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Shanghai Centre Helps China Wood Export Effort

20 June 2005

Shanghai Centre Helps China Wood Export Effort

The opening of a centre to showcase New Zealand wood products in Shanghai will be an important boost to the industry’s export effort, says Forest Industries Council Chief Executive Stephen Jacobi.

“This joint development is an important bridgehead into the Chinese market, particularly because it will help position Radiata Pine in advance of free trade negotiations being concluded,” Mr Jacobi said.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise announced details of the New Zealand Wood Innovation Centre today at the New Zealand Institute of Forestry conference in Paihia.

The centre will promote innovative ways New Zealand wood fibre products can be used to deliver cutting-edge furniture, apartment fit outs, and construction solutions to the Chinese industry.

Mr Jacobi said developing the China market, currently the New Zealand industry’s fifth largest, was something industry had been working on for some time

Last November the industry and NZTE hosted China Wood 2004, a major industry-only conference and workshop which saw around 80 industry and government representatives explore a more co-operative approach to the Chinese market development.

“At that conference we confirmed the importance of having a physical presence in country to showcase wood products. It’s great to see this kind of collaboration and I congratulate NZTE and the six companies involved,” he said.

Mr Jacobi said some important groundwork for NZ exporters in China had already been laid.

“Another big win last year was getting New Zealand Radiata Pine listed in the Chinese Timber Design Code, which opens the way for us to enter China’s expanding timber construction market,” he said.

Ten years ago, China was the seventh largest importer of forest products. Today it is the second. The value of Chinese forest product imports has increased from US$4.7 billion in 1995 to almost US$13 billion in 2003. The country imports the equivalent of more than four times New Zealand’s total annual harvest.

ENDS

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