The country has a key role in the timber processing sector in south-east Asia. Vietnam imports timber from many countries in the region, including Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, and exports mainly to the EU, the US and Japan (EFI).
Vietnam entered into formal negotiations for a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) with the EU in November 2010, and these are still underway. This process has prompted a review of relevant legislation and improved the government’s engagement with civil society. Vietnam has also been engaged in REDD+, and tackling illegal logging has been identified as part of the country’s REDD+ strategy (EFI). However, the available evidence indicates that illegal logging and the trade in illegal timber remains a serious problem (Chatham House, 2014).