An Australian forest industries delegation to Japan accompanying the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonathan Duniam will build a stronger relationship and help expand the market for high-quality Australian forest products, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association Ross Hampton said. Source: Timberbiz
The Australian forest industry visit to Japan this week included a reception with Assistant Minister Duniam, Australian forestry leaders, and senior figures from Japan’s paper industries that represent one of Australia’s key export markets in sustainable forest products.
“Australia and Japan have a long-standing and valued trade and investment relationship, and this trade mission will allow us to explore opportunities for further growth and partnerships that benefit both nations,” Senator Duniam said.
“Japan is our second largest trading partner for both forestry and fisheries products, with a combined export value of $706 million in 2018-19. In fact, both woodchips and tuna rank in Australia’s top 10 most valuable exports to Japan.
“The Free Trade Agreements the Australian Government has negotiated with Japan gives us all a strong platform to build on for further growth.
“Growing our primary production trade to Japan will be priority in a number of high-level discussions I will undertake with government and industry during this trade mission.
“I want to continue to enhance this vital relationship so we can further strengthen our economy and create more jobs for Australians, especially in our regional communities that are the backbone of our fisheries and forestry sectors.
“Ensuring we have strong relationships with trading partners like Japan are important as we aim to grow our Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sectors to a $100 billion industry by 2030.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association Ross Hampton said the delegation to Japan would continue to build a stronger relationship and help expand the market for high-quality Australian forest products.
“Our industry sees real benefit in building stronger ties with Japan because a strong export market for our forest products industries complements the domestic manufacturing sector to create more local jobs and greater investment in our regional and rural communities,” Mr Hampton said.
“Australia exports more than two million tonnes of hardwood woodchips to Japan annually, and a further 500,000 in softwood woodchips, worth more than 40 billion YEN combined, or around half a billion Australian dollars.
“Japan’s growing bioenergy market presents significant opportunities for our industry and it is a market we would like to develop further.
“It is fantastic that the Senator Duniam has been able to lead the delegation, given he is such a strong supporter of our sustainable forest industries and recognises its importance to many hundreds of communities right across Australia.”
Australia has 132 million hectares of native or natural forest. Of that, less than 0.06% is harvested each year and always regenerated ensuring an industry so sustainable it can continue indefinitely.