A Baxter-based timber harvesting company visited Vietnam last month as part of a U.S. trade mission.
Fidelis Forest Management owner Rance Frye said the trip provided additional market opportunities for his new business.
“Culturally, it was a great trip. I enjoyed going through the market places and meeting Vietnamese people directly,” Frye said. “But also, being able to understand through direct connects how they do business in Vietnam. Every country is a little different and every country has different internal rules and regulations beyond what international trade dictates, and so we were able to learn a lot of that first-hand, rather than through trial and error.”
Frye joined 80 industry and government representatives on the mission to one of the fastest-growing regions of the world. Clark Lumber Company in Red Boiling Springs also took part in the week-long trip.
Fidelis specializes in cedar harvesting and selective timber management. The company currently doesn’t have any international buyers, but Frye said he expects that to change now that he has a better understanding of the Vietnamese marketplace.
“I look forward to growing Fidelis into that business as a manner of diversifying our sales, Frye said. “Like right now, the American market is hurting due to the tariffs, and if you have some diversity in your marketplace, then any one market going down doesn’t cause as much consternation.”
During the week-long 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.
In the meantime, Frye said he’s hoping to set up some orders with Vietnamese clients by this Spring.