China in­ter­est in New Zealand for­est and tim­ber pro­cess­ing in­vest­ment

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

THE LARGEST EVER NEW ZEALAND for­est in­dus­try del­e­ga­tion to China’s show­case Global Wood Trade Con­fer­ence has made the case for more in­vest­ment in New Zealand forestry and tim­ber pro­cess­ing.

For­est Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent, Peter Weir, has told del­e­gates at Chongqing that more tim­ber pro­cess­ing in New Zealand, be­fore ex­port, re­duced the over­all en­ergy and car­bon emis­sions re­quired to pro­duce and trans­port the fin­ished prod­uct.

“There’s also a par­tic­u­lar op­por­tu­nity for pri­mary pro­cess­ing of pruned logs in New Zealand rather than the cur­rent ap­proach of mix­ing qual­ity logs with sap-de­graded logs and a sub­se­quent loss of value by both par­ties,” says Mr Weir.

New Zealand Forestry Min­is­ter, Shane Jones, told the con­fer­ence New Zealand is heav­ily re­liant on ac­cess to for­eign cap­i­tal and also has a need to sub­stan­tially in­crease its for­est re­serves.

He says this is be­hind the govern­ment cre­at­ing a more stream­lined process for in­vest­ment in forestry us­ing for­eign cap­i­tal and this cre­ates a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity for those in­ter­ested in work­ing with New Zealand. He in­vited po­ten­tial in­vestors to con­sider con­nect­ing with the New Zealand in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

This in­vi­ta­tion from Mr Jones comes at a time when there is in­creas­ing con­cern in China with the im­pli­ca­tions of the US tar­iffs.

Nu­mer­ous Chi­nese speak­ers at the con­fer­ence re­ferred to the trade war with the US and that they an­tic­i­pated this to be a long drawn out bat­tle.

Com­men­ta­tors at the con­fer­ence be­lieve the im­pact of in­creased US tar­iffs could cost China 1.5% of its GDP.

On the pos­i­tive side, po­ten­tial Chi­nese in­vestors ac­knowl­edged the US trade prob­lems were an op­por­tu­nity to strengthen other trad­ing part­ner­ships and thus wel­comed the in­vi­ta­tion from Mr Jones.

New Zealand For­est grow­ers and pro­ces­sors re­port con­struc­tive en­gage­ment with mem­bers of the China Tim­ber and Wood Prod­ucts Dis­tri­bu­tion As­so­ci­a­tion – the hosts of the Chongqing Con­fer­ence. The CTWPD has thou­sands of mem­bers across China and there has been in­ter­est from the Chi­nese mem­bers in both the op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­vest in forests and pro­cess­ing in New Zealand, as well as se­cur­ing ad­di­tional wood sup­ply.

A num­ber of the CTWPD group have ex­pressed in­ter­est in a re­cip­ro­cal visit to New Zealand later in the year to fol­low up on some of these op­tions.

NZL

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