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Global forest industry CEOs see positive future

May 30, 2011, Montreal – Forest products industry CEOs from around the world see an important opportunity ahead as a more competitive and significantly transformed industry emerges from the recent global economic downturn.


May 30, 2011
By Forest Products Association of Canada

May 30, 2011, Montreal – Forest products
industry CEOs from around the world see an important opportunity ahead as a
more competitive and significantly transformed industry emerges from the recent
global economic downturn. This assessment came at the conclusion of
International Council of Forest and Paper Associations’ (ICFPA) 5th Global CEO
Roundtable, a meeting of industry leaders from around the world, which took
place in Montreal, Canada, in late May 2011.

“There is a clear consensus that industry
leaders are seeing positive signs that the forest products industry is emerging
from the economic downturn and remains committed to improving its productivity,
sustainability, and innovation,” says roundtable co-chair Brad Thorlakson,
president and CEO of Tolko Industries (Canada). “CEOs from around the world
cited significant productivity improvements the industry undertook during the
global recession, increased globalization of trade, emergence of new markets,
and greatly improved environmental performance as key factors that have led to
a return to strength of the industry’s core product lines of pulp, paper, and
lumber.”

CEO’s noted recent market trends, including
increases in the interdependence of global supply chains and the growing levels
of government intervention in the industry and economies more broadly.
Accordingly, industry leaders underlined the importance of free trade and less
government intervention as being essential to the growth of jobs in the sector.

“Building on the industry’s leaner
structure and cost containment measures, industry leaders pointed to the
significant bioeconomy opportunity that will help accelerate the industry’s
recovery,” adds roundtable co-chair Berry Wiersum, president and CEO of SAPPI
Paper Europe. “With productive government policy frameworks, strategic industry
investments and partners, the forest products industry will be able to
integrate emerging bioeconomy opportunities with the traditional lines of pulp,
paper, and lumber products and move aggressively into the bioproduct/bioenergy
economy where jobs and environmental performance intersect.”

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The global forest products industry
contributes more than US$ 470 billion annually to global GDP and employs over
14 million people in almost every country in the world. The International
Council of Forest and Paper Associations’ (ICFPA) membership includes the trade
associations of 43 countries. Members represent industries accounting for
more than 90% of the world’s paper and more than 50% of the world’s wood
production.


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