Forest Research In China
FOREST RESEARCH ASSISTS WOOD NEW ZEALAND IN CHINA
Forest Research Wood-Based Products Manager, Dr Dave Cown has recently returned from China where he provided technical advice and support to the forest industry's sector mission, Wood New Zealand.
The objectives of the mission were to establish networks and relationships with key personnel in the Chinese forestry and wood processing industries and to scope opportunities for New Zealand Pine in the Chinese market. Led by Pine Manufacturers' Association and Wood New Zealand Chief Executive, Gerald Hunt, mission members presented invited seminars in Beijing, Shanghai and Dongguan and established relationships with key personnel (Govt. officials, company managers, researchers) within the Chinese industry.
China provides enormous opportunities for the New Zealand wood fibre industry to address the future increased fibre becoming available. Strong interest in the seminars confirmed that there is significant interest within China in New Zealand Pine, but its acceptance to date has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of the product. The development of technical support programmes aimed at educating the Chinese about New Zealand Pine and its properties and uses are a major priority for Wood New Zealand. A major feature of the seminars was the launch of a New Zealand Pine User Guide in Mandarin.
In addition, Chinese companies are keen to partner with New Zealand producers of logs and lumber. China has significant manufacturing capability but is short on capital and technology and the opportunities for additional sources of wood are immense. Within China, domestic forest utilisation is increasingly restricted because of improvements to flood control programmes.
As a result of the mission, plans have been advanced to appoint a full-time person to represent Wood New Zealand within China. An office, based in Shanghai, will be opened during the next few months. Other avenues that will provide opportunities for New Zealand Pine within China include the development of working relationships with Chinese processors and building on existing relationships of New Zealand companies that are already doing business in China.