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Minister to attend Austimber show

Media Statement -30 March 2004

Minister to attend Austimber show

Forestry Minister Jim Sutton is to attend two days of the Austimber international forestry technology show in Albury, Australia on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mr Sutton said today that New Zealand had been invited to attend Austimber as a guest nation.

"We will have the largest display and presence from New Zealand that we have had a this event for some time, with a cross-section of New Zealand companies present on the New Zealand stand organised through the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise offices in Sydney and New Zealand."

Mr Sutton said the forestry sector is a key sector in New Zealand's economy, with exports of $3.6 billion for the year ending 31 March 2003. Of that, 26 per cent of forest product exports went to Australia.

Provisional figures for the year ended 31 March 2003 showed that Australia imported almost a billion dollars of New Zealand forestry products.

"Australia has for a long time been and remains a key market for New Zealand's exports of forestry products. We have over recent years seen quite a lot of cross investment between our two countries in the sector."

Mr Sutton said he looked forward to attending the Austimber show on March 31 and April 1.

"I look forward to discussing how we in New Zealand and Australia might seek to develop a closer relationship between our industries with a view to building on what is already a close a fruitful relationship."

Austimber was last staged in March 2000, and attracted more than 8000 visitors from 28 countries to the more than 350 sites with products and services from more than 800 companies. This year's show is anticipated to be 25 per cent bigger.

ENDS


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