forget about small workshops and small scale family run business (even if they still exist). Instead you will most likely meet huge factories located in massive industrial parks.

As the country manager for Vietnam, I often visits such factories myself to audit them or inspect their products, they often have several production lines, over 500 workers (and over 1000 workers in many cases), foreign management/investment (Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese or even European) and clear production process.

 

 

 

Where are located the Vietnamese furniture factories?

 

There are 3 main areas (by order of importance):

  • In the South, around Ho Chi-Minh
    Around Đồng Nai, Bình Dương, Tây Ninh, Long An and Bến Tre).
    These provinces are all located around Ho-Chi-Minh city and are making the majority of Vietnam export furniture (especially for indoor furniture).

  • In the middle with 2 main regions:
    Around Da Nang (5th largest city in Vietnam) and around Qui Nhơn (Bình Định Province)
    These 2 areas are mostly focused on outdoor furniture (rattan, wicker, bamboo, etc)

  • In the north around Hanoi and Haiphong.
    However, North Vietnam has a much less extensive network of furniture manufacturers.


To roughly sum it up:

 

Type of furniture

Indoor furniture

Outdoor furniture

Locations

Around Ho Chi-Minh

  • Da Nang and Qui Nhơn
  • Around Ho Chi Minh (with a lesser extend)

 

Thank you for reading our article! Do not hesitate to share.

 

For any questions regarding this article or Vietnam, please feel free to contact me: mathieu@v-trust.com, vietnam@v-trust.com 

 

For more information about our operations in Vietnam and see how we can help you with product inspection before shipment: https://www.v-trust.com/AboutUs/Vietnam.aspx

 

As in any other countries where V-Trust operate, all our V-Trust Vietnam inspectors are our full time inspectors only, hired by us, trained by us and working for us only. V-Trust also has its own management team directly and full time based in Vietnam, in HCM.

 

Mathieu Reignard
V-Trust Vietnam country manager

mobile: +84-058.2999.233
e-mail: mathieu@v-trust.com

 

 

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