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Forest Industry Seeks Coalition

27 September 2004

Forest Industry Seeks Coalition To Develop China Wood Opportunities

A major conference aimed at developing a co-operative market strategy for the Chinese wood products market will take place in Rotorua on 11 and 12 November.

The New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC) is joining New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Cathay Pacific, Pan Pacific Forest Products, Carter Colt Harvey, Forest Research, NZ Forest Industries 2006 and Pentarch, in funding the China Wood 2004 conference.

“China Wood 2004 is about building a coalition of New Zealand exporters able and willing to work together in the China wood products market,” said NZFIC Chief Executive Stephen Jacobi.

“Those companies who are past the curious stage and want to take action along with other like-minded companies in China should seriously consider attending this conference,” said Mr Jacobi.

China Wood 2004 will be opened by Trade and Forestry Minister Jim Sutton and chaired by Stuart McKinlay, Managing Director of Pan Pac Forest Products in Napier.

A keynote address will be given by Matthew Brady, who, until recently was General Manager of the American Forest and Paper Association’s Beijing office.

Mr McKinlay said that China’s expanding consumer wealth, its increasing interest in using timber in construction and fit out, and the restrictions on the harvesting of domestic timber, all combine to open up new opportunities for New Zealand in the vast and dynamic Chinese market.

“A number of New Zealand companies have developed a bridgehead for New Zealand in China, particularly in supplying lumber for furniture manufacture,” said Mr McKinlay.

He noted that good progress had been made to secure recognition for New Zealand Radiata Pine in the new Chinese Building Code.

“With the New Zealand and Chinese governments also about to negotiate a historic free trade agreement, the industry must move to take advantage of this improved market access by developing a strategic and focused approach to market development,” he said.

At the conference specialist staff from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise will facilitate breakout workshop sessions around three specific market segments; construction, fit out and furniture manufacture, all of which show promise in the China market.

Conference attendees will receive a report back from the breakout sessions and groups are expected to be established to take the strategy forward.

Mr McKinlay said a major distinction between this conference and others in the past, is that it is based on market sectors rather than product groups.

“This conference is driven by the needs of the market. The aim is to bring together complementary producers who can actually get some synergy happening potentially across a complete sector,” said Mr McKinlay.

China Wood 2004 will be held at the Rydges Hotel and Conference Centre in Rotorua on 11-12 November. Attendance is open to all industry participants and the industry’s partners.

Further information about the conference can be found at the conference website www.chinawood.co.nz.

Note to editors

In order to facilitate discussion, the workshop sessions will be restricted to industry participants. Media are welcome to attend the keynote sessions. A media briefing will be arranged at the end of the conference. Matthew Brady will be visiting New Zealand in the week prior to the conference and will be available for media interviews.

About Forestry

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 25,000 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.

ENDS

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