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Montreal, Canada, May 26, 2011 – 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 today in Montreal, Canada.

“Coming out of today’s discussion 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,” said Roundtable Co-Chair, Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO, 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 bio-economy opportunity that will help accelerate the industry’s recovery.” added Berry Wiersum, President and CEO, SAPPI Paper Europe and Roundtable Co-Chair. “With productive government policy frameworks, strategic industry investments and partners, the forest products industry will be able to integrate emerging bio-economy opportunities with the traditional lines of pulp, paper and lumber products and move aggressively into the bio-product/bio-energy economy where jobs and environmental performance intersect.”

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 percent of the world’s paper and more than 50 percent of the world’s wood production. The ICFPA is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to working with other stakeholders to ensure that environmental, social and economic benefits of our natural resources are available to current and future generations. ICFPA Members are committed to legal, certified forestry and procurement practices.     


Extpub | by Dr. Radut