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Finance Sector insight into Forestry’s Future

Press Release – Finance Sector to gain insight into Forestry’s Future
A pan-forest-industry conference in Auckland to be held on 4-5th March 2010 will focus on strengthening ties between the finance and forest products industries in New Zealand. The global recession has forced many industries to review their attitudes to risk and industry growth. Meanwhile New Zealand forestry has prospered through 2009 through exports and now looks set to capitalise on improving business conditions for both domestic and export products. Many of the countries that are key buyers of our wood exports are now rebounding from recession. Forestry is also poised to capitalise on potential new rules for the next Kyoto Protocol commitment period which could make for huge change and growth in this carbon-friendly industry.

“Forest products companies in New Zealand have huge export opportunities in both bio-energy supplies and carbon credits– and finance company risk managers need to learn more about these.” says conference organiser John Stulen of the Forest Industry Engineering Association. The “Future Forestry Finance” conference is being organised by this group in association with a number of key forestry groups including the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and Wood Processors Association and Forest Industry Contractors Association.

Much has happened in forestry exports over the past year – but it has certainly not been a recession – quite the opposite. During 2009 stable forest harvest levels have been maintained since the biggest driver of demand, China, has lifted its softwood log imports from New Zealand by 47%. This has widened the market base for plantation forestry exports. Meanwhile traditional log markets such as Korea and Japan have begun to rebound – adding to firm pricing and steady volumes of logs passing through our major export ports. At the same time there has been considerable growth in wood for bio-energy. A major new bio-energy plant is due for commissioning in Taupo in March – aimed at wood pellets exports for commercial energy buyers.

“There have been some important changes in forestry ownership in New Zealand with treaty settlements adding significant Maori ownership of the timberlands. With Maori making up a big percentage of the workforce in traditional forestry their new land ownership role bodes well for the industry’s future.” said Stulen. “Finance industry leaders and executives will also learn a lot from the collection of international forestry investment experts who will play a leading part in the conference on 4-5th March at the Rendezvous Hotel in Auckland.”

It’s also vital that financiers are aware of the global factors which will affect future forest and forest products developments in Australia. The conference in March will include key international forestry investment experts who will provide that global view.

Key note speakers include:
Eva Greger of GMO Renewable Resources, Boston, USA – speaking on international forestry investment comparisons to Australia.
Russell Taylor of International Wood Markets Group, Vancouver, Canada – speaking on international wood markets and future competition from Russia and China.
Bob Flynn, RISI – speaking on international biomass and woodchip markets and future competition from South American forest industries. RISI is the leading information provider for the global forest products industry.

Further information is available from two websites and the main event website Registrations for this key event on the forestry and finance calendar in Auckland event can be made directly online via the event website by phoning 0800 34 22 69 in New Zealand.

Keynote speakers include:
Eva Greger
Executive Operating Member
GMO Renewable Resource
Boston, USA

Prior to joining GMO in 1997, Eva was responsible for evaluating and structuring acquisitions for Resource Investments, Inc. Over a period of twelve years, she completed purchases involving $1 billion of forestry assets in three countries, as well as analyzing single transactions valued up to $1 billion, and led RII’s efforts in the drafting and negotiation of joint venture partnership structures. Subsequently, she founded GMO’s timber group along with Eric Oddleifson, and holds the position of Managing Partner. She earned her B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and has studied timber economics at Duke University and the University of Georgia.

Russell E. Taylor
International Wood Markets Group
Vancouver, Canada

Russ Taylor 's twenty-five year background in the forest industry encompasses forestry, manufacturing, marketing and consulting positions. Mr. Taylor has been responsible for various mill management activities, such as log purchasing, custom cutting, value-added remanufacturing and new product development. He also has valuable woods experience gained through his position as Operations Forester for Northwood Pulp Limited. As well, Mr. Taylor has gained expertise in marketing lumber and specialty products throughout North America and overseas, holding positions in sales, marketing and remanufacturing.
Russ Taylor brings his production, marketing and woods expertise to bear in such areas as strategic and business planning, product and market development, and global marketing research. His particular talents lie in market and strategy development for commodity and specialty wood products, forecasting supply, demand and prices, and strategic planning.
Bob Flynn
Director, International Timber

Robert (Bob) Flynn is Director, International Timber for RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. Mr. Flynn has more than 30 years experience in the forest industry, including 9 years as a forester for Champion International in Oregon. He has spent the past 20+ years as a consultant to the industry, with a focus on analysis of timber supply and demand trends outside of North America; international trade of logs, woodchips, and biomass; and trends in international timberland investment. He joined RISI in April 2006, and has published two reports on China’s timber supply and demand; a global comparison of planted forest economics and investment attractiveness for tree farm development; a profile of India’s forest products industry; an analysis of the impact of Russia's log export tax on Asian log markets; annual reports on international trade in woodchips and biomass; and most recently he published a report on South American plantation forestry and bioenergy markets. He holds a BA degree in geography from the University of Texas, a BS degree in forest management from Northern Arizona University and an MS in economics from the University of Oregon.


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