NZ Forestry Represented At Meeting With Ministers
September 10 2003
For immediate use
NZ Forestry Represented At Meeting With Ministers
The New Zealand Forest Industries Council today joined other international forestry organisations in urging world trade ministers to deliver a fair deal for forestry.
Chief Executive Stephen Jacobi is in Cancun, Mexico to attend the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation. Mr Jacobi is an adviser to the New Zealand delegation and represents New Zealand forestry in an international industry alliance established to progress forestry trade issues.
That industry group today met trade ministers and officials, including New Zealand Trade Minister Jim Sutton, to discuss the challenges forestry faced in the form of tariffs and non-tariff barriers and how to liberalise forest products trade.
New Zealand forest industries pay $40 million in tariffs each year and confront non-tariff barriers amounting to at least $175 million.
Ministers who took part in today’s discussions were united in their belief that the WTO negotiations provided a means of expanding output, employment and economic growth and alleviating poverty.
“A successful and robust outcome from the Doha round is critical to ensuring the future growth of the world’s forest and paper industries. With global revenue of $US750 billion, the forest products industry is one of the world’s largest industrial sectors and makes a major contribution to living standards in both developing and developed countries,” Canadian Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew said at the meeting.
Mr Jacobi said that ministers and senior officials from nine countries discussed the need for the WTO’s non-agricultural market access negotiations to achieve significant trade liberalisation for forestry.
“To achieve this level of participation from countries in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Pacific demonstrates how seriously those involved in the negotiations are taking forestry’s particular concerns.
“Forest companies and industry associations are
doing their bit to build new markets and innovate to develop
new products but our respective governments have a vital
role through official bodies like the WTO and
Mr Jacobi said a collaborative effort between industry and government had helped forestry become New Zealand’s third largest export sector. Success stories included the export of laminated veneer lumber to China, moldings to the United States and kitset homes to Japan.
Mr Jacobi and his fellow industry representatives presented a joint industry position to the WTO in Geneva in July [attached], calling for trade barriers to be reduced and more effective trade rules for wood and paper products to be put in place through the WTO Doha Development Agenda.
The industry group’s common views concern elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers and strengthening rules for anti dumping and subsidies.
NZFIC represents and promotes the interests of all sectors involved in the New Zealand forest industry. Membership comprises forestry companies and industry associations who collectively own and manage a sustainable, planted production forest resource of 1.8 million hectares
New Zealand forestry directly employs
23,000 people, accounts for 4 percent of GDP, has annual
sales of more than $5 billion and is the country’s third
largest export earner at $3.7 billion annually. Through its
Wood Processing Strategy and Vision 2025, the industry aims
to become New Zealand’s largest export sector, directly
employ 60,000 people, contribute 14 percent of GDP and
record an annual turnover of $20 billion.
Cancun, 9 September 2003
MINISTERS SEEK AMBITIOUS OUTCOME FOR
Trade Ministers from leading forestry exporting nations have underlined the need for an ambitious outcome for forest products from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) “Doha” negotiations.
Ministers and senior officials from nine countries met on 9 September on the margins of the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Also attending this informal meeting were international forest industry representatives who were in Cancun to support further liberalisation in the forest products sector.
The Ministers discussed the potential of the Doha Round to create new opportunities for producers, exporters, consumers and rural communities by expanding access to global markets and improving multilateral trade rules. This would contribute to poverty reduction and long-term social and economic progress worldwide.
“A successful and robust outcome from the Doha Round is critical to ensuring the future growth of the world’s wood and paper industries,” Canadian Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew said.
“With global revenue of US$750 billion, the forest products industry is one of the world’s largest industrial sectors and makes a major contribution to living standards in both developing and developed countries.”
“Ensuring that the Doha negotiations deliver significant liberalisation for forestry products trade will be a win/win outcome for both developed and developing countries,” said New Zealand Trade Minister Jim Sutton.
Five out of the top 10 forest products exporters by value are developing countries, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation statistics.
The Ministers discussed the need for the non-agricultural (industrial products) market access negotiations in the WTO to achieve significant liberalisation of forest products trade, and undertook to work towards such an outcome in the WTO negotiations.
They noted the market opportunities this would provide for WTO Members, including developing countries, consistent with the objectives of the Doha Development Agenda.
They also noted that the world’s forest industries have made important gains in forest management over the last decade, and that trade liberalisation can and must go hand-in-hand with sustainable development practices.
Countries attending the meeting
Canada, Chile, Gabon, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, United States, Uruguay
Industry associations attending the meeting:
Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC)
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
ACHIEVING FREE AND FAIR TRADE IN FOREST AND PAPER PRODUCTS
A STATEMENT BY LEADING GLOBAL FOREST AND PAPER INDUSTRIES
This statement expresses strong industry support for accelerated trade liberalisation in wood and paper products through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Development Agenda (“the Doha negotiations”).
This statement reflects the views of forest and paper products industries in Canada, New Zealand and the United States as well as the forest industry in Australia and the paper industry in South Africa1. Between them these industries represent 33 percent of world trade in wood products, 49 percent of world trade in wood pulp and 25 percent of world trade in paper.
Representatives of these industries met in Oaxaca, Mexico, in May 2003 to discuss the progress in the Doha negotiations and to consider options for furthering the interests of the global forest and paper industries in these critical negotiations.
These industry representatives are united in their belief that accelerated trade liberalisation of forest and paper products, particularly through the WTO, provides a means of expanding output, employment and economic growth and alleviating poverty. The Doha negotiations offer an unparalleled opportunity to eliminate trade barriers, put in place more effective trade rules and address the specific concerns of developing countries. A successful and robust outcome from the Doha negotiations is critical to ensuring the future expansion of the world’s forest and paper industries.
This statement reflects the
views of the following organizations:
Australia: National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI)
Canada: Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
New Zealand: New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC)
South Africa: Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA)
United States: American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
Reviewing progress in the Doha negotiations, industry representatives agreed that:
members should move with the greatest possible speed towards
the goal of eliminating all tariffs on forest and paper
products, whether by an ambitious formula approach to tariff
elimination, an expansion of current zero for zero deals, or
a combination of these approaches, taking account of
established WTO provisions in respect of developing
- the goal of eliminating non tariff barriers should also be pursued with speed given their increasing prevalence and effect in blocking trade expansion;
- greater clarification, refinement and more disciplined application of anti-dumping provisions is required; and
- they will seek more effective rules and disciplines to address the use of subsidies.
Industry representatives called on their respective national governments and all member countries of the WTO to ensure:
- that effective
modalities for non-agricultural market access were
identified as soon as possible, but before the WTO
Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico, in September 2003; and
- that Trade Ministers meeting in Cancun resolve to keep the Doha negotiation to its original timeframe for conclusion by 1 January 2005.
Industry representatives further agreed:
- to convey the views in this statement to their
respective national governments and to industry stakeholders
and the general public in their countries;
- to consult regularly amongst themselves with a view to co-ordinating their respective positions and strategy in respect to the Doha negotiations; and
- to explore opportunities to present these views and any subsequent considerations to WTO officials and national delegations in Geneva and as appropriate at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico, in September 2003.
Signed by the following representatives of industry organisations:
Avrim Lazar Stephen Jacobi
President and Chief Executive Chief Executive
Forest Products Association of Canada New Zealand Forest Industries Council
John Hunt W. Henson
Executive Director President and Chief Executive Officer
Paper Manufacturers Association of American Forest & Paper Association
National Association of Forest Industries