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Minister to lead wood mission to India

20 March 2008 Media Statement

Minister to lead wood mission to India

Forestry Minister Jim Anderton leaves New Zealand on Saturday to lead a trade mission to India.

Jim Anderton said today that India's growing importance as a market for New Zealand products and services will be in focus during the trade mission.

He said that India was New Zealand's second-fastest growing export destination and high level visits between the two countries have increased in recent times, reflecting the importance placed on the relationship.

The wood and building industry, and in particular solutions for India's burgeoning housing industry, are the trade focus of the mission.

"The New Zealand wood industry currently generates $3.1 billion in exports (or 3.15% of GDP). India is New Zealand's fifth-largest export market for wood products, worth $65 million in 2007. While only 3% of New Zealand's total wood products are exported to India, it is an important and fast-growing market.

"Emphasis on protecting its native forest means India needs to import timber to meet growing demand in construction and other industries.

Jim Anderton will meet ministerial counterparts and construction industry representatives during the seven-day visit.

"Demand from India for sustainable timber for use in construction, interiors, furniture and packaging is growing - and New Zealand is well placed to meet this need. Developing new markets for timber solutions will maximize the value of our large, sustainably managed pine plantation resource.

"So I am delighted to be joined on this mission by representatives from Arbor Resources, Eurocell Sawmilling, Juken Nissho, Lockwood International, Lumberlink, Pacific Forest Products Ltd, Timberbond, TPT Forests, Winstone Pulp International, and Zindia," he said.

Timber has been a key export to India historically, but a new focus on product made from our quality clear sawn lumber has the potential to increase the return to New Zealand companies.

Jim Anderton will meet with India's trade and agriculture ministers to discuss multilateral and bilateral trade issues, as well as greater technical co-operation between our two countries. He is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Indian minister of science and technology, Shri Kapil Sibal, to enhance co-operation between New Zealand and Indian research institutes.

He will also meet the new India Beachheads Board members, which are made up of representatives from key Indian companies willing to act as allies for New Zealand companies keen to enter the Indian market.

Jim Anderton leaves for India on Saturday March 22, and returns to New Zealand on Saturday March 29.


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