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Closer TransTasman Links Critical Says Wood Sector

Closer Trans Tasman Links Critical Says Wood Sector

The prominent inclusion of wood and paper products on the agenda for this month’s CER Business Dialogue meeting in Queenstown will help New Zealand and Australian exporters get a better deal internationally, says NZ Forest Industries Council Chairman Lees Seymour.

Mr Seymour said greater collaboration and standardisation with Australia’s plantation forestry and wood processing industries is critical to the development and expansion of the industry on both sides of the Tasman.

“The industries here and in Australia have a lot in common. When it comes to taking on the world we are stronger together.

“This is a valuable natural progression from the Trans Tasman Forest and Wood Products Forum held in Canberra in April this year.”

Both Australia and New Zealand share a sustainably managed resource of Radiata Pine, and face the same challenges to maximise profitability, enhance sustainability, and contribute socially through providing employment and skill development.

“Meetings like this are the building blocks for greater industry integration,” Mr Seymour said.

“The issues on the agenda include trade policy, joint approaches to standards, and the promotion of wood based products.”

The Queenstown event will see the annual meeting of CER Trade Ministers and other Ministerial colleagues supplemented by sectoral talks for representatives of the paper and wood products industries as well as representatives from the Australia New Zealand Business Council. Following their separate meeting, industry representatives will report back to Ministers.

Representatives from the New Zealand Forest Industries Council and the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council will attend the meeting.

Mr Seymour said the New Zealand and Australian governments were well aware of the wood sector’s growth potential, and the challenges it faced.

“We would like to see both governments taking a trans Tasman approach to addressing the issues affecting the industry’s future growth. With greater critical mass we can achieve so much more.”

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