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NZ Opens Wood Innovation Centre in Shanghai

New Zealand Officially Opens Wood Innovation Centre in Shanghai

March 7 2006: Today New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, with the support of six leading New Zealand wood companies, is officially opening the New Zealand Wood Innovation Centre in Shanghai.

The Centre has attracted a lot of attention amongst Shanghai’s wood and building industry with a substantial number having visited the Centre already.

The Centre will be filled to capacity for the opening today, attendees include senior Shanghai government and industry representatives, including the Governor of Xuhui District, and the Vice Director of the Shanghai Municipal Economic Relations Commission.

The six companies supporting the centre - Red Stag Timber, Carter Holt Harvey Wood Products, Pan Pac Forest Products, Weyerhaeuser New Zealand, TDC Sawmills, and Gunns New Zealand – have jointly formed New Zealand Wood Innovations Asia Incorporated and Chairman, Phil Verry, says interest in New Zealand Pine is strong.

There will be a seminar on innovative ways Shanghai’s building industry can use New Zealand Pine following the opening today, and it is already oversubscribed due to the significant interest in New Zealand’s pine products.

Peter Ryan NZTE’s Sector Director for Wood, Building and Interiors, says the Centre provides an exciting opportunity for China and New Zealand to work closely together to use New Zealand Pine in innovative ways to meet China’s needs, and will be a springboard for further relationship building between the two countries.

Mr Verry says New Zealand Pine has been used in China for many years, and has recently been approved for use in building and construction, and, if the response to the opening is anything to go by, the Shanghai building industry is keen to learn more on how they can use New Zealand Pine.

“Now, through the Centre, they can see first hand how New Zealand Pine can be used for cutting-edge furniture, apartment fitouts, appearance applications, and residential housing construction; as well as the use of treated pine for landscaping projects and other outdoor uses.

“Chinese people are very innovative, and I am sure the Centre will challenge and inspire them in their use New Zealand Pine,” he said.

Centre Manager Jane Liu says she is constantly being asked by visitors to the Centre ‘is this really made out of pine?’

New Zealand is already a major provider of quality wood to Asia, supplying 8.8% of Asia Pacific’s forest products trade, and around 10% of New Zealand’s wood exports currently go to China.

Mr Verry says the Centre will further expand this relationship.

The Wood Innovation Centre is one of a range of initiatives NZTE is working on to help companies tap into the many opportunities the North Asia region provides. New Zealand Focus, the country’s first concept centre in the world which showcases New Zealand products and services, officially opened in Hong Kong in November last year. Within the first quarter of this year, NZTE will launch a food and beverage initiative in Shanghai’s retail sector to provide a low cost, low risk, market entry option for New Zealand exporters. Other projects focus on dairy technology and education.

ENDS

www.nzwoodinnovation.com

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