Forest products seeing growth

Business

PAPUA New Guinea is seeing an increase in downstream processing of products from the forest sector such as sawn timber and veneer sheets or plyboards, says Forestry Minister Douglas Tomuriesa.
He said the sector has performed well in the past four years and the export of downstream products has increased from 8 per cent to 21 per cent.
“Downstream processing of balsa wood and veneer sheets have increased significantly in the past four years,” he said.
“There are even some development in the furniture export.
“Companies are producing furniture and exporting them out of Papua New Guinea.
“The country’s main market for sawn timber is China.
“Now we are going into India.
“We are also tapping into the Australian and New Zealand markets.
“We also have some other small Asian markets.”
Tomuriesa said processed products from the forestry sector gives the country about K1.4 billion a year in revenue.
According to the PNG Forestry Association, forestry supports 12,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs.
Executive officer Bob Tate said annual payments to landowners were over K87 million a year and tax revenue to the Government was more than K300 million a year.
Tate said the sector has been a major export earner for Papua New Guinea for many years, and it is a close second only to oil palm in its contribution to the national economy.

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