Once the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade comes into force, there will be opportunities for Việt Nam to export more wooden products to Europe and other new markets as well as get higher prices, according to the EU Delegation to Việt Nam. Speaking at a workshop in HCM City on November 30, Nguyễn Tố Uyên of the delegation said the forest pact would increase the competitiveness of Vietnamese timber products compared to those from countries that did not have much control over the forestry sector. A VPA is a voluntary trade agreement between the EU and countries making wooden products to promote trade in legal timber and help ensure only legally harvested timber is imported into the EU from these countries. The EU and Việt Nam finished negotiating a VPA on November 18 and an agreement is expected to be signed in early 2017. Nguyễn Mạnh Dũng of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said under the agreement Viêt Nam would create a timber legality assurance system (TLAS) in line with the country’s situation and the EU’s requirements for identifying the origin of timber.