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Bay of Plenty's forestry industry set to gain from China forum

A high-powered forum held in China last week has the potential to benefit the wider Bay of Plenty's forestry industry as it seeks to position itself for increased trade with the republic.

The region's forestry sector was represented at the last week's inaugural New Zealand China Partnership Forum in Beijing, which brought together key figures from a range of sectors in China and New Zealand.

Forestry representatives involved with the region's economic growth strategy group, Bay of Connection, had an input into what was brought to the table in Beijing of PF Olsen chief executive Peter Clark, spoke at the forum.

The Bay of Connections is the wider Bay of Plenty's regional economic development strategy with several sector strategies and working groups focusing on, among other industries, forestry, energy, aquaculture, Māori development and sport and recreation. The Bay of Connections region includes Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo and Western Bay of Plenty.

Forestry and wood processing is a key focus area as part of Bay of Connections' aim to develop global competitiveness and the goal is to add value to more than 70 per cent of the logs harvested in the region by 2020.

Bay of Connections forestry action group chairman, Bryce Heard, says the forum in China could help to set the path for future growth for the industry.

"This was a very significant forum and forestry was the fore," he says.

Co-hosted by the New Zealand China Council (NZCC) and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, the New Zealand...

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