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Industry Reaffirms Support For Free And Fair Trade


Media information for immediate use

23 April 2004

International Forest And Paper Products Industry Reaffirms Support For Free And Fair Trade

International forest and paper products industry representatives, meeting in Canberra, Australia this week have urged the international community not to let 2004 become a ‘wasted year’ for the process of trade liberalisation.

“Global forest and paper products industries need trade liberalisation to increase their contribution to employment and economic growth in both developing and developed countries,” said New Zealand Forest Industries Council Chief Executive Stephen Jacobi speaking on behalf of the international industry group.

Reaffirming their support for a robust outcome from the current Doha round of negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), industry representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States welcomed the signs of renewed commitment to advance the negotiations since the failed Cancun WTO Ministerial meeting last September.

“The signs are positive but greater levels of engagement are required if real progress on Doha is to be made this year and the negotiation is not to wither on the vine,” said Mr Jacobi.

“In Canberra we have reviewed the state of play in the Doha negotiations and agreed to continue to work together to press for a robust outcome, including the elimination of tariffs and non tariff barriers and the creation of more effective trade rules including on subsidies. We also discussed the need for new ideas to move the negotiation forward especially with regard to non tariff barriers.”

“We have resolved to send an industry delegation to Geneva in May to present our views directly to WTO delegations and to promote the concept of freer and fairer trade in our sector.”

“The forest and paper products industry is one of the world’s largest industrial sectors and makes a major contribution to global living standards, social progress including poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability. A successful outcome to the Doha round of negotiations is vital for the continuing health of the industry,” concluded Mr Jacobi.

ENDS

Industry representatives attending the Canberra meeting

Kate Carnell, Executive Director, National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI - Australia)

John Hunt, Executive Director, Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA)

Stephen Jacobi, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC)

Avrim Lazar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

W. Henson Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)

Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (A3P)

About New Zealand Forest Industries Council
NZFIC represents and promotes the interests of all sectors involved in the New Zealand forest industry. Membership comprises forestry, wood processing and paper companies as well as industry associations who collectively own, manage and derive products from 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 $3.5 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.

For more information about NZFIC and the forest, wood and paper processing industries in New Zealand visit www.nzfic.org.nz

ENDS

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