The Government is backing the forest and wood-processing industry to play a major role in New Zealand"s economic recovery, with the launch of the"Invest in New Zealand Wood Processing"prospectus to encourage wider local and offshore investment.
"The Government is confident that the future of the forestry and wood-processing sector will be bright. Our products are held in high regard internationally, and we want investors interested in being part of a sustainable high-value sector that helps support our goal to transition to a low-carbon economy," Forestry Minister Shane Jones said.
"New Zealand has an abundance of natural resources, access to growing markets around the world, and we are consistently ranked as one of the easiest countries in the world in which to do business."
The industry has faced some short-term challenges but the medium to long-term outlook is extremely positive as the sector embraces new technologies and looks to develop more high-value products.
"Products will be sold not only within New Zealand but to a much wider range of markets than our logs currently go to, reducing exchange rate risk and building market resilience," Shane Jones said.
"At present more than 75 per cent of wood from our production forests is exported in different forms including logs, wood chips, sawn timber, engineered wood products and pulp and paper."
The Log Traders Registration Bill, which is currently before select committee, would introduce a"compulsory registration system for forestry advisers and log traders, help to lift professional standards, provide greater certainty for investors across the supply chain and ensure a more efficient market.
The release of the prospectus coincides with a new investment memorandum from Trust Tairāwhiti, focused on wood-processing opportunities in the region. Due to its significant wood supply and ongoing expansion plans for regional wood-processing, the Tairāwhiti region has been identified as one of the most attractive for investment.
The Government has already invested $19.5 million in the Tairāwhiti region's Wood Processing Centre of Excellence through Trust Tairāwhiti.
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