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City furniture firms enlists UN help to get competitive

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa) yesterday signed an agreement to help small firms upgrade their competitiveness and integrate in the global markets.

The Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Cluster Development Project, funded by Italy, chose the wood processing and furniture cluster in Binh Duong Province and HCM City as a pilot site for development interventions, Francesco Russo, its chief technical advisor, said.

Under the MoU, there will be seminars and training workshops offering opportunities for the firms to learn new aspects of design, quality maintenance and marketing.

Many activities to foster partnerships between local and Italian industries and develop institutional linkages between Hawa and partnering Italian associations and institutions will also be held.

The Vietnamese industry achieved positive results last year, becoming the largest producer and exporter among ASEAN member countries, Russo said.

But it continued to face old challenges and needed to improve to ensure sustainable growth and value-addition through increased capacity in design, marketing, quality and innovation, productivity and technology, and respect for international standards, he said.

“With the agreement signed today, UNIDO, Hawa and local enterprises will work together to address these challenges.”

Italian industries and experts would contribute experience, design capacity, technology and know-how, he added.

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